View Full Version : Gardening in Florida
02-13-2012, 06:10 PM
So, we have 3 beds that we've grown veggies in before. Last year not so much, but we are always putting veggie scraps, used coffee, tea, etc. The soil should be very good after 4 years of growing and cultivating. This year I would like to have it even more nutrient filled. If there are other Floridians out there with sandy soil that have some advice, it would be great. Right now we add alot of our YerbaMate to the soil as a "Fertilizer", but would like to add more. The other issue is, whenever we water our garden, the water flows right thru to the bottom and keeps on disapearing since the soil is so sandy. Is there anyway to blockade the water a bit more without putting a barrier where mold can form underground? Thank you for any help in advance!:wuv
02-15-2012, 08:28 PM
Maybe try a raised bed, using all new potting soil. I prefer the moisture control organic mix. If not raised - then how about ammending your soil with several bags of comsposted cow manure. It is completely broken down, no smell, no residue, but great for helping this hopeless sand!! You could also add garden soil to your mix, available in bags also --- all at home depot, lowes. It's just a matter of getting something to stop the water. I mentioned the moisture control soil, but you can also buy the little moisture control beads which help a lot. When you water, use a drip irrigation or very slow mist/spray; both of these moisten the soil before it runs thru.
I have a barrel garden here. That's my answer to beating the lousy soil.
02-25-2012, 08:12 PM
Yes a raised bed. Look up urban gardening. You can also get an Earth box. I used them but I have squirrels who ate every bit of my produce. The earth box's work great but are pricey. I think if you google it there are instructions for a homemade one.
02-25-2012, 11:08 PM
With sandy soil you have to work hard to keep it nutrient rich because, as you say, the water rushes straight through and it washes the nutrients out with it.
Keep adding things like leaf mold but I wouldn't necessarily go with raised beds on a sandy soil as raising beds adds more drainage still. Obviously if the topsoil that you have (before improving it) is a very thin layer then raised beds will be good unless you dig down and remove a lot of the sandy stuff first.
I garden on a clay-based soil and so I am using raised beds, very low at the moment, because over winter the soil gets very claggy and cold.
Also get a book on which crops like lots of nutrients and which ones it's best to avoid rich soils for.
03-02-2012, 05:14 PM
When you water, use a drip irrigation or very slow mist/spray; both of these moisten the soil before it runs thru.
I have a barrel garden here. That's my answer to beating the lousy soil.[/QUOTE]
Thanks. That is a great idea for now. As you know we have about a month left before the rainy season starts and then we will get flooded! That is what I'm afraid that once the rains come it will drain out all the nutrients that we've been putting in for this whole year with all the compost being collected. Does the cow manure keep the moisture in or keeps the nutrients in?
03-10-2012, 08:40 PM
On the bottom of the earthbox was a layer of rock for drainage. There are several drainage holes on the bottom. You can add the compost every couple of weeks.
03-12-2012, 08:06 AM
[QUOTE=K2Dreamer;686626]When you water, use a drip irrigation or very slow mist/spray; both of these moisten the soil before it runs thru.
I am the one with the barrel garden. Works great, just be SURE to have plenty of good sized drain holes in it. I have even been known to raise an umbrella over it if I'm home when it pours. A beach umbrella works perfectly... and who doesn't have a beach umbrella in SWF??
03-14-2012, 05:55 PM
SO far so good :dance: I've planted 3 different tomatoes, a pepper, beans, zuchinni, squash, cucumbers, lettuce, and 1 strawberry bush. They have sprouted very nicely and it looks like I will making a 4th bed since there isnt any room for the lettuce. I did have to buy extra soil along with a bunch of bags of cow manure to mix in with my dirt. Great idea about the Umbrella, never thought of that!
03-14-2012, 05:58 PM
I didnt know how to add my compost in since I dont have a compost bin made yet. Up till now, we've been adding the compost into the bed and then just turning over the soil once in a while, but now "no can do" since there are veggies in there. I want to build a compost bin out of wood with an open top that will be covered with a foil. Any thoughts?
03-14-2012, 08:10 PM
take a look at the other thread in this forum on manufactured soil I gave a few links that you might find useful the best thing you can do is mulch it keep adding nice thick layers of straw sawdust woodchips wool grass clippings ect it'll shade out weeds stay moist for quite a while and as it breaks down it add in more nutes prolly your best bet in FL would be seaweeds as many of them have gel like qualities and can hold a lot of water just be sure to leave the pile out in the rain or rinse it good with the hose so you wash out most of the saltwater best of luck to ya
03-15-2012, 08:21 AM
I bought a composter last year on earth day. I think they have them at home depot. My dad made on with chicken wire he had 3 sections to it. with fence posts. The front was open so he could turn it.
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