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patmark_gw

I need all the help I can get

Patmark
11 years ago

Good morning everyone, Firstly let me start by apologising for the length of this post lol, I need all the help and advice I can get. I am new to GW and brand new to gardening. My goal is to teach myself how to grow my own fruits and veggies while teaching my children and my grandson these skills as well. I live in Port Saint Lucie, I am disabled and my wife is a teacher, so my funds are limited so I am trying to do this with what I have avaliable to me here at the house. So far things are going quite well, but there are many things that I could use your advice with. Below you will find a link that will show you pictures and explanations of my progress so far.

Ok now to the gardening questions. As you can see from the picts I have all of my indoor starts growing and flourishing. The biggest concern that I am having right now is that because we had no spring this year I have gotten some really accelerated growth and need to get alot of these plants into the garden. The garden will be prepared by the 1rst of August, which is when alot of these plants are supposed to be planted. The problem is that it is so incredibly hot this year that I'm afraid to put them in until it cools down a bit. While I think my lettuce and tomatoes will be ok, I'm not so sure about my egg plant, peppers, and onions. I am finding that when I pull them out into the direct sunlight these plants get stressed very quickly even though they have plenty of water.

The second thing I am wondering about is all of the fruits and veggies that I will be sowing directly into the garden. All my melons, my corn, ect. say to sow them in the garden in August. While I don't think I will have any problem getting them to start, I am quite concerned about the heat killing the little babies. Also although my garden is set up in such a way as to drain very effectively, I am really worried about a rain like we had yesterday here just reeking havoc on all of the plants, but especially the baby ones.

I am planning to use black plastic to cover my mounds with for mulching and I have 2 nice dry bails of hay to cover that with so the birds don't find my seedlings. If you guys know of a better plan please post it for me. Remember I am learning as I go.

As you can see from the picts, my garden is set up with 6 plots. Each plot will be rows of mounds that will drain runoff directly into the trenches around them. The irrigation system that I have built will allow me to water these mounds from the bottom up, so as to give the water to the roots and the ground around them. I will also be planting marigolds and garlic in the holes in the cider blocks all the way around the garden to help deter pests.

I plan on boiling habenaro peppers in white vinagar and mixing that with water to spray my garden and plants with for pest and critter control, the master gardening society told me about this and says that they have gotten really good results using this method. But any other advice would be appreciated. If anyone knows where I could get lady bugs in this area I would really appreciate knowing as I have been told they are a great bug to have in your garden.

Ok well thats quite long enough for now, if you have read this entire post and looked at the picts of my progress I can't thank you enough for taking the time. I look forward to hearing your suggestions and advice. Ok heres the link and thanks again.

Mark/ Patmark

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden progress

Comments (15)

  • katkin_gw
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Mark and welcome. I live in PSL too, N. end of Floresta. I do a few veggies but mostly ornamentals. But I would have some banana plants to share if you are interested.
    Kathy

  • Patmark
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    OMG Kathy, I've been looking everywhere for Banna plants lol. God I love this site. Its about to storm like crazy over here right now but when its over I will post some info so you can contact me. I have quite a bit of stuff that I would be happy to trade you if you would like. Fruits and Veggies. Or I can just bring you stuff as I harvest them. Thanks so much. Talk to you in a bit.

  • seedsnsprouts
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We are new gardeners as well and are just getting geared up for our second Fall garden so I'm sure others here with much more experience than I have can answer your questions better but my thoughts are you may have to reverse a couple of your crops. I think it might be way too soon to plant lettuce because it's still so warm but your peppers should do ok, we still have a couple that are producing. I think it's also still a little too warm for tomatoes. We actually pulled all ours last weekend and have seedlings starting now for the Fall garden. If it's too warm your tomatoes may not flower/fruit.

    As for the plastic mulch, it was a total disaster for us last year and promptly killed a dozen tomato plants within two days. We have extra deep raised beds with buried soaker hoses. The plastic held all the water in and the plant stems rotted at the base and toppled over like dominoes. It's our guess it's just too hot here for that type of mulching system and the plastic didn't allow for natural evaporation.

    As new gardeners ourselves, I spent the last week looking at all the weather history for our area and created a notebook with that information and all the various notes I've been keeping the past year. Looking at past temperatures has really helped me identify a much better timeline as to when we should be planting things in our specific area.

    Good luck. I can't wait to see what advice and tips others have to say. :)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Weather History

  • Patmark
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    SeedsandSprouts, Thank you so much for sharing that info with me. The weather page is great!!! I'm thinking at this point then I won't do the plastic mulching, and since my starts seem to be ok the way they are for now and are in pots that will allow plenty of more growth I will wait until it cools off some before planting them in the garden. I will however, have to figure out something for my lettuce though as they ran out of room weeks ago lol. They are curling all up. Their growing well and look quite healthy but they need alot more room then I gave them. I will look for your posts now that I have met you. Thanks again. I will be talking to you soon.

  • thonotorose
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Mark,

    I think it would be a great thing for you to search out and join a local permaculture guild. Also look into your local extension service offerings. Go to any plant swaps you can find.

    Found this: Garden Festival: Master Gardener presentations, plant sale, hourly giveaways. Salerno Bay Manor, 4801 SE Cove Rd., Stuart, 9 am-noon, July 23. RSVP: 772-233-6673

    And this: Kieke Junior Gardener class for children ages 6 through 12.
    Saturday, 10 am 11:30 am

    Presented by the PSL Master Gardeners and the PSL Orchid Society.

    Learn how seeds spread, germinate, and grow. Create seed art and plant a seed. Additional classes will be held on Aug 6 and Aug 20 at PSL Botanical Gardens. To register call the Gardens at 772-337-1959
    Classes are FREE

  • Patmark
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Katkin, did you get the e-mail I seent you???

  • katkin_gw
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Mark, it was very nice meeting you today and I hope the banana plants do well for you. Check out the banana forum here on GW, there is a lot of good infor there.

    Kathy

  • scents_from_heaven
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Your tomatoes will not flourish and fruit in this heat. They ned temperatures below 75 degrees at night to set fruit. Peppers and corn would do okay in August and the lettuce will bolt in a hurry unless it is the hybrid bred for Florida. Lettuce will grow in the house under a grow light or near a bright window and I eat fresh baby lettuce consantly during the summer. Squash are a little tricky as a lit of moisture causes a mold and sometimes a fungial infection on the plant. I would take out the plastic and would plant potatoes also soon. If you eed seeds for anyhing just ask as we generally have more than we can use. I tend to specialize in herbs and certain southern vegetables. Welcome, Linda

  • Patmark
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ThorntoRose, Thank you for the info I will definately be checking out those classes. I have been using the extension services at the morningside library site here in Port Saint Lucie. They have been absolutely wonderful to me and have tested many samples of my soil for me. Let's hope they don't lose their funding because of this stupid economy.

    Linda, thank you for the tips as I stated I need all the help I can get lol. The plants that I have started seem fine where they are for now, so I have always said if ain't broke don't fix it. The containers that they are in will allow for plenty more growth, so I will certainly take your advice and not put these plants in until it has cooled down. I'm thinking possibly september this year for the August plants depending on the weather. As for the Great Lakes lettuce I will just have to find something large enough for them to grow in until then. LOL I read an article about a guy that used a great big rubber raft for his lettuce plants. Now there's a guy that thinks outside the box.

    Kathy, It was my pleasure to meet you as well. I just can't thank you enough for those Bannana plants they are absolutely wonderful. I got a recycle bin from the garage, drilled plenty of drainage holes in it, filled it with the soil from the garden with a good dose of the cured manure, and planted that big boy in that. I will put a picture of it on here for you to see. It looks just great and I think it will really like the extra room it will have for its roots to expand. I hope you enjoy the peppers, egg plant, and brocolli. Take good care of those babies, lol. Please always remember if you need anything just call hon.

    Thank you all very much, I will talk to you soon.

    Patmark

  • katkin_gw
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I check out the pictures of the bananas and they look good. :o) Hope they do well for you.

  • pnbrown
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I used to garden winters in WPB, and now in north-central fla. In south florida we found that typical crops won't do much when planted earlier than sept/oct.

    The huge advantage south fl has over central and north is the virtually frost-free climate. We had papayas, bananas, and most successfully perennial peppers - a jamaican pepper-bush. If I was in south fla again I would completely concentrate on easy perennial crops. Legumes as well, there are many perennial tropical legumes, pigeon-pea, for example. Sweet potatoes are a perennial. Most tropical perennial food-plants are adapted to higher altitudes but many will take in south fla.

  • stuartwanda
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Mark, Nice to have a big place to plant your veg. I usually do my tomatoes in buckets but not in the summer. Glad you got to meet Katkin, she and her hubby are real nice. We'll probley see you at one of the swaps in the fall or spring. Right now it's just too hot!

  • mrs_tlc
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Mark. Welcome. This will be my third season growing edibles and everyone here has been very helpful. One of the very important things I learned at a class at our local extension was to wait until the first or second week of Oct. to plant, but I am in Lee County so I think we are much warmer. Another great tip was to plant tomatoes at the level of the first true leaf (so the "set leaf" will actually be underground). I did this last season and my tomatoes went nuclear!!!!

    Last year there was a great thread on this forum with lots of helpful tips. I've attached a link here.

    Also, here is a recipe that I got from ECHO

    CORNELL PREVENTIVE INSECTICIDE/FUNGICIDE

    Mix the following ingredients in a one gallon or greater sprayer. Shake well before applying:

    Ingredients:

    5 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon baking soda
    4 tablespoons safers soap OR 2 teaspoons liquid dish soap (such as Ivory, Joy, etc. but NOT Dawn)
    1 gallon water
    mix well

    Comments: This spray is not effective for insect eggs, thus weekly use for newly hatched insects. NOTE the change in the unit of measure for the soaps. Dawn has a chemical that can remove the thin waxy coat of leaves and is not recommended for use. Safers Soap is more expensive than ordinary dish soaps. This spray formula looks mild but will kill the very young plant shoots when used in the heat of day.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Lets Share Some Knowledge

  • Patmark
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi everyone, I'm really sorry that I have been away so long, I've been a very busy boy around here the last few days. LOL just wait until football season you guys will hardly ever hear from me, LOL LOL I'm a football nut.

    Had a little onion disaster yesterday. The new puppy dug up and destroyed about a dozen little red onions. My wife was supposed to be watching him. I planted some more seeds to replace them, and ate the ones that were big enough. What a great tasting onion these are going to be. The are very mild, and very sweet just delicious.

    Kat, the dwarf bannana tree has lost 4 of its original 6 leaves. The two that are left are all droppy. The rest of the plant however, is still looking great and looks to be unfurling a brand new leaf so I'm thinking that it has survived the shock. I sure hope that's the case as I have fallen totally in love with these Bannana trees. They are a really cool plant.

    Linda, If you would take a look at my pictures again by clicking on the garden link in my original post you will see that my Tomatoe plants are loaded with fruit and are flourishing in their pots. Now this is by pure luck I assure you lol, but I just thought you might like to see for yourself so I posted a couple new picts for you.

    My Bannana peppers and bell peppers are fruiting like crazy as well, I'm just loving it. Well I guess thats all that's new with me please let me know how you guys are. Kat, Linda, Wanda, and the rest. Also let me know if anyone needs any help with anything. Talk to everyone soon.

    Mark

  • Gram_Gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Mark, we're also in PSL - near Airoso & St. James. I don't do veggies but I do have one idea for you.

    My husband and I used to own a Greenhouse/Nursery/Florist back in the late 80s and we found an amazing product called SuperThrive. It used to be hard to find but I saw it at Lowe's and Walmart recently. The product was developed to help increase the harvest for vegetables (or any plants maybe?) but we discovered that it is incredible at completely eliminating the shock of transplanting. Just a few drops in a gallon of water.

    We discovered this quite by accident. We used to rent out our ficus trees for weddings. You may know that if you just look at a potted ficus tree wrong, it will drop all its leaves, just moving it from one corner of a room to another would throw it into hysterics. You can imagine how ours felt being thrown into a van to travel to a wedding and back again the same day!

    We used to have to rotate trees so that the traumatized ones could re-grow their leaves between weddings. One day my husband thought to use the SuperThrive on a group of trees just before they headed into the van and they didn't lose their leaves at all! Since then, we've used it for everything. I think it might have prevented the leaf-drop in your banana trees. I hope this helps your garden this fall/winter!

    I'm going to try out your pepper idea to see if I can discourage some of our many rabbits - our greyhounds are quite entertained by the rabbits who seem to virtually live in our back garden. They sometimes come right up to the door and peek in at the dogs. It's fun until you realize they've eaten every single viola seedling and half your impatiens!! Urggg. I'm trying again (with chicken wire) this fall.

    By the way, I followed the link to your FB album and "friend requested" you. Your work looks quite professional so far! Great photos. I'm looking forward to following your progress as you grow food and teach your children. Good for you!

    (By your spelling, I am guessing you're from the UK. Did I guess right?)

    Madeline (a/k/a Gram to our grandchildren)

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