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Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

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Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  at2wooden on 1/4/2014, 11:22 pm

Hi,
This is our first year SFG gardening here in Florida.
My teenage sons are really getting a lesson since I discovered Mel's book!
We've got heirloom seeds, raised boxes, compost box, trellises, a cold frame full of baby veggys.
Garlic, onions, cabbage, broccoli, and turnips are in the ground and off and running.
We planted bananas, plantains, pineapple, and I just put our bare root Muscadine grapes in this weekend.
(Still waiting on our bare root strawberries)
Gotta love Zone 10! Looks like I can get 3 crops in each year!  bounce 
The last couple of months have been hectic, and spring planting starts in 3 weeks!
Plenty of bees in the yard. And hoping to get some red wigglers when I can.
We are lucky to have a great nursery nearby.
The whole yard will probably look like a forest before long with fruit trees.
(Dwarf Tahitian Coconut, Red lime, Honeybell oranges, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Dwarf Mango)
The neighbors Avocado branches well into our yard to give us some fruit. 
Harvesting and canning all this bounty is making me tired just thinking about it!
I've read some of the posts and already feel like the prodigal son coming home! 
Howard

at2wooden

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  sanderson on 1/5/2014, 12:14 am

Howard, Welcome Home, I mean to the Forum!   glad you\'re here  There are some other folks down your way plus a lot in Zones 9A and above.  Most Floridians take a break during the 3 months of steaming summer, but you will still have your wonderful trees to occupy your time.  Tell us a little more.  How long have you been SFGing?  What have you successfully grown?  You have a question that you can't find the answer, just ask.  And post photos as soon as you can.  We love photos.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  at2wooden on 1/5/2014, 3:02 am

Some time ago I did the ol' row garden bit with tomatoes and peppers.
This is our SFG "learning curve". First time with SFG.
Love to post some photos, but I can't do it yet.
Maybe next week.

at2wooden

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/5/2014, 8:57 am

HI! happy hi 

I'd LOVE to see a bigger photo of your avatar.  Are those rain barrels in the back?

CC

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Goosegirl on 1/5/2014, 9:09 am

welcome Home Howard!

Sounds like you have things well underway on your spread! Cherish this time in the garden with your boys and make some memories. Can't wait to see some pics!

GG

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  mollyhespra on 1/5/2014, 9:15 am

Yes, Welcome! Whereabouts in S. Fla are you? We've recently discovered a few transplants from Miami & Ft. Lauderdale up here in the New England area. Are you that rare bird, a Florida "native"?

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  at2wooden on 1/5/2014, 11:12 am

Lol....not a native. We are in Palm Beach county.
South Jersey transplant by way of California, courtesy of and USN.

Yes, that is a rain collector system in the background. 6 - 55 gal plastic drums that I got from work, and the local car wash (cheap). I recently put it in, so we haven't collected much yet. Should save me some money eventually.

I tried posting a photobucket link with my photos, but I have to wait 7 days. Will post when I can.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  camprn on 1/5/2014, 11:31 am

Hi at2wooden,  glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum! We discuss many aspects of gardening, but of particular interest is the Square Foot Gardening method outlined by Mel Bartholomew in his 2006 book All new Square Foot Gardening. This Forum is actually an extension of the SFG Foundation. Check out the link on the main page. Please browse through the forum for a lot of information. There are some highlights on the homepage on the left side, under the hover button but all the basics can be found in Mel's book.

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  cheyannarach on 1/6/2014, 10:04 pm

   Welcome!  We love new faces!  Keep us posted on your progress!!!

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Pox on 1/10/2014, 3:26 pm

Welcome at2!  I'm also in S. Fla.  Is this your first year gardening in S. Fla.?

Pox

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S. Florida challenges

Post  dstack on 1/11/2014, 4:57 pm

I also just recently discovered Mel's book and this cool season garden is my first SFG. You'll find we have challenges in S. Florida that other places don't have with pests and diseases. This forum is a great place to learn, and I'm learning every day how to overcome these challenges. 

Speaking of challenges, Pox, how are those cukes coming for you? The garlic/cayenne pepper spray I made seems to be working well! Now, I can't wait to get the test results of my soil. It's definitely defiant of something since things are still growing slow. The fish emulsion helped a bit.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Pox on 1/11/2014, 10:58 pm

D, I thought I was on to something with the Neem/soap.  It did help and I did have about 3 weeks of more cukes than I could deal with which is way better than I have done in the past. 

But I ended up in the same place.  Leaves yellowing and deteriorating, then going limp, no fruit and finally going into death throws. 

I pulled them all up this morning and replanted. 

I'm going to just plant one vine per square and not let off on the treatment.

What exactly are you using and how is it working?

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  dstack on 1/11/2014, 11:42 pm

Did you actually harvested some cukes before they made the downturn?  

Here's the pepper spray recipe: 

PEPPER SPRAY
 1 TBSP of tobasco sauce (or cayenne pepper)
 6 cloves of garlic
 1 quart of warm tap water 

I went the cayenne route, and I added a few drops of Dawn detergent, and about twice as much garlic and pepper than what the recipe calls for. And I used the blender, then after it sat 24 hours, then strained it into the sprayer with a handkerchief. I spray it every couple of days, especially after a rain.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Pox on 1/12/2014, 9:27 am

Yes I did.  The past two years, I would get one or two cukes before they all slid rapidly into decline.  This year with the Neem/soap treatment they were really starting to put out some fruit.  I harvested 1 to 1 1/2 dozen really nice cucumbers.  Looked like my biggest problem was going to be what to do with them all.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  llama momma on 1/12/2014, 9:39 am

Pox, have you thought of exploring pickling?  I was given  The Joy Of Pickling and was blown away by 250 recipes in the book, and the notion that pretty much everything grown in the garden can be preserved with pickling.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Pox on 1/12/2014, 9:45 am

I pickled some okra this summer.  I'll take a look at the book as I really want to learn how to have some of what I grow available during the summer.

But first I have to figure out how to beat all these pests and have a surplus!!

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  llama momma on 1/12/2014, 9:55 am

Another book that includes both pickling and canning procedures is from Ball, called Compete Book of Home Preserving, it has 400 recipes.  A slimmer version from Ball is one I started with last year,  The Blue Book Guide to Preserving, this book devotes about 20 pages to pickling.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  dstack on 1/12/2014, 10:37 am

Congrats! That's a lot better than I've ever done with cukes. How often were you spraying them?

dstack

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Pox on 1/12/2014, 2:05 pm

Twice a week or more.   And that may have been my mistake, got complacent and backed off a bit.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  dstack on 1/12/2014, 9:15 pm

Pox, I'm so impressed! Did you hand pollinate? I don't know if I told you yet, but I looked at the date when I took a photo of the cukes that I grew in 2010. It was July! So I will keep trying through the hot months. I think my weakest link at this point are deficiencies in my MM. I'm suppose to get the test results on it any day, and I can't wait! 

Anyway, here's to your harvested cukes...  

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Pox on 1/13/2014, 6:27 am

Where/how are you getting your MM tested?

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  dstack on 1/13/2014, 6:36 am

Fortunately university student is using my garden for her studies. She's also testing her grandmother's garden across the street.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Pox on 1/13/2014, 6:38 am

Nice!  Let me know what you find out.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  at2wooden on 1/13/2014, 10:40 am

Thanks for the recipe D, I'll give it a try.
In the past I made a spray from cigarette butts soaked in water and left in the sun.
It repelled some bugs. These days it's harder to find cigarette butts.

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

Post  Goosegirl on 1/13/2014, 8:45 pm

@at2wooden wrote:Thanks for the recipe D, I'll give it a try.
In the past I made a spray from cigarette butts soaked in water and left in the sun.
It repelled some bugs. These days it's harder to find cigarette butts.

A word of caution on this one - have to be careful with tobacco around tomatoes and other nightshades that are susceptible to the tobacco mosaic virus. I have read more than once that if the gardener is a smoker, their hands should be thoroughly scrubbed before working around their plants.

GG

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Re: Greetings from South Florida - Zone 10

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