There’s an old Primary song you may have heard — probably depending on the culture where you live. It starts out, “The prophet said to plant a garden, so that’s what we’ll do…”
Now that’s a really nice sentiment, but it’s easier said than done.
Within a year of moving from Utah Valley to Boca Raton, Florida, right after college graduation, we were finally in a position to buy our first home. No more renting. No more white walls. No more communal property. Instead, we would have our own roof, our own walls, and our own yard.
What we hadn’t considered was the vast change in climate.
Moving from a desert to a a subtropical location meant having to relearn all yard and garden knowledge from the ground up. (No pun intended.) We went from dry to incredibly humid, from four seasons to two (hurricane season and not hurricane season). The possible crops changed, the growing seaons changed, the bugs and pests changed, the soil changed.
What we learned was that moving from stress and expensive yard failures to fun garden projects required a change of scope.
Instead of planning to reproduce Sam’s grandfather’s multi-acre vegetable garden in Wyoming, we started with one pot on the patio.
After a couple of years of massive failure in the yard, a friend showed us how to grow tomatoes in Florida. It was so simple. Here is your shopping list:
- 1 very large potting containernbsp;(at least 1-2 feet square) with good drainage for each plant
- Clean potting soil such as Moisture Control Potting Mix
- Tomato plants (favorites: Sungold; Supersweet 100; Brandywine)
- 1 tomato cage for each plant
Once you’ve collected your materials, the process is simple.
- Using the soil, plant strongone/strong tomato plant per container, quite deeply (roots will grow from the stem that is underground)
- Place the tomato cage around the tomato plant
- Give tomatos lots of sun
- Water consistently — always keep soil moist, but not wet
- Use a quality fertilizer (according to directions), such as Shake ‘n Feed All Purpose Plant Food
Following these simple steps and we literally had the best tomatoes we’ve ever tasted.
If you’re looking to follow the counsel to plant a garden, but you haven#39;t developed the skills to do so, start small. Put a very few plants in some patio pots. Grow some herbs on your windowsill. Make a small spot in the yard a trial run.
As your skills — and confidence — grow, branch out to bigger and more complex projects. Take a class from the local extension service or community education courses to learn about the best local practices. Try some of the ideas presented in The Gro Project to get started. Ask friends and neighbors who have a green thumb for advice. Throw Miracle-Gro into the mix, so you can maximize the return.
Need some inspriation? Check out the Miracle-Gro Pinterest page for some great ideas and information.
Work your way up to a food production system that will increase the self-reliance and independence.