So far I have cleared the Cat Palms that were on the west side of the property. As I stated in my last blog the wall to the house is exposed and really isn’t very attractive. I have plans to plant some Sunflowers to hide the wall and make it look a little prettier to the eye. It is also a good idea to plant some flowers in the vegetable garden as they will invite pollinators to visit. Right now things are at a standstill because I called 811 to find out what lines run under the ground in that area. I know there are several lines on that side of the house and the gas meter is on the wall. They have 48 hours to respond and mark the lines. I tried to dig down into the dirt in that area, but it is very difficult. The houses in my neighborhood were built on Coral Rock. The dirt is very difficult to work. Over the years I have worked many of my flower beds and added compost and organic material to enhance the soil. I have bought earthworms in years past and compost in hopes of improving the soil nutrients. Some of my flower beds aren’t too bad because of all the working through the years, but this area on the Westside of the house has been ignored. The Cat Palms have been there for many years and they were root bound. There are still many roots and a lot of coral rock in this area. If I find out there are gas line etc in this area, it might be easier to put in a Raised Bed garden. A raised bed garden is actually recommended in Florida, because the soil is so poor, and there are many pests (nematodes) in the soil. It may be a better idea to get some really good soil and raise the area up by about 2 feet. I took several classes earlier in the year around permaculture and preparing the soil for a vegetable garden.
Many months ago I ordered some seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. I wanted nothing to do with GMO crops or seeds in my garden. Many famous companies sell hybrid seeds but I wanted pure seeds passed down through generations in my garden. I had read about BBB Seeds in several gardening blogs that I follow and felt comfortable with selecting my vegetables from them. I started planting some seeds that I don’t want to directly sow into the ground, so that in a few weeks after I have enhanced the soil and the weather becomes a little cooler I will be able to plant the vegetables directly into the ground. So far I have planted some tomatoes and orange peppers. Ideally you shouldn’t plant tomatoes in south Florida until it gets a little cooler. Waiting just a little bit will increase the amount of fruit the plant produces. I bought several different packages of seeds from Baker Creek; several varieties of tomatoes, one called Floradade, which is right from Dade County Florida, and a beefsteak variety. I also purchased something called Riesentraube Red tomato, along with some kale, spinach, beets, lettuce mix, atomic carrots, cucumber, zucchini squash, rainbow Swiss chard, radishes, okra, tomatillos, snap peas, and eggplant. That sounds like a bunch of stuff! I need to plot out where I want to place everything in the garden. The area that I am going to be planting is approximately 25’x 4’ wide. I also need to watch the sun patterns so I can plant those plants that need the most sun in the sunniest spots, and most importantly I need to work on my soil. Hopefully I will be planting in about 2 weeks. I bought some seed pods by Jiffy to start my tomatoes, and some of my sunflowers at Home Depot. They are super easy to use and the plants are already sprouting. Here are some pictures.