SpringWaterGrower
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First time Gardener

Hello from North Central Florida, this is my first time attempting a garden. My neighbor next-door inspired me and help me get set up.

December 13 I sowed 30 Broccoli transplants and sowed two rows of cabbage from seed. About how many days does it take for the cabbage to germinate and sprout through the topsoil?

On December 16 I also put into the ground carrots from seed, but I'm not sure if I did it correctly. I wasn't anticipating the seeds to be so small and before I realized it all the seeds were out of the package. So, I'm pretty sure they all just piled up in one spot. Oops lol. About how long do they take to germinate and sprout as well?

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gumbo2176
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Re: First time Gardener

There is information on all seed packets I've ever gotten that tell you the proper spacing, proper depth to sow the seeds, row and plant spacing, length of time until they emerge on average and number of days until they should be ready to harvest.

Also there should be information on when it is best to plant in your particular location in the form of a climate type map of the US for the different planting zones.

SpringWaterGrower
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Re: First time Gardener

Yes. I've found all of that information. Just curious what the avg times are

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applestar
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Re: First time Gardener

Cabbages should come up pretty quickly but will depend on temperature -- I'm thinking 3-5 days if short-sleeve weather to 2 weeks if cold. 3 weeks if very cold.

Carrots will take longer -- 2-3 weeks, closer to 3 weeks, up to 4 weeks. Trick with carrots is keeping the seedbed moist all that time and not allowing to dry out -- you'll probably need to sprinkle every day it doesn't rain. Also you will need to watch out for weeds that will sprout more easily and faster.

One of the most important things to learn as a first time gardener is what your desired seedlings look like so you will recognize them and know your weeds (anything that look different). :wink:

When did you sow your carrots? One trick is to simply rake and hoe the bed where you sowed too many seeds so you sort of re-distribute the seeds and soil, keeping in mind that you don't want to bury them too deep. Also be sure to press the soil down firmly so seeds are in good contact with the soil. With tiny seeds like carrots, I just sort of slap them down with my hands. You can step on bigger seeds.
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SpringWaterGrower
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Re: First time Gardener

It's been 45-75 degrees the last week. The carrots will still pop up even if the spacing isn't evenly dispersed?

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applestar
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Re: First time Gardener

Its not a question of whether they will sprout, but that they will be too crowded. You will have to thin -- pull or cut -- extras... or gently dig up in mini-clumps (using something like a knife) to separate and transfer. Better method for carrots would have been to pick up a pinch (3-6 seeds) of seeds and sow, then move over a few inches and sow the next pinch. I also always mix carrot seeds with some sand.
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SpringWaterGrower
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Re: First time Gardener

Another quick question. I'm a Firefighter and work 24 hrs on 48 hrs off. On my 2nd day off should I water morning and night, to compensate for the missed day when I'm at work? Usually I water once a day on my days off. So water 2 days skip a day, water 2 days... repeat

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jal_ut
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Re: First time Gardener

I have not gardened in Florida. What is your humidity like? What is your soil like? If your soil will hold moisture for a few days, your plants will do fine. Here in high dry Northern Utah I plant the early stuff in early April. No irrigation at all. My irrigation water comes from a canal source, but there is no water in the canal until late May. So the early plantings depend on what is in the ground and the rains. Once I have irrigation water in the lines, I sprinkle irrigate with rainbirds that run for 12 hours once a week. That puts down a little over an inch of rain over the whole area.

Oh, cabbage is a favorite of the bugs. They will eat it as soon as it comes up if you do not put some insect deterring powder on the area, and powder it weekly.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

gumbo2176
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Re: First time Gardener

SpringWaterGrower wrote:Another quick question. I'm a Firefighter and work 24 hrs on 48 hrs off. On my 2nd day off should I water morning and night, to compensate for the missed day when I'm at work? Usually I water once a day on my days off. So water 2 days skip a day, water 2 days... repeat

I was a firefighter too for over 20 years. I would water in the early morning before I left the house to start my shift and the next morning when I got home before heading out to my side job in construction for the day. Your summers are like mine and my garden survived just fine, even in the hottest of times in July and August.

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jal_ut
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Re: First time Gardener

Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

SpringWaterGrower
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Re: First time Gardener

Something ate 11 of my plants 2 nights ago. Some plants totally gone, others are cleaned all the way down to the dirt. Stem only remains on those. Any ideas??

I have 17 left 11 gone

gumbo2176
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Re: First time Gardener

Since it was your neighbor who got you started in gardening, I'd first ask him if he has had any problems with his plants being eaten overnight to see what he has to say. If you are living rural, it could very well be rabbits or some other small game with a taste for vegetation. Since you are in Florida and have a mild winter, it may be insects that like to eat young, tender plants and usually cut the stems clean near ground level. Down here in La. we call them cutworms.

For the time being, you could try to put clear or opaque plastic jugs with the tops cut off big enough to slip over the plants to keep them safe. That way, if the jug is overturned, you will at least know it's something bigger than a bug doing the damage and can go from there.

SpringWaterGrower
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Re: First time Gardener

Also, tomorrow is Day 14 and no signs of Cabbage Seedlings. Temps have been 40-75 degree weather.

Exciting news: for Christmas Santa brought me a 3 ft taller tripod sprinkler!! No more water hose watering, now I can leave it on for a bit. My soil before would be damp but hr later it was very dry and sandy below the top

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applestar
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Re: First time Gardener

At this point, its not certain if your seeds didn't germinate or they did but got eaten.

You may want to try starting the cabbage seedlings in a container first to provide a more controlled environment. This way you can be sure you have growing seedlings to begin with.

For small group sowing, I like using berry containers (drainage holes already) lined with a paper towel or leaves to keep potting mix particles from escaping. Pre-moisten, fill to mounding, pack in with fist or flat of fingers like brown sugar, then loosely fill top 1/2 inch or so, then sow seeds 1/2 to 1 inch apart 1/4 inch deep, and snap closed the (pre-ventilated) cover and set in water to soak up then drain thoroughly.
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SpringWaterGrower
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Re: First time Gardener

So they should be sprouting hm? Lol

gumbo2176
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Re: First time Gardener

SpringWaterGrower wrote:Also, tomorrow is Day 14 and no signs of Cabbage Seedlings. Temps have been 40-75 degree weather.

Exciting news: for Christmas Santa brought me a 3 ft taller tripod sprinkler!! No more water hose watering, now I can leave it on for a bit. My soil before would be damp but hr later it was very dry and sandy below the top

I do something similar to water my garden, but I'm cheap. I took a couple of 2x4's and sunk them into the soil about 2 ft. and let 4 ft. stick up. On top of the end of the 2x4 I screwed on a small platform and that is where I mount my sprinklers and secure them with some twine. I run a hose with a splitter and supply both sprinklers to water my garden and that relieves me from having to water the main vegetable garden, which can be time consuming and I can concentrate on hand watering my raised bed, flower pots on the front and back porches and front yard flower garden. This still takes me between 30-45 minutes, depending on how dry it is.

imafan26
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Re: First time Gardener

You can also run a sprinkler on a hose to the garden and put a timer on the hose bib to water automatically. You just have to have the right sprinkler so it will cover the garden evenly.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: First time Gardener

Carrots can be slow, but yes the cabbages should have sprouted long since, if they are going to.

Your ground does not look very well prepared for seeds. For rough, clumpy ground like that, you are much better off, as applestar suggested, to plant your seeds in a tray of potting soil. Grow them out to transplant size and then put them in the ground.

Ideally a seed bed looks something like this, dark, soft, loose, crumbly:

Image

it can take a few years of working your soil thoroughly and keeping adding compost and other organic matter to it, to get it to that point.
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SpringWaterGrower
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Re: First time Gardener

It's been a busy day in the garden! I came home to the results of a rabbit ambush. 7 BROCCOLI PLANTS MISSING!!!! Ahhhhh

So. What did I do? I put up a fence, and put 7 transplants back in the ground. At a total of 29 again


Also weeded today, worked the ground some, and made the entire garden look much better!

ALSO, I came home to Cabbage and Carrot Sprouts!! I'm so EXCITED!!!

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Carrots
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Cabbage
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imafan26
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Re: First time Gardener

Your soil looks sandy? Sandy soil is usually on the alkaline side so cabbages like that, and carrots do like sandy loams. However, sandy soils dry very fast. You should water long enough and deep enough so that you can feel the moisture down a couple of inches. You can test that by using a trowel and dig a small hole and see how far down the soil is damp. Sandy soils lose water more rapidly than clay so in the future you should add more compost to help it hold on to the moisture longer. Seedlings should stay evenly moist since the surface will dry out first and the tiny roots are on the surface. Mulching the cabbages will help hold moisture later.
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jal_ut
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Re: First time Gardener

Like I said, cabbage is a favorite of the bugs. You about have to plant and powder it immediately. The bugs will grab it as soon as it comes up. You may do well to start cabbage indoors and in six ounce plastic cups, then transplant it out when it is 4 or 5 inches tall.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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