We understand that you don’t have time to maintain your lawn and need a professional service like ours. BUT that does not mean you don’t want to.
We live in Florida, we love the weather and being outside. We know that almost everything can grows here and at one time or another we all said
“I am going to plant a garden – no really this time.”
Well today is the day. We are coming up to spring and the old motto is in affect. When the Fair leaves town you can start to plant.
This is going to be a how section for the new gardener. It will cover: what to plant, where to plant, and what do I need. Lawn Service Tampa can help with a simple phone call or links to other sites. The new gardener has a ton of questions that we will try and answer but saying that this is not for the expert gardener either. We will cover that in other articles. This is an area to say I am making a garden this year – What do I do.
Steps To Your Garden
First, figure out what you want it to look like and how big you want it. You may have this great idea of feeding the planet but then you have to maintain it, so start small and move up from there. You can grow more next season this is just a starter. I will give you some examples and a broad idea you can follow.
Number of plants to start with: 10 +/-
Since this is your first garden you can go to Earl’s Garden shop, Home Depot or Lowes and get 4 inch plants or larger. Amazon has a great selection on seeds and supplies also. Nothing to crazy just a nice number to start with. More then enough to give you some vegetables and make the garden enjoyable with out becoming to over whelming.
Next find out what you want to grow, this sounds crazy but if you are like me, the first time you make a garden you think of all these things you can put in there and then after thinking about it, and you don’t even eat some of the vegetables you planted. You are taking up space, time and money on more things you could be eating.
Don’t get me wrong you might just want to start a garden just to start a garden, that is perfect and that is how I started. This could also be a Test_Garden just to see if you can do it.
Here is a list of easy to grow plants that you may or may not enjoy but they do grow well.
Tomatoes, All Peppers, Broccoli, Collard greens, squash – try and buy 2 of them.
Plan where you are planting. This is important for both the actual garden and where in your garden.
Now this page is made for First Time Gardeners. We are not going to get into where and what should be planted next to
each other in the most complete use of space but rather inform you that grouping is important.
Ex: Some of the finest lettuce I ever saw was grown between rows of early peas. The two-foot tall pea vines, rows running east and west would shelter Wayahead, Black Seeded Simpson, etc., which form perfect heads.
Though the pea rows were standing only 2 1/2 feet apart, the lettuce did great since peas root deeply while lettuce is a shallow, rooting plant. Keeping the lettuce row free from weeds gives additional cultivation to the pea.
Also vines withstand considerable dry weather and still bear heavy crops.
The above information we will cover in other articles and focus on those gardens in depth. Those are not the focus of this page.
Just remember the basics. Everything you read before you got here or what you remember growing up may apply.
Ex: Plants corn next to each other in double rows, Tomatoes get a lot of sun, and bury them to the first leaf.
Lettuce and radishes go well together, so do radishes and parsley( parsley is a very slow grower)
If your property runs east and west the taller plantings should be on the north, so that the light will not be shut off from the lower growing vegetables. ( Turn that around for fall ) Corn grows so much taller than anything else you may plant.
Cabbage and cauliflowers grow at the same height
Water and feed
You can enjoy fresh lettuces, spinach, radishes, chives, and dill until the temperature is regularly above 75 degrees during the day. Keep adding these vegetables in the garden every few weeks to enjoy successive harvests.
Growing by seeds, start some seeds inside. These seedlings will be ready to plant outside in about 8-10 weeks. Now you can time this to you crop by starting seeds inside before the season, or if you want to add to your garden.
For Tomatoes use a cage
It is much easier to place a tomato cage over a small plant than it is to wrestle a fully grown tomato through the supports. Tomato stems are brittle and break easily.
It is better to just position the cage when you plant the tomato and let the tomato grow into it.
Lawn Service Tampa – Make your Garden
You have to decide if this is a container Garden or a bed garden.
If you have the land, create a bed garden, more of a natural garden. More room to plant and it may feel more like you are gardening. Container gardens are great and I have started using them more and more. Smaller area, easier to move, and just something new to me.
Make sure you have 6-8 of sun light, make sure you can get water to them, and you are happy where it is. To make this go by faster we will focus on bed gardens. If you want a container garden it is easy to mimic. Just follow along and instead of planting in the ground get a pot.
Again this is for the New Gardener: We are not going to cover prepping the area in full organic fashion. No burning the ground, tilling, add newspaper, burn cover for 1 month , till ,burn again , test.. That is what you may end with in a few seasons but we will not get to that today.
Create your beds:
I like making and outline going north to south maybe 10*5 wide. Then getting some boards from the house or going to a store and grabbing some. Just to make a bed image. You can do this or not. Just rake up the ground with a hard metal rake and turn up the ground a bit.
Add soil or mix
Choose a Mix soil and or compost from the start. There are many brands and types we will cover later for now just get a Mix formula and compost (Ex: Lambert 3cu ft mix is great) get 4 bags depending how easy your soil at home is to work with. After you have mixed in the soil and have a good base maybe 4-6 inchs of soil you can dig in. Lawn Service Tampa is just giving you the name of a good soil mix we use, if you like another brand please use them.
Now you have created you first garden bed. Prepare the area that the plants will go in. Align them north to south Tomatoes, broccoli, peppers (2-3) wide.
Now depending how much you came home with from the store you will need to feed your plants. The rule of thumb is every few days in the winter. You will be able to judge the soil and your ground weather it is dry or not. The mix you bought will have good drainage and will turn an obvious color change when dry. If you bought feed for it remember to water the ground at the roots more so then the plant leaves. The feeding schedule will be one feeding then straight water the next 2 times. If you want to buy something to help get you started get Superthrive. I wrote and article about it earlier and it works
Now you wait then eat:
You are done for right now. Keep garden watered and free of weeds. Depending on the growing patterns in 6-8 weeks you will have your first vegetables. Congratulations you are a gardener. You can tell by the article prep is the main problem the first time gardener goes through. What to buy and where do I start seems to be the big issue everyone faces. The next season you will be better prepared and ready to try new things.
If you run into a disease problem with pest or spots on the leaves you can call us or we can recommend someone to call.