flmommaof4
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: Homosassa (North Central, West Coast) Florida

Some advice for a new gardner

Hello to all. This is my 1st post and my first real garden. I've had a few veggie plants here and there but nothing like this. I grew up in philadelpdia with. A 5 by 5 concreat yard and finally after renting for 10 yrs last yrwe purchased a home on 3.5 acres. So now settled this year I decided to plant my 1st garden. My garden started out at 8ft by 4ft with just green beans and carrots and with in 3 weeks I added another 8x4 section and a 16ft by 8 ft. I plan to add more soon. I am trying to keep everything organic and have also started my own compost pile.
Before I ask my questions I will tell you what I've learned the hard way all on my own. . First thing I've learned is soil prep. Especially here in the Fl sand, is much much more work than I antisipated, 2. Never use old seeds, last year a friend gave me a huge bag with just about every seed imaginable in it and I used them and just about nothing grew. 3. Don't water the leaves, especially in the evening. I was watering at dusk and was doing it with a hose over the whole garden. Well everything has white spots (mildew) I was able to save a few plants but pulled up most. 4. Bug control is crazy. . I've tried several organis, homemade concoctions. My bugs are undercontrol now. Not sure which experiment worked but now I am just lightly spraying them with water with a drop of dawn detergent every 4-5 days to keep control. My most current lesson, which was very painful is not to plant too close!! I have huge beautiful Zuchinni and yellow squash plants which were just not producing. So tonight I pulled two of them hoping that this will help. I have been getting nothing but male flowers for about 2 months now and the bushes were over taking one another. I am also afraid that I have done this with my cucumbers. I have about 5 plants in a 3 foot section. . They are huge . . About a foot higher than their 5 foot trellis and they have 100's of flowers on them. Should I snip some?

And then there is my okra. . . I have 4 okra plants that I planted originallybeggining of May (1 is producing) and 8 more plants that I planted at end of may, these ones are 5x's the size of the others. Their leaves are the size of dinner plates, but NO buds. Any suggestion??

All help and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'll be a master Gardner someday!!
 
1st Year Gardner,
Zuchinni, yellow squash, okra, green pepers
2 variets of cucks, 2 pumpkin plants, and
A variety of ornamental gourds
with tons of room to expand
Proud Momma to Aubrie 15,
Kennedy 14, Gatlin almost 5
and Cullen 14 months

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

How are you fertilizing (with what, how often)? All that lush growth sounds like Miracle Grow. High nitrogen synthetic ferts tend to produce big lush growth at the expense of fruiting. All that green tender new growth is more attractive to bugs and more vulnerable to diseases.

If you leave them alone, just with some compost and mulch, they will grow slower, but fruit more and be tougher and more resistant to bugs and disease.
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flmommaof4
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: Homosassa (North Central, West Coast) Florida

I actually did use miracle grow twice when I first planted everyhing and I think I did it about 2 weeks apart. I then didn't do anything because they were growing so well.
About 3 weeks ago we had a horrible storm and it down poured and hailed, this left my garden a huge mess, I lost a few sunflowers, my squash leaves were all full of mud and stuck to the ground and all the cucks had some roots exposed. So I went to homedepot and bought a few bags of an organic soil mix that they sold. It said it was soil, peat and nutrients that it fed the garden for up to 3 months.

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