Getting Ready to Grow Veggies in Florida

gardening
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I’m not there yet, but soon I will be learning to grow veggies in Florida.  I’m quite aware of the central Florida climate, as I lived there for over twenty years.  I didn’t have much time to grow my own vegetables but I plan to do a lot of that once I move back.

I’m wondering how well certain things will grow, and if there is no point in even trying to grow crops that prefer it cool.  I have a good, informative gardening book, but it doesn’t say too much about choosing crops for Florida.

So I searched for Florida vegetable gardening blogs.  A well-written blog can be better than a book.  Personal experience with local gardening can be extremely helpful.  I’m coming across a lot of blogs that prefer to show off their tropical shrubbery and well-manicured landscapes and fancy backyards, but have little in the way of helpful information about choosing and growing vegetables.

I think there are a couple of reasons for this.  For the most part, women are the bloggers.  But the men do the gardening.  I could be wrong, but that is my theory.

Growing tropical plants is not difficult.  My Florida yard was filled with beautiful shrubs and perennials.  Growing vegetables will be more challenging.  Along with the help of a good blogger (if and when I find one), it will be a matter of trial and error.  Moving from growing zone 5 to zone 9 makes a big difference.

I assume that having raised beds in Florida is essential.  The earth is all sand, and not conducive to giving plants the rich soil and nutrients they need.  Building the beds and filling them with good soil will be the first chore.

Without written help, the best way to know what to plant, and when, will depend on what I find for sale in the nurseries and big stores.  Here in New Hampshire the local farms have plants for sale by season.  Recently I could find pansies and herbs, which can both take frosts.  By Memorial Day weekend, the planting outside will be in full swing and the weather should be warm.  I wonder about farms in Florida.  I used to live near Pells Nursery, where I bought all my outdoor plants, so maybe I will be lucky enough to live near a good farm stand.

Florida is a whole new animal.  The heat of summer is probably the most difficult time to grow crops.  I plan to go with the flow and see what happens.  Gardening is fun, no matter what, and I’ll share my vegetable gardening stories here, because this blog is run by the gardener and the writer.

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