Visiting A Master Gardener

This past Saturday I was able to sneak out for a little “me” time. Believe it or not, my “me” time involved going to the library and listening to a master gardener, Dena Wild present on the basics of growing vegetables in Central Florida! And guess what? I LOVED IT! I was even able to sit down with her one-on-one and discuss how to get started on container gardening. I learned that I am definitely a virgin gardener and that I just need to get started and learn as I go. She was a great speaker and has encouraged me to get started on container gardening. I’m 27 years old and I find excitement from this…OH BOY! When I get passionate about things my husband just turns to me and says the simple words of “I love you. It’s in such a way though that displays a statement of…”your kind of crazy, but that’s what I love about you.”

Dena Wild is affiliated with UF IFAS Extension in Orange County. You can click here to follow them on Facebook for some great tips on gardening in Florida. Keep reading I’ll share some great resources that she presented! Plus, details about a fun fall festival you can bring your family to, did someone say BATS!?

So, I came home after driving to the Apopka library, which is about 25 minutes from my house. I didn’t mind though because the drive wasn’t bad and it gave me an opportunity to crank up my music sing LOUDLY, and just BE WITH MYSELF for a moment. My husband was actually just pulling in the driveway after a little “daddy & son” time. I hopped in the family car and we headed out to pick up my containers to get started on gardening. We first went to Big Lots, but they didn’t have any cheap 8 inch containers, so then we ventured to Home Depot (I’m really starting to like this store), which is where I purchased them.

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“If you can grow weeds, you can grow vegetables” – Words From A Master Gardener

Well that sure boosted my confidence! Before I share what she had to say here is a great resource you can use to guide you in what type of vegetables to grow during the cool season in Florida.

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Okay…so you’re probably wondering what did the master gardener have to say? The anticipation right…Also, what a title to have as a master gardener..how can one acquire such a title? How fun would it be to say I’m a master gardener… Sorry just a little sidetracked, I’ll get back to the point…

Words from the Master Gardner

Preparing Your Garden

  • There are two types of gardening seasons in Floriday, cool & warm weather
  • July & August is when you prpepare your bed, not gardening (too hot)
  • your vegetables need at least 5-6 hours of sun
  • if you are gardening in a raised bed it can be as long as you want, but no more than 4 feet wide (any wider and its hard to get to the plants in the middle without stepping on the soil)
  • Use the Florida Vegtable Gardening Guide (specifically page 8-10)
  • draw out your plan first and use stakes and string to outline beds
  • use micro-jet sprays for watering- click here to view a video on how to install one
  • recommended tools: trowel with a point, rake, shovel with a point, gloves, pruners (she stated nothing fancy, just the basics)

Irrigation

  • need to water before 10am everyday
  • DO NOT WATER ANY LEAVES, just the roots
  • young plnats need 1″ per week
  • mature plants need 2″ per week
  • rule of thunb: stick finger in about 2 inches if dry then water

Fertilizing

  • all plantss need micronutrients (very important)
  • all fetiliziers have NPK (nitorgen, phosphate, soluble potash)
  • sprinkle around the plant and then water

Composting

  • make sure to use kitchen waste (it’s very easy to do) click here to learn more
  • orange county yards landfilled gives out FREE compost, they even give you a FREE composter, click here to register (I just registered for mine today! It took literally 30 seconds to do, and they deliver it!)

Final Thoughts

  • if container gardening, it doesn’t matter what type of pot you use, as long as it’s clean (soap and water clean)
  • when buying store bought plants take plants out of pot to look at roots, you don’t want a thick mat of roots (not roots should be coming out of the bottom)
  • to prevent cut worms in your garden, create a collar wtih newspaper or styrofoam cups cutworm-shields-01

 

The Virgin Gardener

So that’s definitley me! I am very new to this, but I’m excited to get started and share this journey with you. I’m starting with container gardening because we live in a small duplex that doesn’t have a backyard area. It’s perfect for us though because we don’t need much right now. I’m also starting with very small 8 inch pots. Here is what’s on the list for my first garden!

  • cabbagecontainergardening_zpsf7ea52e2
  • carrots
  • lettuce
  • bunching onions
  • scallions
  • radishes
  • garlic
  • parsley
  • oregano

 

Wish me luck! If you have any great tips about first time gardening please share in the comments! Feel free to share this post with anyone else that is a virgin gardener. You can also visit my facebook page to follow along, as well as instagram . Thank you so much for reading along!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Wife, Happy Mama, Happy Life

P.S. Here is the information on the Fall Festival! If you live in the Orlando area you should definitely come! It’s geared for children, plus they will be so intrigued with the presentation of BATS!

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