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Greetings from Central Florida

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Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/6/2010, 12:56 am

Well, I've been puttering around the various subboards for a while... just wanted to say "Howdy!" from Central Florida. I'm here in St. Cloud, due South of Orlando, just a mere 45 minutes from the Atlantic (Melbourne, FL), about 20 minutes east of Disney, and about 2.5 hours from the Gulf of Mexico (Tampa).

I'm a relative newcomer to the (All New) Square Foot Gardening method, but that's only because I hadn't been involved with any sort of raised-bed gardening since my father was doing the whole Square Foot Garding when I was a kid (a long time ago in a galaxy far-far away...)

Last year I planted my first real garden and had some "mixed" results. My biggest winners were the raddishes (which grow pretty quickly) and my banana peppers. Unfortunately, my garden became overrun with pests and weeds before I could collect many of the other crops I planted. My peas never quite grew, the green beans (bush) produced once before the ants interviened, and the second (replanted) crop never took off, the tomatoes were destroyed by some ugly looking bugs from another planet (I hate them... Laughing )... only got 3 decent tomatoes off of four tomato plants... onions and scallions never grew (weeds overran 'em)... the beets got eaten by moles... and my corn was blown over by a summer storm (those that didn't get infested with those nasty worms.)

Soooo.... I'm back again, trying the new take on something I recall from my early childhood... and I hope it works out! Of course, when my dad was doing this, it was circa 1980, and I was about 7 years old.

I hope to be able to follow the directions and produce some lively and interesting crops. I'm also hoping that if and when I do run into pests, the more experienced of ya'll might be able to help point me in the right direction to fight them off.
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  boffer on 3/6/2010, 1:44 am

"Unfortunately, my garden became overrun with pests and weeds before I
could collect many of the other crops I planted. My peas never quite
grew, the green beans (bush) produced once before the ants interviened,
and the second (replanted) crop never took off, the tomatoes were
destroyed by some ugly looking bugs from another planet (I hate them... )... only got 3 decent tomatoes off of four
tomato plants... onions and scallions never grew (weeds overran 'em)...
the beets got eaten by moles... and my corn was blown over by a summer
storm (those that didn't get infested with those nasty worms.)"


For a minute there, I thought you were starting to write a country song! I was waiting to see how you were going to fit in Mama, pickups, and prison
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/6/2010, 3:08 am

@boffer wrote:For a minute there, I thought you were starting to write a country song! I was waiting to see how you were going to fit in Mama, pickups, and prison

Would it be better if I said...

"I was drunk, the day my momma, got outta prison.... and I went, to pick her up, in the rai-a-ain... but before I could get to the station in my pickup-truck, she got runned over by a damned ole train....."

lol!
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  happyfrog on 3/6/2010, 7:24 am

pretty good song on the fly! Smile

i think you'll find at least the weeds are less with sfg. if nothing else, i know stuff is a weed because it's not in its proper spot in the ground. *grin*

i must admit by the end of summer, i was getting over some of my heebie jeebies with touching bugs and worms and was pickingthem off with my tweezers. . . anything to help save my food.

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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/6/2010, 9:07 am

The good people of Florida certainly do seem perseverant. I hear more stories of gardens over run by pests and they still keep popping seed into the ground. Gotta respect a people who just don't give up. It will not be long before YOU are the expert Jeff.

My SFG hero is in Florida via YouTube. Donna's Square Foot Garden Part 1 (they go through to part 39 so far.....which was just posted and I am off to view) She MIGHT appeal to me because she is a woman and I get her.

I like the description of where you live.....smack dab in the middle of everywhere else.

Deborah ....getting dirty in Everett, Washington.
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Theresa on 3/6/2010, 2:05 pm

my goodness you guys have me laughing till I cried, Jeff you had so much bad luck last year, I know it's gonna be a better year for you, it can't get no worse!

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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/7/2010, 1:14 pm

Well I got the second box finished yesterday. With the help of a friend, we laid 'em out and leveled the ground, pulling the dead weeds and leftover bits from last year's garden.

Today I'm planning on putting down the weedblock. Would it be worthwhile to lay down newspaper underneath the weed block or just trust the weedblock? Florida has a lot of weeds, and other areas where I've used weedblock have wound up with weeds growing through despite my best efforts.
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/7/2010, 1:25 pm

Seriously? Weeds grew through your weed block?
I'd trust my instincts (that is what so much of gardening is) and lay down the weed block

But what do I know....
Deborah .....way up in the other Washington
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/7/2010, 1:32 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:Seriously? Weeds grew through your weed block?
I'd trust my instincts (that is what so much of gardening is) and lay down the weed block

But what do I know....
Deborah .....way up in the other Washington

Yeah, I spent a lot of effort shortly after moving in to this place.. pulling out the old gnarled evergreen shrubs that just didn't look right, clearning out the area, and planting a few colorful plants, date palms and shrubs... laid down the weed block and put mulch down. Weeds grew through the block after a while and, while it's not as bad as the garden got, it does get me a little riled up. Of course, that area is not using the SFG method, so it's just enhanced soil.
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/7/2010, 1:42 pm

That should have been newspaper!!!!!

Deborah....blush
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/7/2010, 1:47 pm

By the way, now that coffee has filtered its way to my brain, I should confess that I have a graveled walkway on the side of my house with landscape cloth under it that I weed every spring. Seed falls on top of the gravel, sprouts and grows. It is fairly easy to remove, but it does not come from under the block.

Deborah ....just saying
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Jeff

Post  boffer on 3/7/2010, 3:12 pm

A lot of forum members have mentioned that they put down cardboard, thick, to stop very pervasive weeds. If you have access to cardboard, I'd put it down first.
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/7/2010, 4:57 pm

@boffer wrote:A lot of forum members have mentioned that they put down cardboard, thick, to stop very pervasive weeds. If you have access to cardboard, I'd put it down first.
Well, I haven't mixed up the Mel's mix yet... cut the weed fabric, but it's only being held down with sticks and bricks right now.

At work we frequently have huge boxes that copiers come in (well, covering the units on their pallets), so I'll see if we have some tomorrow.
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  mckr3441 on 3/7/2010, 7:59 pm

Hi Jeff, Take it from a fellow weed hater: USE THE CARDBOARD under the weedcloth! One thing though is to not make it too thick as some have said it prevented good drainage. So far I haven't experienced that but will keep it in mind as I make new boxes this year.

One solution to those weeds/ants et al is to build the garden up on blocks to keep it off the ground completly. You have to put a plywood bottom on it then. But it sure separates the good ground from the bad. I have one box like that. Actually, I have it up on wheels so we can move it around on our large driveway turnaround. I know those nasty Florida ants can still climb up to it but some vaseline around the "legs" of the box will help to stop them.

Welcome to the forum. We're a well-fed fun group.
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/8/2010, 12:28 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:My SFG hero is in Florida via YouTube. Donna's Square Foot Garden Part 1 (they go through to part 39 so far.....which was just posted and I am off to view) She MIGHT appeal to me because she is a woman and I get her.

Heh.. you got me hooked on it! I'm up to part 20 now... and I think some of those bugs she was showing were the same critters I ran across... only I had hundreds of 'em.

She makes everything look so easy; hard to believe it was her first time trying. Don't suppose she ventures into the forums? It'd be nice to run across someone else encountering the same problems!
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Jeff - Mushroom Compost

Post  WardinWake on 3/8/2010, 9:48 pm

Jeff:

I just remembered a Google search I did a while back. There is a mushroom farm in central Florida that sells their spent mushroom compost. You might be able to get a good quantity at a good price from them if you need another source for compost in your mix.

God Bless, Ward.
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Re: Greetings from Central Florida

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/8/2010, 10:04 pm

@WardinWake wrote:Jeff:

I just remembered a Google search I did a while back. There is a mushroom farm in central Florida that sells their spent mushroom compost. You might be able to get a good quantity at a good price from them if you need another source for compost in your mix.

God Bless, Ward.
Yeah, I think I found it. It's up in Mt. Dora... and apparently, they give the stuff away (or so says the post on another forum.)

Of course, I believe there are some chicken farms not too far away, and there are plenty of cattle and horses around these parts.
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