You’ll find more than just trees of the palm and orange variety in Fort Lauderdale. In fact, the country’s seen more homeowners take trowel to soil now than ever before, making it one of the fastest-growing hobbies for millennials and the elderly alike. Aside from having the right vehicle to transport all your gardening tools and soil, how else can you get in on the sweet action? Here’s your guide to building and maintaining a garden in the Sunshine State.
Best Florida Plants to Grow
Since South Florida houses a tropical climate—parts of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale have USDA Hardiness zones of 10b and 11a—the best plants are usually drought-resistant species that withstand extreme heat and humidity. From veggies to fruits to herbs, Fort Lauderdale gardens can produce a lot of unique types of plants.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. To start your gardening adventure, you’ll first want to decide when and what to plant.
- Melons like cantaloupe and watermelon grow best in the colder months, though you can get a decent-sized yield through the end of March.
- Peppers, radishes, summer squash, and cucumbers grow wildly in March, as well.
- April is the prime season to harvest beans, beets, and peas.
- Bulbous flowers and annuals such as gerbera daisies and crossandra usually bloom between March and April, but you should plant them saplings in June.
- Fig trees should be planted in April, though you’ll have to wait a few years to see it bear fruit. (Patience, friends.)
- Hardy herbs like mint, rosemary, and lavender can grow all season long, though you’ll want to water them regularly through the dry season, which ends in May.
- Palm trees can be planted during the rainy months, usually between May and July.
- Sweet fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, and mangos can be grown through May and June.
- Sweet potatoes are incredibly resilient to the South Florida climate and can be grown all the way through June.
- Boniato, chayote, and other tropical and exotic vegetables do better in the humid months of June and July.
Build a Garden Box
A raised garden bed is the perfect solution for amateur Fort Lauderdale gardeners without a home or land to farm on. Freestanding and typically constructed out of untreated wood, garden boxes are aesthetically pleasing and easy to build. Since Ft. Lauderdale is home to loads of sand, you’ll likely want to opt for specialty gardening soil and potting mix rather than shovelfuls of your backyard. This will improve soil and growing conditions dramatically.
Although you can also buy raised garden beds online or most local landscaping stores, making your own is always an option. Here are a few simple DIY garden box projects you can copy.
Compost is Your Friend
Natural compost is the BFF of any avid gardener. A small compost bin full of kitchen scraps—egg shells, paper, raw fruits and vegetables, and coffee grounds are preferable—can provide enough fertilizer for most smaller gardens. Spin the composted mixture every week or two to speed up decomposition, which should conclude after two months.
Compost bins can also be purchased at retail stores, though a simple container or boxed-in portion of your backyard should work just as well. Consider some of these composting projects.
Become a Rain Collector
No thanks to Irma, Florida broke numerous rainfall records in 2017. With the increasing likelihood that these extreme weather events will continue, you should take advantage of it by constructing a simple rain collector barrel. You can harvest over 600 gallons of water during a one-hour rainstorm, which is more than enough to hydrate your plants during drought-heavy weeks.
Get the utility knife out and build a rainwater harvester using one of these outlines.
Always Seek Expert Advice
If you have other questions about gardening in Ft. Lauderdale, seek out a professional horticulturalist (that’s nerd-speak for “gardening pro”). Shameless Plug Alert: And if you don’t have the room to transport all your gardening supplies and planting soil, consider grabbing a new 2018 Honda Ridgeline at one of our South Florida Honda Dealers locations. The Ridgeline’s trunk is perfect for storing shovels, and you’ll want to pump the beats out of the in-bed audio system as you’re knee deep in potting mix.
To schedule a test drive in the king of gardening trucks, contact one of our Fort Lauderdale Honda dealers today. We’ll help you get an amazing Honda deal on the Ridgeline or any of our other new models or used trucks for sale near Miami, FL.
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