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New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

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New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  sarah in the garden on 3/24/2011, 1:44 pm

This is my very first garden ever!!
My mom is an avid gardener and bird watcher, she grows all types of flowers and some tomatoes and peppers every year. I have always been jealous of her gorgeous yard but with 2 young children I never thought I'd have the time to consistently take care of a garden. I live in the sunny panhandle of Florida, where we can garden almost year round! I also live less than a mile from the beach, so I am cursed with a yard full of sand where nothing grows except lots of dollar weeds. I am embarrassed to admit I have owned my home for 4 years and have done nothing to the yard because of the amount of time, expense and hard work would have to be done to make the yard worth growing in. All that changed last month! I was visiting my mom and she was so excited to show me her new "box garden." It was the coolest thing I had ever seen! She loaned me her copy of Mel's "All New Square Foot Gardening," and explained the basics to me. I read the book over a weekend, and started my own box, right on top of my beach sand. I now have carrots, bush beans, onions, cucumber, and some herbs and flowers coming up! I spend so much time outside now, I have cleaned up my backyard, planted some blackberry bushes and have made plans for several more boxes next year! The most exciting thing was showing my SFG to my best friend. She had just purchased top soil and transplants, and was getting ready to till up a big section of her yard for a home garden. She is glad she saw mine first! It is so easy and rewarding for beginners! Thanks so much Mel!!
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sarah in the garden

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Location : Panama City Beach, FL - Zone 8b

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Re: New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  elliephant on 3/24/2011, 2:33 pm

Isn't it wonderful?! Christmas before last I got the book (requested it because I heard about it once) and the kids got a trampoline. The goal was to actually use our backyard and boy howdy has it worked! I just had my little mommy-run preschool group leave and they always end up staying extra time outside. Today they picked and ate peas from the garden. I only grew snap and snow peas, but next winter I'm going to grow regular ones since they like them so much. Our backyard is sand, too, and mostly grows sticky burrs Evil or Very Mad
When I started my garden I had a 4 month old, a 2 year old, and an almost 4 year old. There's no way I could have done a traditional garden. But 2 boxes (2x8s against the fence) were a great start. I've kinda expanded since then Laughing but now my kids are "older." (Ok, one year older, but it makes a big difference this young!)

Welcome to the forum!

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Re: New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  boffer on 3/24/2011, 2:36 pm

Welcome to the forum. Your enthusiasm gave me goosebumps as you helped me remember how fun my first boxes were! Thanks for posting.
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Re: New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  sarah in the garden on 3/24/2011, 3:06 pm

Thanks everyone! I have also started my own compost bin, hopefully I can produce my own for next year!
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sarah in the garden

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Re: New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/24/2011, 3:40 pm

Welcome Sarah! I am new as well, gardening in 'not so sunny right now' Ohio! I found the book on Amazon while looking for something in general about gardening and I haven't looked back!
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Re: New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/24/2011, 7:06 pm

Sarah

Your enthusiasm is marvelous.

A first SFG is a great thing. First your Mother, then you and now you neighbor, that's called spreading the word.

Enjoy working with your kids and teaching them what fresh veggies are all about. This is a great way to keep them entertained whie learning new skills and spending quality time outdoors.

Have fun and keep us posted on your progress. By the way, we I love you pictures.
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Re: New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  sarah in the garden on 3/25/2011, 9:13 am

Hmmm...after reading some responses to garden plan queries, I think I may go amend my sfg a bit. I unknowingly planted dill in the box, and now I'm worried about it going to seed. It has just started to come up, I think I may snip it and start it again in a pot. I have some sage growing in pots as well. I know absolutely nothing about companion planting. Is it better to grow herbs by themselves?

Also, my husband transferred my awful, pencil-sketched plan onto the computer and made a wonderful labelled spreadsheet. I will try to post it on here as well as some pics to show what I have done. I'm sure I've made lots of beginner's mistakes, but I was so excited to get everything started that I rushed into it without a lot of planning. 10' boards were on sale, so my box is a 5x5. The very middle square is a little difficult to get to, but I don't have anything planted there anyway. Next year's boxes will be 4x4 for sure!

Thanks everyone for all of the advice and tips! I appreciate it greatly because I have NO CLUE what I'm doing, I'm just happy to see stuff come up! thanks
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Re: New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/25/2011, 9:23 am

to the fourm, and gardening, and SFG!!!

If you are looking for ideas to get your kids involved, and keep them busy, some mommy (and grandmomy-like me) bloggers are sharing our ideas and experiences this year. You can still jump in and read and join in the fun even if you don't have a blog.

http://sweetgrace.typepad.com/the_inadvertent_farmer/2011/03/kindergardens-2011-preview-gardening-with-children.html

They really did have some aweseome ideas last year for little ones. I still have a 14yo and a 12yo at home, but my 5yo grandson visits every other weekend, and loves getting out there in grandma's garden. We put blue potatoes in last week, and I have a packet of 5 colored carrots.

There is also a thread here about gardening with kids, I think it's SFG with kids, tons of great ideas there too.
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Re: New SFG'er in sunny, sandy Florida!

Post  walshevak on 3/25/2011, 10:14 am

don't waste that middle square. put a companion flower or herb in there. Basil comes to mind.

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