Floridians-out in the garden

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MsCowpea
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Floridians-out in the garden

#1

Post: # 28058Unread post MsCowpea
Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:41 am

Hey Floridians, can we use a ‘this and that’ gardening thread for all things pertaining to Florida gardeners? Very diverse group, from Northern Florida down to the semi-tropical south.

When does everyone start planting their seeds? I am putting tomatoes out of my mind for now but scrambling around for scotch
bonnet seeds. My plans to have beautiful, huge SB peppers to transplant early went bust as I ruined them with micronutrient overdose. :(

I am going to try (once again) to grow celery transplants. They take a long time to grow. The problem is the heat —the tiny plants get spindly and look poorly. Anybody grow their own celery in South Florida? I was happy to find celery transplants at Lowe’s— it was good for soup and stock not so much for fresh eating.
I hope they carry them again though. Do you northern Floridians start celery transplants inside?
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#2

Post: # 28087Unread post ponyexpress
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:27 pm

I'm not a Floridian but I've always been curious how people garden here. I see that you're in Zone 10. Do you still get frost?
My parents are in Englewood, FL and they have not gotten frost for a few years. They use to garden but haven't for a few years as its too much work for my father who will be 87 soon.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#3

Post: # 28094Unread post MsCowpea
Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:34 pm

We have weird weather in South Florida.
No freezes (for years) but it can get cold —right when we are trying to grow tomatoes too. We start in the fall and go through the winter. Depending on disease pressure we are wrapping it up say April/May or thereabouts.
Last year In January we got a warning that iguanas could fall from the trees onto your head. :lol: It was going to get in the 30s/40s. They can supposedly die if it stays in low 40s for a while.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/weather/ ... index.html
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#4

Post: # 28234Unread post MsCowpea
Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:28 am

This greenhouse operation is in Palm Beach. They only grow heirlooms.

The font is nearly impossible to read but over the years they have narrowed down the varieties they grow to only 3:
Red Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and Gold Medal.


http://www.farmhousetomatoes.com/About.html
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#5

Post: # 28248Unread post Barb_FL
Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:03 pm

Wow - I never knew such a greenhouse existed in Florida. I looked all over the site. If I lived closer I would buy some at one of the markets that sells them. That is so cool that such a facility exists.

2012 was my first year growing tomatoes I had massive beginners luck (looking back it was probably Big Boy or Better Boy). I remember going out with my pad every day and visiting each plant and counting the tomatoes per plant and tallying them up. Once I hit 1000 on the plants, I stopped counting.

The next season I thought I was a really good tomato grower and researched and thought that Brandywine was the best tasting tomato. So I grew almost all Brandywines. Ended up with huge beautiful plants with zero tomatoes. I never grew Brandywine again.

I've tried Cherokee Purple a few times but it wasn't productive at all so haven't grown in the last 5 seasons.

I've never heard of Gold Medal.

------
I'm going to start seeds earlier this year than last. Starting with a couple of heat varieties and cherries. Will hold off on the heirlooms/OP until we are scheduled for cooler nights. Our temps haven't reached 90 for a while; nights are about 80 with some in the high 70s.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#6

Post: # 28273Unread post MsCowpea
Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:03 pm

I thought it was interesting how they had narrowed it down to 3. Cherokee purple never does anything for me, sometimes I get suckered into trying it again by reading all the accolades but try to resist. I grew Red Brandywine only once and I don’t remember anything about it. I think Gold Medal was a tomato I liked at SSE tasting ( I can’t find the evaluation paper right now). But I just found the seeds I bought when I was there.

(ADDED: THE TOMATOES I TASTED AT SSE EVENT WERE MAIDEN’S GOLD NOT GOLD MEDAL.)

I didnt see the stores that sells those greenhouse tomatoes - I would buy some if I was up that way.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#7

Post: # 28309Unread post ponyexpress
Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:37 am

MsCowpea wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:28 am
This greenhouse operation is in Palm Beach. They only grow heirlooms.

The font is nearly impossible to read
Very impressive operation! I agree on the font. Terrible choice for a website.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#8

Post: # 28622Unread post Barb_FL
Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:03 pm

Varieties - I would like to approach the Florida growers about some varieties that TV people rave about that actually produced really well for me, but for some reason ie bland taste, too thick of skin, or just too soft of a tomato, too xxxxx. I don't want to be disrespectful of the vendor but still want to to get your opinions and feedback. I have even went back to the original purchased seed so that the variety would be pure (I have a lot of bees). I think it is a Florida thing.

Meanwhile, I'm glad our season hasn't started yet. We are getting heavy rain late in the afternoons on a daily basis.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#9

Post: # 28659Unread post MsCowpea
Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:27 am

It is so hard to figure out why a tomato can be raved about and then be ho hum when you try it. First of all,
Can’t tell you the number of times I give a tomato to someone who loves it and I don’t like it at all. Some people never met a tomato they didn’t like. I am looking for something very, very special. I like a sweet tomato but there is also a flavor compound that I dearly love and search for like the holy grail. Found it in spades in a dry farmed tomato in Calif. but in loo of that particular growing style will have to settle for a really good sweet tomato with a hint of it while other people crave a tart old-fashioned flavor.

Secondly, I wonder about the seed issue too. Especially when it is widely praised and you just don’t get it.
This works in reverse too, when I read a poor review of a usually great tomato, I think they may not have correct seed for it. Or maybe just not their cup of tea or growing issue.

Florida growing has its pros and cons . The weather/climate impacts flavor just like it does everywhere else I guess. Growing techniques plays a part for me too , ie organic vs synthetic.

I really just want about 10 varieties that I grow , say , 8 each . And throw in maybe 10 or so new ones (to me) as well. I still haven’t settled on my regular 10 varieties and it’s been 20 years.🤪 I am getting burnt out on trying so many new varieties every year but the glowing descriptions makes them all irresistible. So I set aside ones I have liked in the past and grow new ones. I also try new hybrids for the disease resistance potential, hoping against hope for good flavor as well. I am going to concentrate on regrowing the classic heirlooms this go round though I must have seeds for a zillion new varieties too. That’ s where the will power goes out the window.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#10

Post: # 28667Unread post MsCowpea
Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:01 pm

I think it is a Florida thing.
Do you get many days of low 40’s when you grow tomatoes? I always hate the ‘cold’ days’ during our season but we don’t get too many in a row usually. I know you have the bad winds as well that you have to deal with. Plus short days where it gets dark early.

I guess you start earlier than we do in S. Fla. — can you grow all through the winter into the spring? I am not ready for any of it to start right now.

Any plans to change anything up other than try out your new fertilizer?
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#11

Post: # 28672Unread post Barb_FL
Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:56 pm

Not many days of low 40s, my backyard (southern exposure) gets really hot so if sunny, it actually feels good even at a cold temperature. I can grow right through the winter. I'm on the intercoastal so the temperature extremes are tempered. We use to never get over 90.

The wind is good and bad; good in that I don't get fungal diseases and bad because it can be non-stop for days and plants take a beating. I have cages with 18" legs and that is not enough to hold the plant in place with the wind. All cages are anchored to T-Posts. I don't even put the 18" legs in the ground anymore making my cages with the extensions really tall. The worse is when it is a cold, rainy, wind.

Last season I only had one plant with Powdery Mildew (I didn't think it should b/c of good morning sun location, but kept producing and finally just grew out of it). The prior year I had a few plants get PM when the river started stinking to the point we could smell it in my backyard. Before that, I don't remember any PM.

I used to be able to grow blueberries (and grew Sunshine Blue which required the least # of chill hours (<45 degrees). After a few years, we didn't even come close to getting the minimum # of 150 hours - the chill hours didn't have to be consecutive). We haven't had a freeze in forever.

I typically sow my first seeds on Sept 1, but I sowed some this week - some were older seeds just to see if they germinated; and some cherry to bring in the bees. I haven't sowed any OP / Heirloom yet.

I plan on making a bunch of changes besides testing all the new fertz I bought.

For Earthboxes; 1 plant per box unless it is in a great sun location - then I will do two. Lots more pruning via Dave's method.
Elevating all Root Pouches on grates so air pruning even on the bottom.

I'm ready but all this rain would really cause the splits
----
With all the recent rain, our Mango trees that we pruned and topped are back to where they were before pruning.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#12

Post: # 29106Unread post MsCowpea
Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:41 am

Code: Select all

the river started stinking to the point we could smell it in my backyard. 
Was that the year where the red tide killed off the fish? That was awful.

One thing I learned by accident last year because I resowed seeds and had plants going out at different times is I liked that staggered planting.
It seemed like the work was coming up in stages. I didn’t have to plant all the tomatoes at once. Then in the end I had plants still looking good and producing while others were finished.
So I am trying to sow some seeds now and then wait a bit.

Re: mango trees. Goes to show that pruning promotes new growth where you will get more mangoes later.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#13

Post: # 29114Unread post Ginger2778
Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:20 am

I just discovered this thread! I'm so glad you started a "this and that" for Florida thread. We needed one.@ponyexpress the last time we had a frost was 2009, but we had 3 weeks of overnight low 40s in 2010. Big iguana kill, but they are back now with a vengeance!
I'm starting all my tomato seeds tomorrow! Only in the 70s for the count, as I have 2 plants I will be starting to dehybridize that are F2. One is a bee cross of Wild Thyme Pink X Polaris, the other is a bee cross of KARMA Peach X one of the pink hearts it was near. Growing 6 plants of the WTP, selecting for potato leafs if they show up , and 12 of the KARMA cross, also selecting for potato leafs. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.
I managed to trip and fall over my new raised bed, it was me doing something really stupid, I wore loose shoes and one got caught on the concrete blocks. I was in the ER last Wednesday night with a minor fracture of my left wrist. So I can do a lot with my right hand, but can only use the left mid, 4th, and pinky to hold things stable. Poor Wayne is having to do most of the Earthbox lifting and dumping into the raised beds, while I get the easier but tedious job of pressure hosing the insides grates, and outsides. We have done 13 of them, just going to do another 10 for this year.
We bought coastal hay, overbought actually, and had to take a lot back out. I had no idea it was so condensed. I didn't see any seeds in it. It went on the bottom half of the beds. So as it settles this year, I'll be able to dump more earthbox mix into it for next year.
Peppers and eggplants were sown 3 weeks ago, only 2 varieties failed to germinate. I have a lot of peppers, but not scotch bonnets, but lots are quite hot. I even sowed Jalamundo Jalapenos, thry are a great big jalapeno, and the hottest of all of them. A lot of sweet types too. Elaine, please can I share some peppers plants with you in mid October?
I'm going to have a lot of OP and heirlooms extra tomato plants too, since I can't have a swap this year due to Covid. No sale this year either. Elaine please think about it before you say no, they'll need homes! No charge because I don't have a charity event to raise funds for.😭
So good to have this thread!
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#14

Post: # 29123Unread post Barb_FL
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:13 am

Marsha - I hope your wrist is feeling better by the day. Just don't overdo it.

Your breeding project sounds exciting and promising. How can you be certain which varieties crossed though?

I'm also very interested in what makes up your 70 count. Do tell!!!

---

Also, is anyone growing Polish again? It was my favorite '18-19 but not so much last year; plus I grew 4-5 plants of it.

I started some old seeds just to see if they were still viable - mainly 2013-14 in the middle of the month - did a little at a time and germination is very spotty - mostly not. I did the baggie/paper towel method on some and a couple of Juliettes germinated but that was it. I also did some in the Oasis cubes and kept them damp; I even put a control seed in and none of them were germinating so on the control (it was an expensive seed), I planted it and in 2 days it popped through.

I went through some old envelopes from the MMMM swap - 2014-2016 and found one from 2014 called Banded Amazon. It looks like a short striped tomato like GGWT / Chocolate Stripes. Two seeds finally germinated.

Elaine - My magic mountain plants are very robust for their age. I still have to get Better Boy seeds; I just want to get local and not pay shipping.
I found an old pack - but none germinated.

RE: seeds not germinated; I even did the sink test and all passed. Then later I added a little of Dyna-grow 9-3-6 and let the seeds soak much longer. No difference.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#15

Post: # 29124Unread post Ginger2778
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:29 am

Barb, more later but for now, DON'T GROW BANDED AMAZON! one of the worst, mushiest, potato like awful tomatoes I ever grew. Literally spit 1out tasted another, spit it out, tried one 2 weeks later, spit it out, and pulled the plant!
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#16

Post: # 29127Unread post Barb_FL
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:55 am

Ginger2778 wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:29 am
Barb, more later but for now, DON'T GROW BANDED AMAZON! one of the worst, mushiest, potato like awful tomatoes I ever grew. Literally spit 1out tasted another, spit it out, tried one 2 weeks later, spit it out, and pulled the plant!
Thanks for the info; and here I thought it was going to be a treat. Off with the head.

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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#17

Post: # 29189Unread post MsCowpea
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:45 pm

Marsha, sorry about your wrist. Hope it heals fast. Thanks for the offer of plants but I have just got to narrow down what I grow. I am afraid I won’t be able to resist and get too many again. As it is, I have so many varieties i want to try from my own seed stash it will be really hard to whittle down the list. I really wanted to regrow some of the old heirlooms I grew too. . This year, I want more plants of a limited number of varieties rather than so many new to me varieties. Then try a few new ones every year. All this might be a pipe dream.


I am a lousy sweet pepper grower so don’t like to take up too much space with them. Plus I only like the yellow ones. So this year I am trying a hybrid from Hydrogardens in Colorado. And one other yellow one, can’t remember name . That is enough for this year. DH won’t eat them.
Now scotch bonnet is a different story, can’t have too many. I have tried other hot peppers but we are very picky, only like SB.
Started those already.

That is a shame about your fund-raiser transplants. Maybe they could have been sold contactless - people drive up, hand them a list, let them choose and put in car. Everybody must wear a mask. Oh well, there is always next year.

Barb, did you try hybrid Bella Rosa? How was the flavor ? Sure wish there were more disease resistance hybrids with better flavor, like
Momotaro. Unfortunately, most of them are very average but you get a million of them.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#18

Post: # 29231Unread post Barb_FL
Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:17 pm

Elaine - I'm growing Bella Rosa for the first time in the '20-21 season. I bought seeds from Totally Tomato but they were available a lot of places.

I also went to the hydro store and bought Bio Thrive liquid organic fertz (4-3-3). They also have it in bloom format (2-4-4)

https://generalhydroponics.com/biothrive


Amazon wouldn't sell it to Florida residents, go figure. I don't like to buy liquid fertz from Amazon anyway ; too many had broken seals to be a coincidence. I also bought #3 perlite to mix in with the Pro-Mix I bought from Walmart in the spring. I will try to make the consistency the same at the 3.8 bales I buy from the hydro store.

And I went to Home Depot and their seed selection was horrible, but I did get Ferry Morse Better Boy seeds. WOO-HOO They are coated. Beggars can't be choosers. I'm looking forward to weighing how many pounds of tomatoes I get from these plants.

For tea, I'm going to brew my own from dry Organic Fertz , the Primordial Solutions products when I'm short on time, and use these products as stand alone (also brew):
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#19

Post: # 29234Unread post MsCowpea
Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:36 pm

Sound like you are getting all set!!!

I already got the Bella Rosa seeds from Hoss Tools, where I first learned about it on one of their YouTube videos, they seemed to like that one and also Red Snapper. But they are out of red snapper seeds until Nov. Gardenboy was looking for red snapper as he said a friend really liked them so that sounds positive though I have yet to taste a good flavored determinate hybrid. But maybe they have improved.

I think my Better Boy seeds are from Ferry Morse too.
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Re: Floridians-out in the garden

#20

Post: # 29646Unread post MsCowpea
Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:22 pm

Dixondale Onions

https://www.dixondalefarms.com/

The site is finally open so that you can purchase onions again. I have check backed numerous time but this time have been able to order.


First delivery date is Nov 9 2020.
And then there are other dates to select.

I have some spindly seedlings growing as well but like Dixondale if I can get them before they all sell out.
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