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Vegetable Gardening for the South Florida Gardener - Monroe County, University of Florida
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Vegetable Gardening for the South Florida Gardener - Monroe County, University of Florida


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Vegetable Gardening for the South Florida Gardener - Monroe County, University of Florida

Vegetable Gardening for the South Florida Gardener - Monroe County, University of Florida

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  • 1. For the South Florida GardenerKim Gabel, Environmental Horticulture AgentUF/IFAS/Monroe County Extension
  • 2. Site Selection 2-3• Location• Sunshine• Root competition• Soil
  • 3. Planning the Garden 4-9• Vegetable selection: Startwith “Florida Garden Guide”• Paper PlansSuccession Planting• Companion Planting
  • 4. Succession Planting 10Continuous supply throughout theseason: Two or more crops in succession - After one crop is harvested, another is planted in the same space. The length of the growing season, climate, and crop selection are key factors. For example, a cool season spring crop could be followed by a heat-loving summer crop. Same crop, successive plantings – continuous harvest Same crops, different maturity dates - Several varieties are selected, with different maturity dates: early, main season, late. Planted at the same time, the varieties mature one after the other over the season.
  • 5. Companion Planting 10-12Improves growth & productivityRepels insects & other pestsIncreases NitrogenImproves Plant NutritionEnhances Root PenetrationImproves Plant EnvironmentEnhances PollinationAssists germinationMaximizes spaceProvides climbing supportIncreases Aesthetic value
  • 6. Companion Planting
  • 7. Garden Tools 13
  • 8. Climatic and Weather Effects 14-17
  • 9. Soil Test
  • 10. Soil pH 19 2D10/
  • 11. Soil compaction
  • 12. Soil-less Media• Compost• Potting soil• Combinations of ingredients: vermiculite, peat moss, sand, bark, other
  • 13. Soil-less Media 37Sample Mixture• Sand - 1 bushel “Builder’s Sand” (8 gal)• Organic matter (peat, compost) – 1 bushel• 1.25 cups dolomite lime• 1 cup 8-8-8 fertilizer with micro-nutrients
  • 14. Fertilizing the Garden Plant Nutrients 22Macro-nutrients Micro-nutrients Primary B (boron) N (nitrogen) Cl (chlorine) P (phosphorus) Cu (copper) K (potassium) Fe (iron) Mn (manganese) Secondary Mo (molybdenum) Ca ( calcium) Zn (zinc) Mg (magnesium) S (sulfur)
  • 15. Plant Hunger Signs 23• (N) Yellow older leaves and stunting.• (Ca) Blossom end rot; die-back at tips. Not a problem when tomatoes are grown in the ground.
  • 16. Fertilizing the Garden Inorganic Fertilizers 24-25 Complete (N-P-K) Incomplete (Ex. Potassium sulfate) Ratio (8-8-8, 8-2-12) Tag shows what’s in the bag and sources May also contain secondary and micros Use slow-release and/or organic Use water soluble if needed
  • 17. Fertilizing the Garden Fertilizing Apply as needed, or monthly intervals, broadcast around plantsover root zone. Apply per 100 square feet - 1# (6-6-6) or 1/3 # (15-0-15) Less often if organic or slow-release Main benefit is for nitrogen supply, Liquid fertilizers may be usedas well How will this effect the soil biology?
  • 18. Fertilizing theGarden Organic Fertilizers 26-29 •Animal derived products: manures & composted products •Other Animal based products •Green manures •Cover crops
  • 19. Organic MatterConditions soilImproves water holding capacityImproves nutrient holding capacitySupplies nutrients – slow releaseBuffers soilIncreases soil “life”
  • 20. Organic Matter Animal Manures 26-27 Kinds & Composition Condition Application
  • 21. Organic Matter Animal Manure Composition 27 Kind % Water %N %P %K Bull 86 .55 .15 .50 Hen 73 1.10 .90 .50 Horse 80 .65 .25 .50 Sheep 68 1.00 .75 .40 Turkey 74 1.30 .70 .50
  • 22. Composting is the controlled decomposition of organic materials.Compost is partially decomposed organic matter.Humus is completely decomposed organic matter.Mulch is organic or inorganic materials spread on the soil surface.
  • 23. To compost rapidly, you must "think like a microbe." What do microbes need? * Food: Greens & Browns * Air (02) * Moisture
  • 24. Anything that was once a plant. High Carbon High Nitrogen “Brown” “Green” Twigs Manure Leaves Kitchen scraps Sawdust Grass clippings Wood chips Nitrogen fertilizers Carbon to Nitrogen RatioThe ideal ratio of Carbon to Nitrogen is 30 to 1 (30:1)
  • 25. Three classes of bacteria will go to work for you in an aerobic (well aerated) pile:Thermophilesbacteria that thrive attemperatures between 105-140°FMesophilesbacteria that thrive attemperatures between 70-90°FPsychrophilesbacteria that flourish at lowtemperatures down to 0°F Psychrophiles
  • 26. In later (cooler) stages, other organisms will assist with pile decompositionActinomycetesFungiSowbugsMillipedesCentipedesSpidersEarthworms
  • 27. Cold/ Slow/ Passive CompostingSheet CompostingTop-Dressing with organic material on the soil surfaceTrench CompostingComposting directly IN the soilCold Bin CompostingFill your compost bin halfway with browns and burykitchen scrapsHeap CompostingA collection of compostable materials
  • 28. Hot / Fast / Active Composting Fastest rate of composting. Kills weed seeds, pests, and plant pathogens in the process. Requires several elements to succeed:* Minimum size - 3’ x 3’ x 3’ (1 cubic yard)* Blend of greens and browns (~ 30:1 C/N Ratio)* Proper moisture content* Frequent turning to provide air* Particle size of less than 2"-3"
  • 29. Sandwich Method Layer compost materials using a balance of Green and Brown materials. * Alternate 3-4" layers of Green (high nitrogen) and Brown (high carbon) materials. * Water each layer as you build it so material is moist not wet, like a wrung sponge.* End with a Brown layer ontop.
  • 30. Mix-It! MethodMix the Green and Brown materials before adding themto the compost system * Add the mixture in 4" layers. * Water each layer. * Speeds up the composting process
  • 31. After building your compost pile, manage it by•Monitoring temperature, moisture & odor•Mixing and Turning•Finishing/Curing•Screening
  • 32. * Soil Amendment (Use only finished) To increase the organic matter in the soil. Work in 1-3” of compost. * Mulch (Use finished or unfinished) Apply 3-4 inches thick when possible. * Potting Mix (Use only finished) Blend with sand, perlite, vermiculite, etc. * Compost Tea (Use finished or unfinished)Fill burlap bag with compost and place in barrelof water. Use “tea” to water plants.
  • 33. Vermiculture
  • 35. Mulches 47-49Organic Mulches In-Organic MulchesHay/Pine straw Poly-plasticLeaves NewspaperBark/Wood chips CardboardYard waste CarpetSawdust
  • 36. Weed Control 47-49 Cultivation Hand-pulling Mulching Do not compost perennialsor weeds “in-seed” Keep weeds out in off-season
  • 37. Gardening options for south Florida 30-33 • Container gardening • Hydroponics (Water culture) • Organic gardening • Raised bed
  • 38. Gardening options for south FloridaContainers• Pots and cans• Buckets and baskets• Styrofoam ice chests• Plastic bags• Barrels and drums• Imaginative containers
  • 39. Hydroponic gardening
  • 40. Organic Gardening CompostingNo synthetic chemicals Mulching(pesticides and fertilizers) Animal manuresSoil building: Crop rotation composting Least-toxic pesticides mulching Natural predators Resistant varieties
  • 41. Raised BedsConstruction 4-5 feet wide 5-8 feet long or longer 6-12 inch high 24 inch high for wheelchairs Materials variable Lumber: non-treated wood, cinder blocks, or cedar to resist decay
  • 42. Site Preparation Raised Beds Clear debris & plants Outline area for raised beds Place newspaper, cardboard, etcover area Place raised bed walls Fill with compost or potting soil Mulch between beds
  • 43. Don’t step on your soil! transfers diseases transfers nematodes compacts soil
  • 44. Seeds orTransplants?
  • 45. Seeding the Garden 38-41Advantages Can plant best varieties Some veggies don’t transplant
  • 46. Transplantability 42-45
  • 47. Seed Longevity
  • 48. Seed Storage 413-15 yearsCool: 35-50° FDry: 50-70% RHSeed moisture low: 10-14%RefrigeratorAbsorbent material
  • 49. Seeding Rules of Thumb 40 Plant 2 seeds/hole Thin if needed Plant seed no deeper than 2x diameter Press tiny seeds into soil Keep seed bed moist (cover with burlap
  • 50. Thinning Plants 46 Why thin? Thin when seedlings are small Seedlings may be used for: Transplanting Greens and salad Leave best plants even if spacing is off Do not disturb roots
  • 51. Starting With Transplants42-44Advantages Early start, earlier harvest Avoid bad weather Choice of plants Instant success Ideal seed germination Required for some: Sweet potato andStrawberry
  • 52. Setting Plants4-6 weeks oldDo not disturb rootsSet in moist soilWater around rootsSet at proper depthStarter solution helpful
  • 53. Other Plant PartsCutting - sweet potatoTubers – potatoBulbs – onionsEntire fruit – chayoteClove – garlicStem - cassava
  • 54. Caring for the Garden
  • 55. Soil Moisture and Plant Growth
  • 56. Watering the Garden 50-51No water - no gardenHand-held cans or hoseOverhead sprinklersDrip systemsSoaker hoses
  • 57. Irrigation ConsiderationsWater early in dayYoung plants need 1” water per week -- apply water frequentlyMature plants need 2” water per week - apply infrequently
  • 58. Supporting Tall Plants 49-50 Staking Trellising On Fence Cages Plant-to-plant
  • 59. For information onspecific plants and other University ofFlorida Extension publicationsHttp://edis.ifas.ufl.eduHttp://
  • 60. Courtesy of: Jim Stephens Vegetable Gardening Specialist Sydney Park Brown Extension Horticulture Agent, Mary Lamberts Commercial Vegetable Crop Agent, George Fitzpatrick Professor of Horticulture Adrian Hunsberger, Miami-Dade Extension AgentHillsborough County Extension Composting Program