About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meet Florida gardener Michael - Another Yard in Ft. Pierce

Native Floridian, Michael shares his love for palms on his blog - Another Yard in Ft. Pierce. Although, I think you will agree that his yard is not "just another yard." Most suburban lots sport a few common palms but Michael's taste runs to the exotic.

He writes about his trials and errors in growing palms from seeds. Since palm trees are slow growers we know that he must be a very patient gardener.

He even grows them from coconuts with very good results. But his love for plants doesn't just stop with palm trees. He also grows a variety of banana plants and beautiful orchids (see photo in right column).

If you love to grow palms like Michael be sure to check out his seed trading list located in the left column of his blog. And don't miss his series of posts (8 all together) on The Secret Palm Tree Garden - A truly delightful discovery for him and other palmaholics.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Time to Plant the Spring Vegetable Garden

The uncertaintly of the economy these days is prompting many people to consider planting a vegetable garden for the first time. In the last few weeks several people have told me about their plans and their hope of becoming a little more self-sufficient. They did express some trepidation in their new adventure due to a lack of experience.

For these folks and for anyone who wants to grow their own vegetables, I highly recommend James M. Stephens' (professor of horticulture sciences at the University of Florida) book entitled Vegetable Gardening in Florida. His vast years of experience and knowledge are packed into the 125 pages of this well written book.

He covers everything from site selection, planning, weather effects, soil preparation, fertilizers, organic and alternative methods, seeds and transplants to insects, diseases, harvesting and storing. There's even a section of growing herbs. And since gardening in Florida is different than anywhere else in the country I guarantee you this book will become your vegetable gardening bible. It's well worth the $11.53 that it costs.

Two other resources for the newbie vegetable gardener is Spring Vegetable Gardening and Herbs for Spring. Both can be found at Solutions for Your Life by the University of Florida Extension Services.

Warm season vegetables to be planted now are: beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green onions, lettuce, English peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, squash, watermelon.

So, if you're getting back to the basics these days why not give it a try. You can't beat the taste of vegetables fresh from the garden, and the satisfaction of having grown them yourself!