Thursday, February 2, 2012

Southern Gardening - Planning Stage

Abs and I are both planning on doing gardens this year, and if you live in a warm climate like I do (Florida), now is the time to start!  Abs will be doing a "Northern Garden" (she lives in upstate NY), so if you live in that sort of climate you can follow along with her.

Right now, my husband and I are in the planning stages, and you should be too if you are also planting this year.  Last weekend we browsed around the garden section of Lowe's to get some ideas.  This is our first garden in Florida so we're learning too.  Here are the things we have thought about so far:

Location. The first thing we did was pay close attention to our yard for a few days, to figure out what area gets the best sun.  We have a very nice fenced-in back yard, but unfortunately for gardening, there is not one area that gets very optimal sun for very many hours.  So, we will probably plant in our side yard, in front of the backyard fence (and in full view of the street).  It's certainly not ideal as far as privacy/protection goes, but you gotta do what you gotta do!  I think it will be just fine.

Type of garden.  Do you want to do a raised bed, or do you want to dig up your own soil and plant into the ground?  Since our "soil" here is so sandy, we will be doing a raised bed square foot garden that is 4' x 4'.  This will give us 16 spaces to garden in.  You can also plant some veggies in large gardening pots if you don't have a yard.

Food to grow.  What kind of food do you want to grow?  We are definitely going to do Roma tomatoes, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, jalepenos, and some sort of lettuce.  My husband also wants to try his hand at cantaloupe.  We are still deciding what to put in the other spaces.

Starters or seeds.  Do you want to plant seeds, or buy starters and plant those?  I love planting starters from the store because it's like instant gratification -- you already have a great garden started at the end of the first day!  However, we are going to do seeds this year because they are a lot cheaper.  You can either start seeds in little cups inside for a while (making your own "starters"), but I think we are going to just plant the seeds directly into our garden.

That's what we have planned so far!!  The original plan was to get it done this weekend, but I just found out my husband is on call at the hospital for the next 7 days straight so unfortunately we won't be able to get started any time soon.  But when we do start (hopefully next weekend, Feb 11), I will keep you updated on our progress (pictures of how we build the square foot garden, our finalized list of produce to plant, etc).

So, start your own gardening plans and follow along with me!!  I'd love to hear about how you all are doing as we go about planting our gardens this spring.


Deborah Jennings said...

We garden just about every year. We do need to get our garden stared. The hardest part is the tilling it up the first time every year. I found a book that I have on my wish list at Amazon for The Backyard Homestead. It shows a quarter of an acre and these people are growing veggies, have fruit trees, chickens and rabbits. Plus two beehives. The garden is along the square foot garden plan. I love to garden this way.

Bethany said...

Hooray! I'm new to Texas this year, so southern gardening tips are exactly what I need. I just put some onions in the ground this morning (because the local - not big box store - nursery said it's time). I think I'll plant some starters this weekend. They'll have to live in my upstairs bathroom until it's warm enough to get outside, though. :) Thanks for the series! I'm looking forward to it!

Mrs C said...

I like to start from seed, and I have found the best way is to use paper egg cartons. The cups are perfect since they are small, don't take a lot of soil (a good thing if you are trying something with low germination or just suck at gardening and so you have a lot of loss like me) ... when the starts are big enough you just cut the cups apart and replant into the garden or into a larger container!

Deborah Jennings said...

You can also use newspaper to make cups with and put some potting soil in to start your seedlings. Or, you can us a shallow cardboard box. It is really easy to find things to start your seedlings in.

I do love to put up the yield from our garden.