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Starting in Central Florida

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Starting in Central Florida

Post  mackenzielea on 11/26/2016, 2:37 pm

Hello, I live in Central Florida, in Volusia County.

I'm going to start building my boxes this week.  I was wondering if anyone found that they needed to alter Mel's Mix for gardening in this area with all of the heat and rain we have.

The soil here is little more than sand and roots.  I'm going to try square foot because our garden has been very unproductive the past few years.  Things grow amazingly well in peet pellets, but once they are transferred to the ground, they just stop growing, which leads me to believe that the soil is the problem.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Starting in Central Florida

Post  trolleydriver on 11/26/2016, 3:01 pm

mackenzielea ... Welcome to this great SFG forum Ottawa, Canada. 

I am sure someone one or more of the forum members from Florida will respond to your question.

Please keep us well informed of your progress with SFG and we really like to see photos.  Very Happy


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Re: Starting in Central Florida

Post  yolos on 11/26/2016, 4:08 pm

Welcome.  I have never gardened in Fla but I am a Florida girl at heart.  Went to FSU and two of my siblings went to U of F.  Parents retired to the Fla Keys.  I now live just below Atlanta, Ga so we do have hot weather and a long growing season.  

I suggest deeper beds than Mel recommends mainly because of the heat drying the soil out so fast.  I made my beds with 10 inch high boards.  As I replace the beds due to rotting, I am replacing them with 12 inch high boards.  That leaves plenty of room for mulch which you must have to keep water from evaporating so quickly.

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Re: Starting in Central Florida

Post  sanderson on 11/26/2016, 5:21 pm

Mackenzielea, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here Our summers are hot and dry, up to 110*F. I use 6-7" of Mel's Mix in the 7"-10.5" boxes. I use chopped straw for summer-fall mulch PLUS sun shade, especially on the west side of the boxes to protect against the scorching afternoon sun. Mel's Mix is universally good, it's the protection of the Mix that helps maintain moisture and cool roots during the summer.

One thing to check is whether the sandy soil in your area has nematodes. If so, keeping the boxes off the ground will be important. Your local University Cooperative Extension should be a wealth of information specific to your area. And, we are here to help. Check out our Index and Search box for a wealth of gardening information.

Florida members, any advice here?


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Re: Starting in Central Florida

Post  countrynaturals on 11/26/2016, 5:54 pm

happy hi I tried to garden in FLA years ago and failed miserably. You're on the right track with Mel's Mix. Your sandy soil is almost as bad as our rocky clay out here in CA. Evil or Very Mad Welcome to the friendliest forum online. glad you\'re here

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Re: Starting in Central Florida

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/27/2016, 8:14 am

Hi Mackenzielea. Welcome from just north of Atlanta, GA!

I agree that checking with your local Extension agent will be a good start. And, yes, photos please!

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