Life in the city does not need to equal living in a concrete jungle. Adding a vegetable garden to your yard can be a fun and simple way to improve your eating habits and add brightness to your surroundings. Keep reading for some helpful tips on starting your own successful veggie patch.
Choose vegetables that do well in South Florida’s climate and research during what month to begin planting them. Although gardens here can be planted year-round, fall is the preferred seeding season. Don’t know where to start? This handy guide published by the University of Florida will help you choose the right vegetables.
Deciding where your garden will grow is key. The Broward County Parks and Recreation Department recommends placing your garden where it will receive full sun, at least 6 hours daily. The soil should be level and in an area that drains well. The surroundings should be free of trees or bushes and close to a water source for easy irrigation.
Check your soil’s PH. Ideally, it should be between 5.5 and 7.0. If your soil’s PH needs adjusting, applying ample amounts of soil mix, topsoil, or organic material to the already existing soil will help adjust the PH. Make sure to spade or plow the garden plot at least 3-4 weeks before planting vegetables.
Your crops should be fertilized three times throughout their life cycle. The first time should be at planting, then again when the plant flowers, and finally, when the fruit/vegetable is medium-sized. Use a balanced time-released fertilizer.
During South Florida’s dry months, it is important to ensure your crops receive the necessary amount of water. This can be done by hand watering, using sprinklers, or by drip irrigation. Watering 2-3 times a week should be sufficient, however, keep an eye out for your garden’s specific needs. Please be mindful of any water restriction in the county.