Wednesday, July 10, 2013

South Florida Organic Gardening

Gardening in South Florida is much different than gardening in Southern California.  Why? HEAT and DIRT!
The weather here in South Florida is hot for most of the year.  I grow tomatoes when it's snowing in several states.
HOT Peppers love the Heat!
In our current "Side-yard project" I was appalled at the state of the dirt when I first dug in.  About 12 inches deep I found hard-packed, sandy soil.  About 6 feet away, also 12 inches deep I found construction junk like broken tiles.

What's an organic gardener to do? 

-Add Compost and seaweed
-Build raised-beds
-Replace all of the dirt and start all over
-Keep digging!

What is Compost? is a great place to start.

I'm sure there are plenty of other options but these are just off the top of my head.  I started with a little 4x6 bed that quickly grew to about 8x16.  Once the side-yard project was complete I started on the front porch project.

Using Seaweed in the Garden

While the soil was not ideal at first, it still managed to produce quite a bit of veggies the first year with very little ammendments.  So far I have ammended the soil with homemade compost, store-bought compost, layers of dead and decaying leaves, rinsed seaweed, seaweed tea, store-bought organic soil (both container and garden varieties) and LOTS of sweat and hard-work. 

In the beginning...

Seedlings are what?
Everything grew so quickly!
This is the view from the BACK

After all that hard work the garden turned out great!
When we moved into the house there were already 2 mango trees on the property and they continue to produce massive amounts of mangoes each year.  Soon we would like to add an avocado tree.  For now, we trade mangoes to a friend with an avocado tree which works for us.

Since these picture were taken we have expanded!  It's HUGE now!

Herbs are a GREAT addition to any organic garden.  They taste great AND when planted around certain veggies they can keep the "bag bugs" away!
Purple Opal Basil

just starting to change color

Before I head out into the garden I'd like to invite you to join 
Our 7-Day Real Food Challenge!  Tomorrow we'll share more details on how to get started and what is "Real Food." 
If you would like to join the challenge we'll announce ALL participants AND provide a linky for this challenge!
For now...please send an EMAIL to
I ask that you to email because if you are a No-Reply blogger I have no way of getting in touch! 

Sharing this informative post HERE!
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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

the Self Sufficient HomeAcre


Eclectic Red Barn said...

I live in South Florida too and know your pain. You must have better soil than I do, since I find sand about 8 inches down and in some cases no dirt at all to speak of. I do a lot of herbs in pots on the deck. I have pineapples in the ground, 4 mango trees, orange, lemon, fig, avocado and macadamia trees. I love all the fruit trees. My soil is getting better. Good luck with your garden.

Mommy Evolution said...

Visiting from Ahola Friday. I'd like to invite you to my Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your best blog entry of the week! The party goes on ALL weekend at And who knows, you may just get featured next week.

Brandi said...

How exciting! I couldn't even imagine having my own fruit trees in my yard. You must have a lot of great mango recipes!!!!

Paula Parrish said...

Gotta love the sunshine state of Florida. I have lived here since the 80’s. Organic gardening in Florida definitely has it’s challenges but it can work with a lot of effort and time. I have had much success with containers. Enjoy your yummy mangoes.

Susan@Organized31 said...

How rewarding to have your own garden as the result of all your hard work. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday.

Unknown said...

We've made a very small veggie patch this year and we can't wait to get planting in the spring :-) I'll be featuring you this week on Mom's Library at Crystal's Tiny Treasures. Thank you for linking up and have a great week!

Unknown said...

My poppaw could only get watermelon to grow at his home in Orlando...but they were good! Thanks for sharing, D@TheShadyPorch

Unknown said...

I'm in Ohio so I'm super jealous you can garden almost all year round! It looks like you've done a lot of work to your garden to get the soil just right! I never would have thought that seaweed would be good to add!

Thanks for sharing with us at the Homeacre Hop! We hope to see you again next time!

Unknown said...

Really great to read Mary. This is one way to know for those starters like me into gardening.

Soil place really an important role in a plant. I'm now learning on how to use organic planting.

If you want to share your thoughts on planting and gardening stuff. Here is a social site for those try to look at