2015 Spring Garden

Its spring garden planting in Zone 9 and I have made a lot of changes in my very small garden.  I learned a lot from last year and I’m hoping the changes will make a difference in my garden.

2015 Spring Garden

My garden size is about 25 feet wide by 6 feet deep.  I live in a HOA governed community and you can’t go out further than 6 ft with your garden.  Works perfect for me because I have an area behind the A/C unit and you can’t see it from the road.

2015 Spring Garden

Here is the spot I do my gardening.  Ernest is always out there with me to keep me company.  As you can see its just long and skinny.

2015 Spring Garden

And how I had it laid out last year.

That worked fine, until the heat turned up and which starts in April and doesn’t stop until October.  Even though I was keeping it watered and really didn’t have a problem with weeds by using vinegar on them, nothing really grew well except for green peppers.  I lost all my squash and cucumbers.  Only harvested a handful of tomatoes from the two plants, a couple of watermelons and only 1 mess of green beans.  The lettuce and spinach did well, but they are cool plants.

So, after talking to and reading blogs of other gardeners in the Zone 9 area, I knew I had to make some serious changes.

So, I went to square foot gardening.

2015 Spring Garden

I was gifted the raised garden set, which you can get at Sams, by another gardener who didn’t want it anymore.  Its made of a composite material and for Florida, that is a big plus.  If the garden goes as planned, I want to get another set of the raised garden to add for more veggies.

It was easy to set up and I used Black Kow dirt to fill it with.  It has great results down here, especially with tomatoes.  Does it smell like cow manure?  Not really.  I did mix 1 bag of garden soil with 4 bags of Black Kow in each square.  You can find Black Kow at basically any garden supply big box store.

Please excuse the area around the garden.  We are having our house painted in a few weeks and after they are done, I will be putting a nice thick layer of pine straw around it.  I love my garden, but I want it to be pleasant on the eyes as well.  I girl must have a pretty garden.

Right now I have planted leaf lettuce, cabbage, snap peas and bib lettuce in my garden which was planted at the end of January.  I was supposed to plant the cabbage about 6 weeks ago, but we will see what happens.  So far, everything is coming up on schedule and I am having to water every day, except on the rainy days, to keep those seedlings moist until they are a good size plant.  It is so easy to water in a small area.  I will be looking at different ways to water in the future. But for now, it’s just me and the hose with a nice spray nozzle.

2015 Spring Garden

I do have a 5-gallon bucket with a tomato in it.  Another experiment which seems to be working out well.   And my large pot right outside my kitchen door is full of leaf lettuce and spinach I planted a few weeks ago. That area is on the north side of the house and doesn’t receive much sun and I think the plants would grow faster if they did receive a few rays of sunshine.  But so far so good.  I love container gardening.  Great for very small areas and very convenient.

I also have my tomato seeds started and they are growing in the lanai until after our last frost date of March 15.  Then I will transfer them to my square foot garden after the spring plants are finished.

2015 Spring Garden

I planted my heritage blackberry plant I had growing in a pot from a cutting and it’s starting the leaf very well.  I’m not a fan of the thorns, but the few blackberries I got off it last year were wonderful and BIG.  My blueberry plant is blooming right on time.  I can’t wait for that harvest.  I have 2 blueberry plants in our area now and once the second plant is a couple years older, I should have a lot of berries for the 2 of us.

Do you have new plans for your garden this year?

Ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you… Job 12: 8a

Get your hands dirty,

Tammy

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31 Comments

  1. I created my first ever garden last year. I built a box that sits under my front window. I planted 3 kinds of flowers, one has survived. It is time to get our there and get it back up to snuff!

  2. We’re in zone 9/10 here in Phoenix, and I still haven’t figured out gardening here. I do have that same raised garden bed, and have some nice lettuce and an artichoke growing at the moment, though! Baby steps. 😉

    1. Isn’t Zone 9/10 hard to garden in? I’ve had to learn everything all over again here in Florida. I do like that I can have blooming flowers all the time, but you being in AZ, I would think dryness and water to be a real problem there. Do you have problems with a log of pests?

      1. Pests haven’t been too much of a problem (I mean, the scorpions aren’t fun, but they’re not after my tomatoes, either 😉 ). It’s the heat and the water. If something happens to the irrigation system, everything dies SO quickly! It’s a brutal climate.

    1. I’m hoping with this dirt I am using will not only help the taste but make them grow stronger. Florida sand doesn’t grow most veggies well.

    1. I killed virtually everything last year Christine. Or I’m going to blame it on not knowing how to plant in Florida environment. But, I have to say that container gardening works really well. Small and easy to manage. Give that a try.

  3. I tried my hand sort of at gardening last year and between my mom and I we killed everything. I just do not understand when you are supposed to plant things in FL or where. I might try some container gardening with herbs this year.

    1. There are so many sites out there that show when to plant in your area. The Farmers Almanac just came out with with an app and for the desktop and it tells you when to plant what in your Zone. Its a free trial for 30 days and I went there to see how it works and I really like it. I will probably pay the subscription.

  4. I was very interested to read this article both because we have limited space for gardening and because I really want to learn to garden with my 2 year old daughter this year. I think it would be great for both of us, and a nice bonding experience to boot. Thanks for these ideas! Your garden is lovely.

    1. I learned gardening from my grandmother and my dad. Its a great way to teach children and what child doesn’t love to get their hands dirty!

  5. We have blueberry bushes, and they do terrible. I am need to start feeding them something, I think. In a zone 4 or 5 (I think), it is weird to start thinking of gardening. We still have a foot of snow in our backyard. Your garden looks great, and I hope you have better success this year.

    1. Blueberries need a lot of acid. Give them Azalea food and that will work well. Pine straw also is great around the base and is acid.

  6. Nice work on the garden, how I love blueberries. I hope yours do well. We shifted into an apartment, so no garden. I have started a herb garden on my balcony using pots. It is so nice and I am learning to cook with fresh herbs, a thing I have never really done before. It is also great when I do food photography to have a little herb garnish from my ‘garden’. May your garden thrive.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kathleen. There is a version of a blueberry bush that is made for pots. I’ve heard good things about it. Something to consider and container gardening is perfect for an apartment terrace.

  7. I miss gardening. 🙁 We haven’t done much the last couple of years because our soil is really bad. We are trying to slowly rebuild it and get it back up to garden ready, but I still think that will be a couple of years.
    I agree, a garden needs to be pretty. My grandma always had flowers planted throughout her garden and everything was always nice and neat.

    1. My grandmother was such an inspiration for me too, along with my dad. They both could grow anything. Thanks for stopping by Rebekah.

  8. Your garden looks lovely. We worked in the rose garden this weekend, but will be tackling the vegetable garden within the next couple of months. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – We hope to see you again next week.
    -Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

    1. I have always loved roses, but never have I had good luck with them. I just recently found out about knock out roses and that they do really well here in Florida. So I will try a couple of those this year. Thanks for stopping by Loreial

  9. Ekk!!! I can’t wait! I’ve got romaine seedlings started right now but soon it will be squash, tomatoes, melons, the whole nine yards! I love that you have managed to get a garden going in such a small area. We garden over at my mom’s house because we are in a subdivision. It’s encouraging to see that you can make it happen in your subdivision.

    1. I just realized that my garden does need an extra square for later spring items. Again, planning is such a key here and I didn’t look that far forward. Thanks for stopping by Lauren and I hope your garden grows well.

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