Our Florida Garden Update

This is our garden when we were doing really well growing ragweed.  The children dug it all up and hauled it to our goats, who loved it!

Yeah, the plants were pretty well established.  I think this was the fifth and last wagon load.

We love our little tiller – and JD loves to operate it.

Back in February sometime, we had a seed-planting party at a friend’s house.  She’s accustomed to filling lots of cell packs at a time, and I thought this kiddie pool solution was ingenious.  The boys mixed the soil-less planting mix and some compost in the pool. It was easy to set the trays in and fill them all quickly – with no waste!

Planting day in March!  The grass had grown back in on the left, so JD tilled enough of an area so we could get the seedlings planted.  There’s tomatoes, collards, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, and parsley here.  One of our biggest challenges in Florida is the lack of organic material in the soil – we still have a long way to go with this garden plot.  For now, whenever we plant, we add bags of compost to our rows.

This photo was taken the last week of April.  The ragweed is baaaack in the unplanted portion of the garden.  Since this photo my husband and kids pulled it out and gave the goats another feast.  My husband tilled the rest of the garden – we plan to keep it tilled or mulched so this will (hopefully) never happen again!  I also have to spray some Neem on the greens – the caterpillars are after them.

We had to make new tomato cages this year, since our old ones from about 8 years ago finally rusted.  We had recently pulled out a section of fence, and JD snipped that up and rolled these cages together in about 1/2 hour. A friend gave me some pepper plants that we just added to the garden today. I love our free mulch – we rake up wagons and wheelbarrows full of oak leaves and pine needles from our 20 acres.

We are excited about our blueberry plants!  They really aren’t doing too badly, considering they’ve been neglected, eaten nearly to a nub twice by escapee goats, then neglected some more.  These are planted outside the garden fence, and we hope to propagate them to the point where we have a 40 foot long blueberry hedge.  We love the idea of edible landscaping and are finally putting it into practice.

Blueberries thrive in acidic soil and we will be mulching them with the abundance of “enriched” pine shavings left over from brooding our baby chicks.  Chickens + pine shavings = plant food!

As far as gardening resources go, I’m blessed with a dear friend who I call my gardening guru.  One of these days, I’m going to grow up and garden just like her! ;-) She has taught me so much through the years, and recently gave me a list of what to plant in our area, broken down by month.  We can literally grow food year-round in Florida.

That’s all for now, folks!

Linked to:
The Homeschool Village’s Garden Challenge
Frugal Gardening 101
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