Vegetable Gardening for the South Florida Gardener - Monroe County, University of Florida
For the South Florida GardenerKim Gabel, Environmental Horticulture AgentUF/IFAS/Monroe County Extension
Site Selection 2-3• Location• Sunshine• Root competition• Soil
Planning the Garden 4-9• Vegetable selection: Startwith “Florida Garden Guide”http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021• Paper PlansSuccession Planting• Companion Planting
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.
Soil-less Media• Compost• Potting soil• Combinations of ingredients: vermiculite, peat moss, sand, bark, other
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
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)
Plant Hunger Signs 23 http://hort.ufl.edu/nutdef/• (N) Yellow older leaves and stunting.• (Ca) Blossom end rot; die-back at tips. Not a problem when tomatoes are grown in the ground.
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
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?http://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach_pgs/a_02_sfw_dgrm_lrg.html
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.
To compost rapidly, you must "think like a microbe." What do microbes need? * Food: Greens & Browns * Air (02) * Moisturehttp://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/compost_26754.jpg
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)
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
In later (cooler) stages, other organisms will assist with pile decompositionActinomycetesFungiSowbugsMillipedesCentipedesSpidersEarthworms
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
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"
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.
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
After building your compost pile, manage it by•Monitoring temperature, moisture & odor•Mixing and Turning•Finishing/Curing•Screening
* 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.
For information onspecific plants and other University ofFlorida Extension publicationsHttp://edis.ifas.ufl.eduHttp://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/
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