D & S report success gardening in Jacksonville with some of my favorite crops and methods:
“Thought I’d send you a few pictures from our yard of what is growing now here in Jacksonville. Close to your old neck in the woods. I’ve taken a lot of good information you’ve provided over the years and my gardens are getting better and better.
90% of the tomatoes in the pictures are everglade. Amazingly prolific. We literally a large bowl full a day and that’s just the really red ones. I have one on the front porch in a grow box that I planted last March that is still producing. Amazing plant.
All of the collards, Seminole pumpkins and everglades tomatoes growing right now came from seed from my last years gardening.
There is more stuff not pictured just because I wanted to pick a few to send.
We’ve got sweet potatoes, peaches, citrus, lemon grass, 25 blueberry bushes, and more.
This year so far I’ve spent probably less than 20$ on gardening. No soil, no fertilizer, no pesticides, just bought a couple things of seed starting mix, and a few pepper starts.
A far cry from a few years back, when I was doing raised beds, buying soil, compost, seedlings, etc.
I only have a couple of compost piles that just have leaves,weeds, etc, that are composting pretty slow but coming along. All my other composting I do is just burying stuff in the ground. Any leftover food scraps. I do a lot of fishing and all over the fish carcasses get buried in various spots. Keeps the rats and my dog from getting into it.
Just wanted to say hello, and thanks for all the tips and inspiration over the years. Read your site everyday and watch every youtube video. Keep up the good work, brother!”
Thank you – I appreciate the kind words and the success report!
Whether you’re gardening in Jacksonville or gardening in Miami, the crops and techniques I shared in Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening work.
As do the cheap and easy composting methods in Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting.
Both books aren’t hard reads; they’re only in the 35,000 word range each.
Yet they both represent a lot of experimentation with crops and systems aimed at growing the most amount of food for the least amount of work. I failed again and again testing vegetables for Florida until I figured out which ones would grow even in a beginner’s garden.
And, I’m cheap. The “less than $20” spent on a garden sounds about right to me!
Florida is hot and sandy with almost universally terrible soil fertility and lots of pests. Yet when you grow the right things, you will have success.
Extra points for burying fish carcasses.
Florida is Great!! I can garden all year around, even in the nasty, sticky, humid, sweltering, no breeze of any kind, sun so intense you can’t spend more than 15 minutes without getting burned( don’t care what SPF your suntan lotion is) Gulf Coast summer. I have found if I can shade my beds from most of the midday and all of the afternoon sun, they will be okay. The sun is so intense you do not need the recommended 6 hours, I have grown stuff very well in 3-4 hour mid-morning sun during this time period. I abhor tomatoes, but I’m weird, I love growing them, our summer sun will bake these “heat loving plants”, even okra gets fried. Where there is a will, there is a way. Gardening is always a challenge, nothing monotonous, and for a guy who never finishes anything, but will pick it back up later when it is interesting again, it’s perfect. These stories and this blog, motivate me daily, people get tired of me talking about gardening, yet they always ask what I’m growing and how it’s doing.( also, when are you bringing more tomatoes in). If gardening is for weirdos, then count me in, I make it a point to be as weird as I can, without totally alienating myself. Then again I’m not much direct socialization, a little goes a long way. Plants invigorate me, people wear me out. I must be an Introvert, or an alien.
Your description of yourself, sounds a lot like me. Haha. I’ve never really done well with tomatoes until I started growing the Everglade variety. Two years ago I bought a 3$ packet of seeds online and haven’t had any problem since. Before I was trying to grow all kinds of purple ones, giants, etc. Seems like either the plant would get big, start to produce, then either pests would eat everything or the plant would just start to die. The everglade seems impervious to any problems, and holy cow they’re delicious. Literally bursting with flavor. Like candy.
Everglades tomatoes – I can’t find anything conclusive that says they aren’t just regular cherry tomatoes. Can someone provide documentation that they are native?
Don’t know about conclusive but I’ve grown cherry in the past and never had this success.
I just dried out a bunch of seeds, (got virtually an unlimited supply right now) so if anyone wants them, just post here and we could go from there. Maybe like 2$ for 20 or so seeds…just throwing that out there
Hey Dan, u still got seeds?
Didn’t ask David about that so if that’s not ok, then disregard my last post.
It’s perfectly okay – you can share seeds ANY time!
I have had with pretty good luck with tomatoes, just not squash. It’s ironic, I love squash and can hardly get it to maturity( except the spaghetti squash I just harvested). My brother has problems with watermelon, but is excellent with about anything else. I have found anaerobic compost tea is very go about knocking all sorts a fungi on it’s butt, but (hehe) one must be very careful to wash any fruit with soap and water. Aerobic compost tea helps with just about anything else. I have never tried the Everglades, but I am obsessed with Florida natives, I just want to be sure it is the Real Deal Holyfield. Seminole pumpkins are king, if you live in Florida you must grow these.
That’s a nice looking set up they have, I’m working on making the same. I live 25 miles northeast of Tampa, been reading your website and planting like crazy. Thanks for still covering Florida food gardening, its cool to see what people are growing a d where. Thanks for all the info David, and congrats on the new ride
Living and planting in Vero Beach after the groundwater dries up! Would love to meet others in Central Florida who have some sage knowledge to pass on…
I have an outside garden & have noticed tiny little round balls, maybe eggs?, some are white, clear & green. What are these?
Probably snail eggs: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=snail+eggs&t=ffab&iax=images&ia=images