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Archive for the ‘southwest florida gardening’ Category

So I went out and got a truck full of horse manure today and put layer two on the garden.

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After the manure I put a layer of top soil and then, to protect my seedlings from our destructive chickens, a cattle panel that fits exactly over

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The beds are the exact width too for our chicken tractor, so after growing is done, we can let them corralled in there to dig up the soil and contribute some more manure

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We’re trying to get away for a few days next month and before that time I’ve got to get some garden beds going and get Duckingham Palace at least partially built. The major growing season in florida is coming up this winter and October is getting to be the very latest to start plants. I have two big beds created from cinder block border in zone 1. I am going to layer it this way: about 1 block height of mulch, then half a block height of manure and then some fill dirt/sand/top soil for the final half block height. My thinking is this, with all that mulch at the bottom there should remain a descent supply of moisture, along with the horse manure which should have nutrients and hold some more moisture and then the top layer which will hopefully provide the air layer, though with so much sand here, I may need to add some perlite to create those pockets for air. This is the start of the procedure with the block height of mulch. Underneath the mulch is a sheet mulch of cardboard to hopefully squash some of the weeds in the area. The beds are 13 blocks long and 3 blocks sandwiched into those long sides, 64 blocks total per bed. The imperial measurement of the growing area is about 3’11” by 15’7″. I have two of these situated between rows of trees in our orchard.

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Last spring I tried in a container with a mix of peat, perlite and composted manure and was able to get them to grow to about 3 feet tall but the biggest cucumber I got was maybe 3 inches. This year, I planted them in a mound of local topsoil I purchased and they had overhead sprinklers on them. This time around they maxed out 6-12 inches and not a single fruit. They had a flower or two show up but then petered out and died. Not sure what is going on. Seems some people grow them in Florida like 31 produce is growing them and others can’t get them to grow at all like me. The watermelon are in the same mound and same overhead sprinkler and they’ve gotten to about 18 inches now and may show flowers soon.

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So a week ago I planted some sweet corn and beans in the middle of the potato patch. Think 5 corn and 7 beans sprouted so far a week later.

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