Sunday, May 24, 2009

Planning My Florida Backyard Garden

Linda and I have started planning for this year's backyard vegetable garden. Vegetable Gardening in Florida by James Stephens is a nice reference for planning purposes. There are several charts in the back of the book that list cool weather and hot weather crops.

Florida is a little different in that most vegetable gardens are started in the fall months rather than the spring. It's just too hot in the spring and summer for most vegetables, although in some areas of the state, summer gardens are possible.

We've opted for an 8 x 4 feet raised bed design. The soils are very sandy and for best results, it's best to build your own soil base for the best platform for the effort. We'll be using a 1/3 mixture of vermiculite, worm castings, and coconut husks (coir) for our growing medium. A thick layer of newspaper underneath it all will help keep the weeds down. The coconut coir also makes a very nice mulch to top everything off to help keep down the weeds. Pine straw, pine bark mulch, weed cloth, etc. would also work.

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