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The increase in the popularity of the ‘farm to table’ concept and the growing number of people who have begun to turn away from the produce of large scale farms and an increasing distrust of man-made pesticides has led many people who have space in the form of gardens to investigate the possibilities of growing their own vegetables in South Florida.
Of course, the added benefit of the fact that growing your own produce can save you significant amounts of money and is simply fun also increase the attractiveness of sowing your own vegetables for the table (or the market).
The practice has spread across the United States and is attracting increasing interest from consumers in South Florida who often ask if it is possible to grow their own vegetables in this part of the Sunshine State.
The fact of the matter is that growing several different types of vegetables in South Florida is not only possible – but that many people in South Florida have already chosen to explore the wonders of harvesting homegrown produce.
Know Your Soil Levels South Florida
Here are some hints and tips to ensure that your plunge into the rewarding world of growing your own vegetables in South Florida is as rewarding as possible.
Firstly, most vegetables will thrive in soil that has a PH of between 5.5 and 7.0. However, much of the soil in South Florida has a PH of between 7.0 to 8.5 – meaning that adjustments need to be made prior to planting. About a month before you intend planting lay down a generous amount of topsoil in the area where you will be sowing your seeds.
Try to also mix in some organic matter as well. There are various types of organic matter that are suitable for preparing vegetable beds. Animal manure, compost, rotted leaves and kitchen scraps such as eggshells, potato skins, and leftover greens are all great organic additions to topsoil.
Fertilizer To Ensure PH Level Of The Soil
When you are ready to so then it is time to turn to fertilizer to ensure that the PH level of the soil is perfect and that the growing vegetables will have all the nutrients that they need to be healthy – and supply the nutrition when they are part of your meals. Ideally, time-release fertilizers should be used. Balanced fertilizers such as time-release fertilizers such as 8-8-8 or 15-15-15 are extremely effective (if the PH is above 6.3 you may need to add micronutrients).
For further expert advice, it is always better to check with professionals at your local garden center. There is two preferred way to add fertilizer to the soil. The first is ‘casting’ which is simply scattering the fertilizer across the growing area by hand. A more exact method is through the placement of a line of fertilizer about three inches on either side of the planted rows.
Irrigation In Dryer Months
The next essential task that must be prioritized in order to ensure the health of the growing vegetables is to ensure that they have adequate water. Irrigation is especially important in the dryer months. There is no need to break the bank by installing an automated watering system. Smaller vegetable beds can be easily supplied with enough water through simple hand irrigation.
However, if you would like to save on your water bills and avoid the exertion of hand watering then drip irrigation might just be the solution that you are looking for. The best way to supply that much-needed moisture to the plant is to make a small depression at the base of the vegetable and decant the water into that. For added effectiveness. Adding mulch to that depression can help the water feed the plant steadily rather than seep into the soil quickly where some can be lost.
Growing your own vegetables in South Florida can be immensely rewarding. There are numerous sites on the Internet that will provide guides as to which vegetables will thrive during various seasons. take your first steps towards an organic, healthy and fun pastime and plant today.