HELLO SPRING | Garden w/ BLONDE2BRUNETTE
I've taken so much content the past year that I haven't been able to keep up with posting for each season. The good thing is, Spring is technically the first season in gardening status so for that, we are going to share even more tips that I found that works universally and what plants I found to thrive in my location: Miami, Fl Zone10b.
If you are brand new to gardening I have a few blogposts that I share tips for gardening in containers [CLICK HERE] as well as expanding to garden beds with a an intro vlog tour HERE plus extra tip for soil, watering, mulching and on [CLICK HERE]!
Throughout the year I have taken classes, done workshops and volunteered for a couple days to ask all my pending questions from successes to failures in my garden at my local nursery/farms. I really love the work that Little River Cooperative and Aloha Red provide. Aside from the amazing plants and produce they provide at local markets and CSA you can partake in, they offer classes and events on their grounds to anyone who wishes to gain knowledge! It's honestly why I've been able to find success in my home garden. I can google plenty of awesome resources, but there is something about visiting your local farms that you really see why a particular crop doesn't work in our Miami sub-tropic climate in this specific month, despite what those in say Southern California Zone 10b has success in the "said crop".
It's also a great excuse to head to the Redlands and enjoy being away from the city. We're only talking 30-40 minutes outside of Miami. Having taken classes and volunteer (the best way to ask all the things with your local farmers), I've learned better ways to handle placement in my garden beds, what specific crops may do well in zone10b but in Miami zone10b we have that extra learning curve of our sub-tropic ways. Below I listed crops that I've worked with either in the farms in down south or in my own garden, along with extra - SIMPLE- tips I've found to help me execute a thriving garden.
You can find all the helpful tips from past blog post on our " Garden with BLONDE2BRUNETTE" series HERE.
Easy Crops to Grow as a Beginner in ZONE10b:
arugula, lettuce, Asian greens, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, nasturtiums, all types of radish, kohlrabi, fennel, bush beans, pole beans, hot peppers, eggplants, herbs: dill, cilantro, scallions, oregano, rosemary, Thai basil, parsley, strawberries, roselle, cranberry hibiscus.
Fun Crops to Grow in our Sub-Tropical Climate:
Jicama, winged beans, ginger family (ginger, turmeric, galangal), suyo long cucumbers, moringae, New Zealand spinach, Malabar spinach, sissoo spinach, sweet potato, luffa, okra, lemongrass, moringa, amaranth, Seminole pumpkin, mulberry.
Crops to AVOID (they don't typically grow well here) in our Miami location, but maybe other locations that are Zone 10 :
Traditional potatoes ( stick to sweet potato varieties), shallots(although I’m still trying), garlic (I've tried and all I get are garlic chives lol which are great for salads and toppings on seafood and potatoes, but no bulb), traditional pumpkins, corn, brussel sprouts, rhubarb, asparagus, artichokes, fava beans.
That being said, there are still plenty of crops I haven't mentioned that are still great to grow, but are very specific to certain months of the year. Like carrots, I love but they take forever. The hotter and wetter Miami gets the more pests and disease plants you will have to worry about, like my cucumbers I really needed to be on top of them and prevent powdery mildew! That being said my pro tips for you are visiting this simple and easy factual growing guide from GARDENATE! Gardenate.com allows me to enter my specific zone and see what I should be planting and what seedlings to begin. The next major tip is to follow your local farmer accounts. See if they have an instagram and check back frequently as to what they are growing and what to prep for in the seasons to come. I've enjoyed doing that with Little River Coop, Aloha Red and French Farms.
When you are ready to begin your garden or starting over you have to know what each plant requires. Most veggies and fruits need full sun. With the exception of lettuce, you can get away with part shade, especially in Miami. The next thing you need to be aware of is the height of your plants. Most likely you will be buying a mix of goods and maybe need to trellis something. Make sure the item you plan on trellising goes to the back or are not going to block sun from other plants. My garden beds get full sun from East to West, so my plants begin to descend in height from East to West. That way as the sun moves, my shorties are not blocked from the taller plants like my trllised cucumber and tomatoes. Check out this quick little sketch below for reference (lol) thanks procreate.
SOIL & SOIL REPLENISH
I have a compost bin and whether I'm prepping a new or old bed I like to mix in some fresh compost and organic soil together to keep it healthy. Although rain is great, it can sometimes wash away some nutrient if your bed or container isn't draining properly and the soil looses its power. So compost, worm castings from home or your local farms will be a great treat for your plants and you will see them thrive! If I don't have enough compost and want to get a really good healthy punch of compost enriched soil, I purchase tubs of soil from Little River Coop and I can either purchase at their farm on Saturdays or have it delivered to my door!
FEEDING YOUR PLANTS
After a couple years of figuring out a routine, I'm fertilizing my plants every two weeks to give them the boost they need. The more mix of plants you have in one bed the more you want to be on top of this because the bigger fruiting plants will be sucking it up rather quickly. Find what I feed them HERE.
TOOLS I LOVE AND NEED IN THE GARDEN
Ok my favorite is having the right swag when it comes to gardening because It's gotta look cute but also be practical. The majority of the hand tools I love are in our amazon favs gardening section, but if I had to narrow it down for sure get a "Dibber" for seeds," Sankaku Hand Hoe" it's great for weeding and shoveling for planting, " Hori Hori" which is good for digging out crops and chopping tough roots, and good "Garden Clippers" for harvesting your crops. You can find a variety HERE.
Lastly a half apron (or full apron if you get dirty easily) to have some of these tools and other things like gloves, seed packets etc. for easy access. I personally love NATURE SUPPLY CO. They are absolutely the cutest and have the exact aesthetic I appreciate in all things garden and farming accessories. They are so many to choose from check out their aprons and more HERE. The two I own are below!
I hope with these extra tips that I've tried and proven true, that you will get the inspiration to start your garden or begin again. It's been a really nice treat trying out different methods and growing new crops along the way. I hope to keep exploring advances and sharing with you all new improvements, as I continue to to dig deeper into the world of gardening/farming. Maybe even plan a chicken coop, lol however my yard is a tad too small for my current home, but I do have plans for the future to expand. Until then, the best thing to do is plan for that future project and luckily I have two friends who own chicken coops and goats! So just cause I don't have one now, doesn't mean that blog post is too far away from sharing tips (expect tours at my friend's coops)! Can't wait to bring you along with me two their unique backyards right here in the city of Miami!
Let us know if you are in zone10b, tag us with your garden projects using #b2bgardens
so we can share inspo and tips together!
Happy Planting and Happy Spring.