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Hello from Florida!

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Hello from Florida!

Post  Lepidoptera_36 on 4/15/2012, 6:51 pm


I am new to square foot gardening. My previous gardening experience has only been growing beans in a section of my mom's garden as a teenager, and since then only container plants (right now I have green onions and lemon trees in pots).

I just built a small 2' x 2' square foot garden for my daughter. We are currently living in a condo, and I only have a small patio for gardening. The rules here also require me to be able to carry all items on my patio inside if a hurricane is expected, so I chose a small enough size to fit through my door without tilting it. If it goes well I might be able to squeeze another one out there (but a second one would need shade tolerant plants if I did that).

I'm hoping it will do well (though I'm a little concerned about starting it now because all of the local farmer's markets are from fall to spring, and are closed through the hot summer).



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Join date : 2012-04-15
Location : Florida, Zone 9b

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Re: Hello from Florida!

Post  givvmistamps on 4/16/2012, 1:29 pm

Hi Lepidoptera! I am just getting my own garden started, and I'm in FL also. There actually are quite a lot of things that can still be grown, so don't worry too much. Also, with care being taken, even things that are considered "off season" in the summer can be grown longer than what the farms manage out in their fields. Shade cloth over lettuce is an example.

Have you read All New Square Foot Gardening?

Regarding the growing season, it helped me a lot when I looked at this website: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021 That gives a starting point for what will grow in FL, as reported by UF's extension service. The SFG method allows us to grow things for a longer period, since we can use shade cloth over a small space very easily...or people up north can use something to protect plants from frost.

I have two boys (ages 5 & 10) helping me with the garden...some of the stuff I'm growing especially for them like the carrots, their favorite veggie, and the pumpkins we'll be growing up a trellis.

What will you and your daughter be growing? How much sun does the other section of your patio get? If it's at least four hours, lettuce might do okay there in summer, or I was thinking some herbs might like that a lot. It's also possible that if you put the second box up on legs or a small table you could extend the amount of sunlight you'll get there.

Don't hesitate to ask questions here. There are a lot of people here who are happy to share their experience with us!


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Location : Lake City, (NE) FL; USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, AHS Heat Zone 9, Sunset Zone 28

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Re: Hello from Florida!

Post  Lepidoptera_36 on 4/17/2012, 9:56 am

Thank you for the link, that is helpful!

I planted tomatoes and sugar snap peas (I heard kids like those, and although I was worried it would get too hot for them, they are already sprouted and growing fast). My daughter planted a single pumpkin seed which her teacher at school gave her, and in the square next to it some pretty flowers (I forgot the name). I think the flowers will be done by the time the pumpkin gets big and needs the extra space.

To be honest, I was thinking her pumpkin seed from school wouldn't sprout, but I was wrong. I just got the support structure built for it yesterday.

Yes, I've started reading All New Square Foot Gardening. I bought it at the recommendation of someone on another forum.

The remaining space on my patio only gets sun until about 11:00 am, but even for the plants that are getting a lot of sun, it is not really full sun because the sunlight is going through a screen (The entire patio, even it's roof, is screened). I've been growing green onions out there with no problems for a couple of years.

I could fit a small box on my front doorstep, but I would have to make it look pretty and I would have to remove one of my other plants (fussy rules about the appearance and number of container plants on the doorsteps from the condo association). That spot also gets intensely hot in the afternoon sun. I keep cactus, a ficus, and a potted papaya tree out there. I have a small space of grass behind my patio, but if I put a garden there I have to pay a $500 fine. That spot also gets hit when the landscaping crew drives by with their broadcast pesticide sprayer.


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Re: Hello from Florida!

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