It’s the start of our Florida garden season and I am so excited to be out in the garden again!
This is the start of year 4 of my gardening journey and I am trying a few new things that may or may not work, but the beauty of gardening is that some things fail and that is ok! If some of the crops that are new to me don’t work out, I will just pull them and put something else in their place. No biggie. I am known to some on instagram as the radish lady, because there are radishes on so many of my plates! I just LOVE them, but have had little success growing them in the past. They grew nice greens, which I ate all last season, but they would just not bulb! This year I am trying them again with fingers crossed and at a minimum I will enjoy their greens. I am also trying carrots, but I added some sand and coconut coir to the soil in their squares to loosen it up a bit…another experiment. We shall see about that!
Of course the BULK of my beds will be my beloved greens. I love kale and bok choy so they are taking up a big chunk of my garden plan. I also adore ball turnips since they are a 2 for 1 crop…you get the turnip and its greens…winning! I love using the seed tape by Park Seed Company as it makes planting so easy! Unroll and cover with dirt…done. I know that Territorial Seed also sells seed tapes and I want to try them next, after I use up what I already own. I think they have a slightly larger variety of seed tapes, and also offer seed mats and disks designed for containers. Cool!
I love the square foot garden planner on the Gardeners.com website as you can map out a garden plan. In prior years I would just head to the plant sale without a plan and end up with too much of some things and too little of others. The planner will even tell you how many plants per square with planting tips which are handy. Once I have my plan all mapped out and I head out to the raised beds, I like using the Seeding Square to make planting from seed easy. You can use a tape measure, but I just find the Seeding Square really helps make planting quicker and neater, and I do love a good organization hack.
This year I am leaving space in my plan for some succession planting a few weeks in to the season, so that I can stagger some of my harvesting. I do a lot of “cut and come again” with my greens, but may pull and replace plants sooner this year if they show any hints of struggle. I am also doing a combo of planting “starts” I purchase from an upcoming plant sale at my awesome local farm, Little River Cooperative, as well as planting some seeds which will take longer to mature. That will serve as another form of succession planting, giving me plants of different ages. I have learned a ton from my friendly local farmers Tiffany Noe and Chris French through workshops and consults and chatting at their amazing sales. Just love learning from and supporting young energetic and inspiring local farmers! If you are in South Florida be sure to catch their upcoming plant sale on Oct 20 and 21 from 10 am to 2 pm at 771 NW 24th Street, Miami FL 33137. Their plant sales are EPIC! They do them RIGHT!
You can look back at my older posts from 2016 here and here which document the start of my garden journey after my husband built me my first bed as a birthday gift in the fall of 2015. The gift that keeps on giving! If you are contemplating starting a garden, JUST DO IT! It has changed my life!