Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  funnygroundhog on 6/9/2020, 7:57 pm

Hi all, I know nothing about gardening but here I am. I live in Zone 9B. I'm just gathering materials for my MM - I was actually able to find coarse vermiculite! I'm thinking I'll get started with a "salad" garden - lettuce, spinach, chard, carrots, red onions, and peppers. I see a lot of people plant nasturtiums for bug control. Any other recommendations on flowers/herbs I can plant along with these veggies? I'll be making a bed out of concrete block (termites in my area are at nonsensical levels so I don't want to bother with wood) and will have 21 squares to plant.

I'm also new to this forum so I haven't come across a regional section yet. So, if anyone is near the Tampa area, I'd love to connect!
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Post  OhioGardener on 6/9/2020, 8:32 pm

A warm welcome from Ohio! Glad you found the SFG site!  The only other flowers I plant among my vegetables are Marigold to deter root nematodes, and repel other insects, and Alyssum for the flowers to attract beneficial insects such as the Aphid Wasp.

Be sure to check out the  Costal & Tropical South Regional Forum, where you will find a lot of helpful members in your climate zone that deal with similar soil conditions and weather patterns.

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Post  yolos on 6/9/2020, 9:16 pm

Since you are in Mid Florida, I think the timing for planting some of the  "Salad Garden" vegetables is off.  Some of these vegetables are cool weather veggies.  Lettuce, Spinach, Carrots, ...  They will bolt in the hot weather.
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Post  mollyhespra on 6/9/2020, 9:32 pm

Hi, funnygroundhog from a S. Fla native (Miami) currently living in upstate NH.

Check out dstack's recent posts. He's got some really good tips for growing edibles in the heat and humidity.

Welcome to the forum!
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/10/2020, 7:24 am

Hi funnygroundhog. Welcome to our party from Atlanta, GA!

I agree with Molly - check dstack's archive. He's got some GREAT info on your general area.

I would encourage you to also check out www.gardenate.com for what should be started/planted when in your area. You can sign up for a monthly email from them to give you reminders. Yolos is correct - it's not a good time to be planting lettuce, spinach, etc. These are cool weather plants.

Glad you found the vermiculite! That will help you tremendously.
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Post  funnygroundhog on 6/12/2020, 7:36 am

Thanks for all the feedback, all. I've been researching lots about what I CAN'T plant right now. I'm still working on prep stuff, so it was disheartening but also totally fine since I don't even own seeds yet! Gardenate sounds like it's going to be a very good resource.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/13/2020, 12:40 pm

Welcome funnygroundhog!  Glad you are here, you may have to stage your garden to get the right timing on things!  We all do this to some degree.  

Look forward to seeing your journey—take notes, you will learn so much this first year!
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Post  sanderson on 6/19/2020, 12:08 am

Funnygroundhog, Welcome from central California! glad you\'re here

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Post  funnygroundhog on 6/21/2020, 1:06 pm

[url=https://servimg.com/view/20230496/1]This vine has been growing all over my yard since we bought the land last year. Roundup killed the showing leaves but it kept coming back. Finally dug it up. It's some kind of potato! Here I am thinking I'm starting a garden in my backyard and my backyard beat me to the punch! 😆 (I will not be eating these, btw. I don't know what they actually are.)
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Post  OhioGardener on 6/21/2020, 1:30 pm

@funnygroundhog wrote:[url=https://servimg.com/view/20230496/1]This vine has been growing all over my yard since we bought the land last year. Roundup killed the showing leaves but it kept coming back. Finally dug it up. It's some kind of potato! Here I am thinking I'm starting a garden in my backyard and my backyard beat me to the punch! 😆

That is an Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera), an non-native invasive plant. Good luck trying to get rid of it! A friend of mine tells me it will grow a foot a day, and spreads out 75 feet. Spraying the leaves will kill the vine, but new growth will come from the underground bulb. Your local extension office can probably provide good info on getting rid of it since is listed as a noxious weed.

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Post  funnygroundhog on 6/21/2020, 5:30 pm

Thank you @OhioGardener for that. My Google search led me to the dioscorea family in general but your description fits my vine specifically. Extension office has been contacted.
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Post  funnygroundhog on 8/3/2020, 8:07 am

The beds are built! Still working on the plan for weed and pest control. I'm pretty sure I saw a couple squirrels already staring and licking their lips in anticipation. Also popped some pineapple tips and sweet potato slips into some bags outside of the bed. Coming into my growing season now, so let the fun begin!

Thanks for all the suggestions you guys offered while I was getting started! Happy gardening everyone.
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Post  RainyG on 8/5/2020, 8:12 am

There are species of Dioscorea native to North America, including Florida and all the way up here in Wisconsin.  They can be difficult to identify based only on the leaves.  Many species have edible tubers - they are true yams (as opposed to sweet potatoes, which have very different leaves & flowers).  The leaves in your picture look more like D. alata, an edible (but still invasive, undesirable, noxious weed). D. bulbifera leaves are rounder, and the vine wraps around supports in the opposite direction. The native species, D. floridana, has leaves that look more like D. bulbifera; it is patchily distributed only in Florida and South Carolina.
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Post  TCgardening on 8/6/2020, 9:11 am

Hello FunnyGH,
 A late welcome from the Treasure Coast.
Mind you, these are not Square Foot specific sites but good for Florida growing info. 
Tom MacCubbins website, [url=Betterlawns.com]Betterlawns[/url] he also has a weekly radio show. I listen to his Podcasts as I am working in the yard, it helps keep me motivated as I battle the never ending weeds.

Your local County Extension office, they now have free gardening webinars. Check out the Florida Vegetable Growing Guide, the planting calendar will really help you out. Our seasons are very different than most everyone else. Planting at the wrong time will only bring you frustration. 

Dstack recently put out a good video on what to grow during the Florida summers.  

A you tube video on the yam vs air potato Edible Yam vs Air Potato

Out first warm weather planting season is about to start in August. Get you garden ready and your starter plants going. 
Hope this helps
Craig
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Post  sanderson on 8/20/2020, 6:35 pm

Nice looking beds. For weed control what about from weed fabric topped with cypress wood chips. It's that the wood used in Florida?

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/21/2020, 7:20 am

@sanderson wrote:Nice looking beds. For weed control what about from weed fabric topped with cypress wood chips. It's that the wood used in Florida?

I agree on both counts. I'm looking to change over from wood to blocks myself. And I've been very happy with the cypress mulch. Sanderson's point about weed fabric between the mulch & growing medium is very important, lol. I haven't done that in the past & it's a mess cleaning it out... ;-)
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