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ZONE 9 and FLORIDA GARDENING

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
Anyone interested in a thread dedicated to the peculiarities of gardening in the South?

We have fungus, bugs, and soil different from other places, on top of the weather issues: We are so topsy turvy from everyone else and many plants do not take our heat. I still have much to learn about growing down here, even though I am a longtime resident.

For example, I went to Lowe's one day about a month ago and they had onion bunches: I could not resist! I bought three bunches, got them in the ground and then read that they are supposed to be planted in the fall... Grrr....me banging head on wall....

I have now divided my seeds into a spring and a fall box. Still, I could not resist trying to grow some celeriac this summer.

So: Any other southerners want to chat about our dirty sand, flood or drought, backwards growing conditions? lol.png
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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post #2 of 71
We are in north fl. Got our first garden going smile.png tomatoes,pepper, collards, watermelon and cucumber
post #3 of 71

I will tell you gardening in Florida is completely different from gardening in Georgia and South Carolina. We had to relearn everything, for example, a full sun plant in GA/SC is partial shade in FL. It got so bad I put up a shade fence last year.

 

I think I'm back on track this year, got a soil test done, got it fertilized, and got the plants in. We'll see in a month or two, when the heat sets in. I've been pretty lucky with tomatoes down here, fair to middling with beans, but not so much with peppers, cucumbers and squash.

post #4 of 71
Thread Starter 
I did mustard greens last year and they did really well, but found no one wanted to eat them! Not even the chickens. I thought my husband would like them because he likes spicy food, but he just never touched them.

I did cucs twice: one year over 40 seedlings were destroyed by a massive stickbug invasion. Last year they were undermined by a mole every single day and were stunted before finally dying.

This year I am doing almost everything in a container.

I have volunteer black oil sunflowers that I moved to a spot were I can support them. Last year they did not stand up against winds. Intermixed with them, I have Hopi Red Dye Amaranth: last year my dad got sick when they were setting seeds and I missed the harvest, but this year those seeds have been volunteering madly so I gave some away to master gardeners, and moved some under the sunflowers. They are just so lovely! My favorite plant for the color and for the seed heads which are very elegant. I put my potatoes in the ground because I ran out of pot space. The ones in the ground were kicking booty over the few in the pot, even though the pot had better soil, so I put all of them in the ground. I also had no pot room for the onion bunches I bought, so they are in the ground: i destroyed my red onions (DH's favorite, of course!) in no time flat: overwatered and they rotted, then the survivors got moved only to be stomped when I forgot I had moved them!

Of course, onions and garlic are both supposed to be cool weather or Fall plantings here: I started both and figured if nothing else, I will use like scallions. I also love scapes!! So if they set a flower, that is just fine with me! I have been using all the onions and garlics that sprout in the house. Those onions will not develop bulbs. We'll see what happens with the garlic...

I finally have managed to keep mint plants alive and flourishing! Part shade in a pot, and a hose nozzle that has a slow drip drapped into the pot!
Edited by Kikiriki - 4/11/13 at 5:03am
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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post #5 of 71

Hi! Thanks for the advice about the peas...dern it LOL I managed to get by beds really well fertilized this year as my daughter keeps a horse so plenty of manure and fallen leaves have made me some nice compost. We  have planted beans,Boc Choy (which seems to be doing really well if I can keep the catapillars off it) Cantilope , zucinni and butternut squash, onions and garlic. So I have probally planted bunches of stuff that is fall crops "sigh" Oh well we will see how it all dose and know better for next year :P  We ordered a new tomato from burbee and our 3 plants arrived yesterday! It's called super saucer. It's the first time I have ordered plants like that and they look a bit sad after their trip but I expect they will recover. I am planting those in huge pots because I think we can keep the bugs out of the soil a bit better that way....one section of my garden beds has japanese beetle larve ...I keep digging thru and throw them in a pan and feed the wild birds a captive snack LOL  gross looking things they are!  Well I hope we get some veges this year we don't like a lot them and only planted the kinds we will eat....I reall want to try potatoes..any hints for those?

"I am the way, the truth, and the life;
no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
- Jesus (John 14:6)
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"I am the way, the truth, and the life;
no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
- Jesus (John 14:6)
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post #6 of 71
Thread Starter 
As was reading the southern gardening pages, I kept seeing a reference to "southern peas"...I have no idea what that is! I'll have to do some research...

I also planted some stuff just hoping it would go! Celeriac is a plant that tastes like celery. The root is used and shredded it made a wonderful coleslaw. The branches look like celery, but darker and with a stronger flavor, great for soup. The seeds just sprouted yesterday: they were as small as the period at the end if sentence and the sprouts are so tiny I almost couldn't see them: amazing to think that tiny thing will form a root like a sugar beet! Crazy!

There is a potato thread going if you go back to main garden heading: I am too lazy to retype everything! Lol!

I also have the onions and garlic going...hope springs eternal even if Spring yields little hope! If nothing else, the tops are growing great and they can be used like green onions/ scallions. I almost hope the garlic forms a flower bud: they are called "scapes" and they are wonderful! Cook them like asparagus or roast them...yum!
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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post #7 of 71
Thread Starter 
I have sunflowers growing that volunteered from the chicken scratch. I just bought a 20 pound bag of BOSS from home depot for $18, so I was curious to find out the yield I will get from my plants. One plant that has optimum yield will produce right around one tenth of a pound of seeds!

That means for this 20 pound bag of seed that lasts about a month and a half, I would have to plant 200 sunflower plants! I would have to plant 1200 plants to get enough seed for three chcikens to have a quarter cup per day for a year!

Growers put about 17,000 plants per acre for the best seed yields, so I would need to put my 1200 plants in an area 55 feet x 55 feet for about 3050 square feet of area. That would be the entire larger side yard all the way to the back fence, not including any walking paths!

Then all that seed has to grow with no pests or diseases, and it has to be harvested, and allowed to air dry, and finally stored safely from pests and rodents all in a place in which space is at a premium...

I think I am content to let my volunteers grow because they are pretty, and just continue buying my seed at home depot!
Edited by Kikiriki - 4/14/13 at 9:11am
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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post #8 of 71
Thread Starter 
I looked up "southern peas" and found they are also known as "field peas" or "cow peas" and they come in several varieties. The "cream pea" can be eaten green from the shell (raw like a pea?) or dried in the shell to save. It is creamy colored and also has a creamy texture when cooked.

All the varieties are available at the link below:

http://www.victoryseeds.com/peas_southern.html
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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post #9 of 71
Thread Starter 
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/vegetables/crops/hgic1319.html

Okay, southern peas can be used fresh in moderation like a green bean when they are young, but they are a bean and have the properties that affect digestion and absorbption of nutrients, so they need to be shelled and cooked when they are older. The article above describes how to dry and save them.
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
Reply
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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post #10 of 71
Thread Starter 
And this article discusses the problems with legumes in the raw state really nicely:

http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2008-04/1207605777.Bt.r.html
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
Reply
I'm not a rooster, but I reserve the right to crow!   One husband who wants a rooster, one son who flew the coop, one lovely German Shepherd, one Kangal Dog, two young feed store Easter Eggers, two old Golden Comets
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