Monday, September 8, 2008

Florida's Gardening Quirks

Our backyard Square Foot Gardening experiment is underway! Jeff and I have built six 4'x4' boxes and installed them in the yard area next to the deck that was once home to our rotten, never-used picnic table. So far, we have managed to fill four of the boxes with the custom mix of compost, peat and vermiculite recommended for the SFG method. Here's hoping it helps retain moisture in our killer climate. We're also topping up our original 3'x8' garden box with that mixture. Altogether, these seven boxes will give us 120 planting "squares." Wow, what do with all of that? That's the fun part!

Since many of our family and friends are in more northerly climes, and because most people in Florida don't have a clue about gardening in our climate, I'm including a little chart here that I assembled so we would know what should be planted when for central Florida. It's weird! Our schedule is the complete opposite of everything one might come to expect from a lifetime of PBS gardening shows and illicit book and magazine browsing in the stands of Barnes & Noble. It's strange to be so "off" from the cultural norm, but adventuresome too. In the next ten days, I expect to be putting down our second round of tomatoes (which will hopefully be more productive than the first), cucumbers, eggplant, broccoli, chile peppers and the first bits of lettuce, plus a re-do of our sadly neglected herb pots. Wish us luck!

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