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Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  FreyaFL on 9/27/2012, 9:25 pm

Sorry I didn't say when to plant the watermelon! LOL I just thought, "well, we all live different places" and mentally went on from there. Btw, it says 1/1/13 for me. I guess I'm just that tiny bit hotter than the rest of you. lol!

I've never heard of BT either. Sounds like something I'll have to get. Thanks for the info!

Erika, I know what you mean about planting all those seedlings even when you hadn't intended to. I mean, what else were you going to do with them? You had to do something!

I'm going to plant watermelon, too, now. Coincidentally, today a friend on FB wrote, "Dehydrated watermelon = fruit lover's crack." It's like something is trying to tell me something. ("....grow watermelon.....")

binfordmj, your peppers just keep growing/producing? (Wow, gotta love Florida!)
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  thebarley7 on 9/28/2012, 8:14 am

Good morning ladies,

What do you all think about strawberries? I read that the second year plants bear more fruit, so does this mean once established they grow all year? I picked up a few plugs at HD, they were pitiful. 2 out of 5 died, the others are barely hanging on. Here is my strawberry box. I went ahead and planted some carrots around the edges of the top two tiers since it is so deep.

[img][/img]

I was thinking of ordering from here. The Sweet Charlies.
http://www.isons.com/strawberries.htm . If anyone wants to split an order we could share the shipping costs. I'd even drive to central florida if anyone knew a nursery that specializes in strawberries.

I'm going to put in another planting of watermelon too. It seems to me I see them growing all winter around here.

About the worms, my daughter was so disappointed that a worm got in her giant pumpkin stem, her plant was doing so good. So we used a razor knife, split the stem, pulled the worm out, and wrapped it in panty hose. 3 weeks later it is still growing fine. Now I keep them wrapped and keep the stems dusted until they bloom, then no more dusting. Where can you buy BT? Thanks for the heads up on that.

Bought some Yukon Gold potatoes the other day, went to cook them and they had sprouted. They are on the ifas list so woohoo! Into the ground they go. Smile

This is a great thread. BTW swfl ladies, where do you get your vermiculite?

Donna

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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  ksbmom on 9/28/2012, 8:41 am

Donna, what a beautiful garden! The Sweet Charlies are my favorite strawberries to eat. I've never tried growing them, though. I don't have space right now or I would order with you because I've almost given up buying strawberries at the stores - they are so tasteless and woody!

How did you know there was a worm in the stem of the pumpkin? I have one growing right now - it's just beginning to get tiny flower buds and I'd like to know how to defeat the worms if they show up. What do you dust with?

You can get BT anywhere - HD, Lowe's, nurseries all should have it. I got my last bottle at the feed store where I also get my vermiculite. There is a feed store in Sebring where my in-laws live that had vermiculite for $18 a bag! That's $6 cheaper than my feed store. (I love going into feed stores and Tractor Supply! So fun!)
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  Ericka2385 on 9/28/2012, 8:54 am

So how did I plant things I didn't intend... I put the hot pepper seeds into a container to start indoors, and transferred them outside when they were big enough. There were fiver different types of peppers in the mix, but the key word there is 'mix'. I had no idea what was what. So they're going into the ground, and I'm thinking to myself, but I really want a habanero plant... and I really want a hungarian wax pepper plant... and into the ground they all went. If it turns out I have 10 jalapenos, some of them will get pulled up and make room for my winter veggies. And they'll get roasted and frozen, and I'll pull off most of the charred skin when they come out of the oven. They go into freezer bags a few at a time, and before I cook them I just cut the tops off. I don't spend too much time cleaning out the ribs or the seeds.

If you heard dehydrated watermelon is good... try making dehydrated pineapple. My goodness.
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  thebarley7 on 9/28/2012, 9:53 am

Morning ksbmom (and everyone else sunny ),

First the worm.....

You can see a tiny whole in the stem but what gives it away is the clumps of worm poop that looks like undigested stem, laying on the stem itself. I found this picture. You won't see the worm though, just the excrement. The yellowy looking stuff.

[img][/img]

Just slice the stem and pull the worm out, and hope you got it soon enough. I try to dust only the stems with sevin dust. Just to keep the moth off. I even considered building a net box to cover them with at night, since that's when the moth is busy. But between the vacuuming and putting on the pantyhose, not sure if I have time to tuck them in every night too!

I got my vermiculite at Forestry resources, right on Nicholas next to Kohls.(They also have a store in Webster for the central fl folks) They sell the medium 4 cubic foot bag for $16.99. It's only medium but I've been using it and it seems okay. I'm told Bayshore Nursery can get coarse but it is really expensive. Never thought of the feed stores. thinking I wonder if Futrals has anything.

I love the Lord's Nursery in Sebring. Best place to go for flowers and landscaping plants. Half the price of local nurseries. What feed store in Sebring do you use? May be up there in a few weeks and I have one more 4 x 12 box to fill. I would like a bag of coarse to see the difference.

Thanks for the garden compliment. thanks I went all out, this is my therapy after a family tragedy we had last fall. Garden is great to relax and take you mind off things. But I only went and did the entire garden area in mulch because right down the street from me on burnt store road is Cape recycling, and you can get a whole pickup truck load of mulch for around $30.00. (Just some FYI for the swfl folks). I could have never afforded all that mulch if I had to buy it by the bag.

[img][/img]

That's a LOT of mulch, especially at least 3 inches thick. I think it was about 3 - 4 truckloads. Been doing it a little at a time. My oldest daughter married and moved a few years ago, so we dissembled the horse barn stalls to make a workshop for my husband, and used all the stall wood as my boxes. The horse stall and pasture gates are my trellis's, the barns flooring was dug out and considered as two of my three needed types of compost (due to the fact that at once time or another the barn held horses, chickens, goats, and pigs). The decorative fencing was pieces just picked up that someone was throwing away. The two hanging planters at the entrance were on clearance at Lowes. The seeds were 10 for a dollar at Forestry resources. So really this whole garden really only cost me the costs of the mels mix and the mulch. I started it on 8/17, and canned two jars of pickles yesterday! Oh yeah, I have also bought green tape. Lot's of green tape.

BTW, the potatoes are in the big black tub. We planted them in a few inches, let them grow, covered the stems, let them grow some more, covered them again, and now almost ready to be covered again. We are halfway up the tub with MM now. I watched the mels youtube video on taters and am trying this. However, the Yukon Gold sprouts I think I will try planting in bags like everyone is doing, or just right in the ground in our native soil just to try it.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Donna
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  ksbmom on 9/28/2012, 10:51 am

Hi Donna,
I'm not sure the name of the feed store - it's south on US 27 (I think it's south - I'm directionally challenged. Anyway, if you're driving on 27, Lake Jackson will be on your left). You'll pass the Tractor Supply on the left and it's a ways down on the right. Sorry - I don't pay too much attention to where stuff is if I'm not driving Wink

Thanks for the picture of the worm. Sure hope I don't see any of that in MY garden! affraid

The potatotes you are doing are just how I read about doing them! I so want to try it.

Going out to the garden to see if I see any yellow stuff.....

Sue

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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  FreyaFL on 9/28/2012, 4:00 pm

Erika, I love your pepper story. You should post pictures! (Title it, "The Problem with Mixed Seeds" or something silly. LOL)

Donna, your garden is beautiful! I would love to do something like that. If/when I ever move again, I'm definitely going to get a place with more property. (How far out will they deliver the mulch, btw? I've friends in Lehigh that could really use it.) And, strawberries... I was just at the point of thinking about starting a strawberry patch/garden! I may be doing a tower or vertical garden, but I was noticing that we're supposed to start planting them soon. ("Soon" is as close to knowing when as I've gotten.) So, yes. I would definitely like to go in on an order with you! Let me know when you'd like to order them and I could either meet up with you and give you the money or mail it or however you would want to work it out. (And, I'll trust you on variety. They are all just names to me, atm.)

What variety of tomatoes are everyone growing? I've got Solar Fire and Tropic that I started from seed and are now with flowers (1 Solar Fire and 4 Tropics). I've got 5 other varieties started with seed (3 have tiny little sprouts). What are the ones you've had good luck with in the past? I think I'm turning into Erika except with tomatoes. I want to have more and more! Variety! (The worst part is, I haven't tried any of these. So I don't even know if I'll like them.)
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  ksbmom on 9/28/2012, 5:35 pm

I have had good success with a variety called Eva Purple Ball - got the seeds from Seed Savers and they do well. In fact the plants I have in the garden now I started from seed saved from last year's crop. Also Czech - they are a smaller tomato but hardy. I have a couple of Tropics but they seem to be slow growers. IFAS said that Floradades were good for our area but I have not had good luck with them at all. I am trying for the first time Homestead and Cherokees - both are growing like crazy and have lots of flowers. The Mortgage Lifter seems to be doing well but I noticed today that some of the bottom leaves were yellow already.

I know how you feel about all those seedlings - last spring I planted way too many but I couldn't just throw them away!
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SWFL fall gardens

Post  binfordmj on 9/28/2012, 7:26 pm

Donna~

What an absolutely perfect garden! I will have to visit that mulch place you spoke of. Do you have squirrels or any other little critters? I have to watch the squirrels as they are a crafty bunch. This year they got all but about 8 mangos off our tree. But I digress.......Your hard work and love of gardening really shows! It's a beautiful garden!

Mary Kay
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swamp cabage

Post  binfordmj on 9/28/2012, 7:29 pm

Hey Donna, is that a swamp cabbage(aka sable palm) in the back ground to the right?
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SWFL gardens

Post  binfordmj on 9/28/2012, 7:37 pm

OK.........you can probably tell I have time on my hands right now.

I was looking up the location for the mulch Donna spoke of and found this location where you can get free mulch in North Ft. Myers at the County Park behind the library on Old U.S. 41

Donna, I asked about the swamp cabbage because with a lot of very hard work and a very old recipe, it is an outstanding dish!

Mary Kay
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  Ericka2385 on 9/28/2012, 7:44 pm

Donna, that is an excellent picture. Squash Vine Borers, or is there another worm that does the same thing. I had heard about looking for their poop, but never really got around to seeing what the damage looks like. Am I the only person who immediately ran out to my garden to check?? There was something I ready about putting foil around the base of the plant stem to keep the little buggers out... Maybe that was for cutworms... I'll have to find the article.

There are several varieties of tomatoes in my garden. There are five or six romas, San Marizano I belive. It looks like I should have a good number of tomatoes to roast and make into sauce. For large fruit plants I've got two Purple Cherokee plants, two Orange Flesh Purple Smudge plants, and two Black Pineapple plants. Then there are the baby fruits. There are two Reistetraube (it's a red cherry plant, and I always spell that wrong and am WAY to lazy to go look it up) plants, two Black Mauri (black grape) and one Yellow Pear, and they're all for snacking in the garden. I was attempting to use some type of restraint while looking at seeds, and I really shouldn't have. Next year there will probably be more. My tomatoes plants bring me happiness. And they're delicious. There has been enough Black Mauri tomatoes coming off the vine to use when I cook, and I never want to cook without homegrown tomatoes again.



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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  thebarley7 on 9/30/2012, 4:40 am

Hi mary kay,

That is palmettos in the background. But I do have several cabbage palms on our place. If they go to dying I might get to them for some swamp cabbage, but If I dare cut them down now my husband would have a fit. Someday I might make it to the swamp cabbage festival in LaBelle. I imagine cooking it is kind of like a lost art. Have you cooked it before? How much is in a single tree? Always wondered about that.

Thanks for the tip on the free mulch. I think I heard about that. I can't imagine me trying to load a truckload full with a shovel. uugh. My mulch place is literally one mile from my house, in 20 minutes I can be there and back, and they use a big tractor to fill the truck to the brim. I'll gladly pay 30 bucks for that, last two times it was on sale for $25. Once the big jobs are done though it will be nice to run over there to N Ft.Myers and get a few bag loads for free whenever I need it for refreshing the flower beds and touch ups... As long as I remember it's there.... thinking , already forgot about it until you mentioned it again. If you don't have access to a truck I'd be happy to get it for you. Got some yesterday, it was 31$.

Erika, I read to put a sleeve of some sort around the base of squash, pumpkins, etc., to keep the moth from getting to it. Foil is a great idea, didn't think of that. The replanted summer squash is coming along, maybe I'll do better this time. I was so discouraged when I burned them a few weeks ago. Huge plants with a whole bunch of baby squashes, one by one murdered by hateful little worms. Definitely more diligent on the bug preventive this time.

My corn stalks are over 5 feet tall, and my corncobs have fluffy hair, and are about 6 inches long. I wonder if covering them with foil or knee highs will keep that moth from landing on them too. I think I will try it. The eggs are laid on the leaves and corn silk, so it stands to reason that if it is covered then perhaps they can't get to it. What does everyone else use to prevent the corn-earworm? What about sevin dust?

BTW I saw HD had decent sized strawberry plants in.

My pumpkin plants are to the top of my trellis, but still having blossoms drop off. Lots of blossoms, lots of pollinators flying about, one tiny pumpkin that fell of. Nothing is setting. Anyone else having any luck? The watermelons are doing great, just a bit smaller than a tennis ball. Tons of cukes, blackeys peas almost ready. But the pumpkins and gourds are growing and flowering, but no fruit. Sad

I jealous of you tomato seed starters/growers. tongue Only one of mine from seed is doing any good. I finally gave up and bought some Better Boy and Roma plants from HD. Put them in last week and they have really taken off, over double in size. But I am putting you guy's varieties in my notebook and going to try it again. Think it's too late in the season to start tom's from seed? What's the magic to get them to grow?

About the squirrels .... We have feeders set up right outside out bay window in the kitchen where we eat and love to watch the antics. Every morning at breakfast we get quite a show just 6 feet from our window. We have encouraged them to come since we never had very many squirrels before this year. Now we have whole families. They are feasting on the acorns from the oak trees in our yard, and pigging out at the bird feeders, which I don't mind. I have no idea what to do if they get in the garden. What will they go after?

Troublemakers.....
[img][/img]

Used to have a lot of rabbits but we have way too many coyotes around here now so the rabbits and coons aren't such a problem. Seen a few polecats around though. An an armadillo tried to burrow into my drainfield last week. But so far the garden has escaped critter wrath....

donna
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  Ericka2385 on 9/30/2012, 3:08 pm

Donna, you might be jealous of our tomatoes, but I'm jealous of your pumpkins. My died, I'm sad. The whole squash thing seems to escape me. My are starting to flower, but I seem to be lacking female flowers. I have one baby pumpkin that is growing, but that seems the be the only thing fruiting on my 9 vines. There was a post on here about a bug similar to the SVB, but it attacked fruit by working it's way into the ova on the female flower. It sounded like it was really bad this year. I can find the article if anyone is having the same problem.

I've barely seen any bees. I'm blaming this on the fact that I live in an HOA, and the TruGreen truck is here all the time spraying for bugs. It saddens me. While my sunflowers were in bloom the bees came around. I put down some bee balm seeds but I'm not sure they taken. I suspect that I'll be hand pollinating everything. In the morning I give all my tomato plants a shake, it seems to do the trick. The squash plants are being watched closely, we'll see how that works out.

Good news though... I have a baby ear of corn. It's the first one. It's so cute.. Most of my corn stalks are about 4 feet tall and just starting to silk. A couple of the silks are still white, some are turning red. All of my plants are of the same variety, has anyone seen that happen before?
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  binfordmj on 9/30/2012, 3:10 pm

Thank you all for the info about BT. Turns out I actually bought some last spring (the fellow at HD suggested it for the issues I was having at the time) but I got it home and decided not to use it as I REALLY wanted to stay away from chemicals (and I was afraid of it). I looked in my gardening stuff this morning and low and behold………..there it was! So I used it on my squash plants as the tiny green worm things were coming back. I can’t wait to get home from work to see if it is working! So excited!

Donna~ regarding swamp cabbage……..I think a single tree makes a rather large size pot- would feed about 200 people a small serving each. They are best when the trunk is no larger than about 4 feet tall. I belong to the Southwest Florida Historical Society and every year we have a fundraiser Cracker Dinner. Most of the older members only venture out because we have swamp cabbage. It is made by this one “old timer” who has been making it for many years. Last year I offered to assist for the coming year so I could learn how it’s done. Can’t have the old timer get too old to do it (it’s very hard work!) and not have someone else learn how! We would lose at least half of our attendees! I do know the trees are very expensive to purchase, and in many areas here it is illegal to go out and cut one down. However, if you are clearing your land and they are in the way, you are at liberty to remove them.

About the mulch………..you are absolutely right! My back is worth at least $30! My need for mulch is much smaller than yours and I think I’m OK for the rest of the fall season but should that change, my brother has a pick up, but thank you for the offer of assistance.

My potatoes are starting to peek through the soil so I am doing research to see if the mulch wood chips would be a good option for “hilling”. I have read both pros & cons for it, though most recommend large sawdust type mulch. Since I have two bags of them, I might try the regular mulch in one and dirt or sawdust in the other and see which one does better. If anyone has a better idea, I would love to hear it.

Mary Kay


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sawdust

Post  binfordmj on 9/30/2012, 3:20 pm

I just called our local HD and asked what they do with thier sawdust, and the gent said he just threw some out. He said I could come out tomorrow and get what they had (about half a trash can full) if I like. So this is a source for sawdust if anybody wants to try it for thier bagged potatoes. At least until they see a market for it. LOL
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  Lindacol on 9/30/2012, 3:32 pm

binfordmj wrote:I just called our local HD and asked what they do with thier sawdust, and the gent said he just threw some out. He said I could come out tomorrow and get what they had (about half a trash can full) if I like. So this is a source for sawdust if anybody wants to try it for thier bagged potatoes. At least until they see a market for it. LOL

I would be careful of that sawdust. I would not use it in a vegetable garden if it contains sawdust from wood that has been chemically treated.
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sawdust

Post  binfordmj on 9/30/2012, 4:41 pm

Oh............shucks! I hadn't thought of that. Guess I was too excited thinking I would not have to make my own sawdust. But you are right. Won't use that wood for the walls of the raised garden, won't use it for the potato bags. Thank you
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  FreyaFL on 9/30/2012, 5:09 pm

I just placed an order with Baker Seeds. All this talk about peppers and I had to order two different kinds. Laughing Also, another type of tomato, some random other things and, for some reason, two strange melons. I've had as much luck growing melons as I've had growing summer squash (zero). At least I didn't order pumpkins! Where will those of you with small gardens in your yards put those vines? (And, I did look at them. Shocked )

I almost bought seed potatoes off of Amazon. Someone is selling Organic Red LaSodas and Yukon Golds, each are 2 lbs for $9.95. I'd really like the Sebago, but I may just have to cave and buy the other. Maybe I should just buy a bag of sprouting ones from the grocery...? I think I should get them started soon, too. As for mulching, I just got my book a couple days ago and it says to use MM until the bed is full. Do most people use something else? I'm going to have a 3 square foot area, 1 foot deep (it's actually round and is just over 3 cubic feet.) Maybe mixing MM or potting soil mixed with shredded mulch would work? I've never grown a potato.

Fun reading everything! Only thing new in my garden is the patty pan squash sprouted. I'm happy about that!
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  thebarley7 on 9/30/2012, 5:25 pm

I bought yukon golds from publix last week, and they really sprouted. (plus they were on sale Wink ). I mixed a little MM with the sand at the back end of the garden and stuck them in there. So I have a huge bin that are growing upwards in the grow-and-cover-grow-and-cover method, and now I have 3 spots of just stick-em-in-the-ground-and-see-what-they-do method.

Anxious to see how it works.

donna
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  FreyaFL on 9/30/2012, 6:34 pm

But I don't want to wait a season for your two methods to play out! Sad I want instant gratification! Razz Okay, so I'll go to Publix and just buy some Yukon Gold. I suppose that way, I'll also have potatoes for dinner this week. LOL
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  thebarley7 on 9/30/2012, 7:07 pm

That's funny. I remember a time I would check to make sure the potatoes I was buying were not sprouting...... not anymore! What a Face
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How did I miss this?

Post  thebarley7 on 9/30/2012, 7:26 pm

I have been checking the cucumbers everyday for stink bugs. I have been babying these along, tying them up the trellis and removing dead leaves. I even pickled two pint jars a few days ago, my first yield Smile . Keeping the bottoms of the plants clear of any dead leaves so I can look for the vine borer poop and assorted pests. So the question is...... how did I miss these???? affraid

[img][/img]

No way they will fit in a pint jar for pickles. They must grow really fast. I guess it's dill for these big boys.
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  Ericka2385 on 9/30/2012, 7:33 pm

When did you start your cucumbers?? I can't recall the date I put mine, but I followed the times on the EDIS site. My plants only started setting flowers a week or two ago, I knew I could put them out sooner, but was worried about the rain and the heat causing illness.
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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

Post  thebarley7 on 9/30/2012, 7:40 pm

Erika,

don't know about the corn. Mine are still white topped. [img][/img]

They are really tall, like 7-8 feet or so. What kind did you plant?

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Re: Central Florida SFGers - when do you start fall planting?

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