Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winter Gardening in South Florida

One of the many joys of living in South Florida is the ability to grow your own veggies most of the year. Last year, my husband and I built a raised bed garden behind our garage.
The raised beds make tending the garden a pleasure. A nurseryman recommended a book to me called the Square Foot Garden. It is a fairly simple concept. The beds raised ten inches or so are easier to weed and take care of. The ideal width of the raised box is anywhere from 2-4 feet, depending if you have access to the whole perimeter. If you do have access four feet is great. If not two feet is the way to go. The logic being that your arms can generally only reach comfortably about 2 feet into the garden. Our garden gets morning sun and afternoon shade which is ideal. We have had great luck with many herbs and some veggies. Green beans, collards, arugula, sugar snap peas, beets, red leaf and green leaf lettuce, parsley, cilantro, oregano, garlic chives, rosemary, basil and lemon grass do very well in our garden. The Collards and arugula produce year round. The arugula will even grow wild in the yard if left alone. The rosemary, lemon grass, garlic chives, basil and oregano also produce year round. Our new favorite beverage is lemon grass tea..very refreshing. I hope you will experiment with your own raised bed garden. There are many benefits. It is a healthier, less expensive alternative to store bought food. It is great physical activity that the whole family can enjoy. It brings you joy to see the fruits of your labor. You will be getting the freshest food without the added pesticides or irradiation that a great deal of our food is exposed to. Happy gardening!

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