Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Last night I went to a garden club meeting and received some lovely white radishes from our speaker, who is a Florida master gardener. I thought the radishes would be very hot because they are so big, but surprise, they aren't but a bit "peppery" and are quite delicious! He said they were just an "emergency" crop as his pumpkins got too much water and rotted, so he just threw in radish seeds and got a huge crop of large radishes really quickly.
I learned that the first thing one needs to do when starting a garden is to get the soil tested. You need to know what the soil may need to make it better, and you may have to adjust the soil pH because it governs how available nutrients are to plants. I realize that my attempts at gardening have been at the hit and miss sort of category, so I am keen on learning a better way. So, after I find out what is in my soil, what it is lacking, I can move on to a plan. In Florida,vegetables can be grown year-round if attention is paid to the appropriate planting dates.Right now, in late December and early January, I am harvesting broccoli that I planted in October. My cabbages are beginning to form heads. In January, I can plant lettuces, onions, English peas, Southern peas, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, spinach, squash, both summer and winter, watermelon, bush beans, pole beans, lima beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, celery, carrots, cauliflower, collards, sweet corn, chinese cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, endive and kale. Mercy! Would even my 5 acres hold all that!! So I will select a few and try them, but I must go by the Farmer's Almanac as to the correct plants days!
Have you heard of that before? You see, it is recommended by the state, that one plants according to the moon. There are certain times when your garden will do well and other times when it won't. My parents and grandparents always planted by the moon. O.K. So now I must get the soil tested, add what it needs, buy some seeds or plants, study the moons influence on planting, consult the almanac, prepare the soil and plan the garden. Then I can begin. Why do I want to do all this?
Well, vegetable gardening offers much. There is fresh air, sunshine, exercise, mental therapy, fights stress, plus nutritious, tasty and fresh veggies, even economic savings. So, as I make my New Year's resolutions, learning more about gardening is at the top!
Happy New Year to everyone. May you have good health and happiness in 2014!!!