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Florida lilac question

The lilac posts on gardening got me started searching and it looks like some of the low-chill varieties might work here (Gainesville, FL 8b). But does anyone out there have any real life experience? If so, which varieties did you grow/attempt and how did they work out for you? Am I just setting myself up for a boatload of heartache? I would dearly love to have a lilac or two in my garden, I miss them so.

Crossposted to gardening

Mason Bees

we bought 6 Mason bees from our local feed store.  We were wondering if anyone here has had experience with them that would like to share?

Growing Pumpkins in Florida

Pumpkins are some of my favorite plants and now that it's Fall it's time for them to start popping up in supermarkets and road side stands. It's too bad that it's so difficult to actually grow them down here. I found some good tips for those of us that refuse to accept defeat.

Florida pumpkin growing is very difficult. The heat and high insect and disease pressure make it a hit or miss affair at best.

Several tips are.

Do not water the foliage. Water the plants through a soaker system, or some type of flood system that will allow the leaves to remain dry. If wilting is a problem from the heat, a misting system is recommended, but must be shut off early enough for the plants to dry off before nightfall.

Practice a religious fungicide and insectice spray program. Spray in the evening at dusk, never in the morning, and use the smallest recommended dosages. Pumpkins in florida are very susceptible to leaf burn from chemicals due to the high heat and intense sun conditions.

A shade structure for the entire plant is very beneficial. Greenhouse grade shade cloth, of about 30% light blockage is a very good idea.

Be very careful of using florida well water. It is very often high in many minerals that over time can reach toxic level with pumpkins. Have your well water tested, never use water from a softening system to irrigate, and if neccessary, install a filter for your irrigation.

Floridas growing season is different than up north.

For best results, plant in late Feb, or in August to take adavantage of the milder weather.

The thing about not getting the leaves wet or watering at night has always seemed silly to since once our rainy season stops there's not much we can do about that. It rains at night and it just rains and the leaves get wet. This is another factor that make growing these fun plants so hard. Our second season for growing starts now in September. August is better for Pumpkins though. I am a bit late, but there are still too many bugs in August. I'm growing some ball luffas and a few other cucurbits. Most only need about three months so we can just make it into Dec before it really gets cold in Jan and Feb.

Cross posting to cucurbitaceae


Aug. 28th, 2010

Can anyone ID this beautiful purple flower? It is about 2 1/2 - 3 inches across.

2 more pix hereCollapse )

Green things appear!

My garden has green things in it now! I'm so excited!Pics under cut!Collapse )

Mar. 1st, 2010

I just finished up my spring planting, and have taken some pictures to share.  This year we have Bell peppers, jalapenos, broccoli, kale, okra, black beans, chick peas, snow peas, green runner beans, corn, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, garlic, chives, lavender, oregano, basil, tarragon, sage, thyme, peppercorns, cloves, as well as the pineapple plants my mom gave me when she moved, and I started an Avocado tree as well.

pics behind cutCollapse )

For those wondering, The 2 ltr bottles are for my "compost tea" it's a homemade liquid fertilizer, and the bike wheel I found and gave it new life as a vine trellis (it works wonderfully for that).  The rug I crocheted myself using clothing too worn/holey to wear or pass on or donate.  took me months to make, i'm so proud of it.

Who's started their gardens???

I posted my baby peas pics on another gardening group, and thought I'd also post here!  I built the first part of a 9'x3' raised bed a few weeks back (3'x3' part) and prepped it and planted peas and lettuce.  The lettuce isn't all that impressive yet, though the second set of leaves seem to be peeking through.  The peas are doing well-see?

Okeechobee Gourd

Just yesterday I found out about a wonderful little gourd that is sadly endangered. This is the OkeeChobee Gourd Cucurbita okeechobeensis. I was doing a google image search for gourd plants and this cute image just happened to turn up.

This little vine is only found along lake Okeechobee in Florida and the St. John's River. It may have been more abundant at one time but because of habitat loss it's now very rare. This is a very interesting article about the rediscovery on the St. John's River. I am happy to see that William Bartram is getting some credit for possibly being the first to document this cucurbit. William Bartram was one of the last true naturalists and one of the first along with his father in America. Few people had set out to catalog the flora and fauna of American but William and John Bartram were a few of them. They lived in the 1700's in President Jefferson's time, who also was a naturalist himself.

This PDF document is more scientific than historical and has some very nice info on this little gourd. Now one thing I find odd is that this plant could likely be saved quite easily if people could plant the seeds in their own backyards. Just like heirloom vegetables we might be one of the few that could keep it going. They have successfuly raised it at Bok Tower Gardens which is the only place it grows in captivity. Gourds are easy to raise when they aren't being ripped out of the ground so there really is not reason this species couldn't be mass bred, seeds saved and re-introduced in to parks where they would be protected.

Cross Posted to cucurbitaceae

Chayote Question

Has anyone here ever grown Chayote? Scientific name Sechium edule. It's in the cucumber family and supposed to taste like Cucumbers. I hear it is easy to grow in Florida because it loves Heat. It's also one of the few perennial vines. You're supposed to just burry the whole fruit and the sprout comes out of the end. I read about it in the magazine Florida Gardening. This was last month and I didn't buy it so I don't think that issue is out anymore. What was neat was that I think the whole plant is edible and they had a recipe in there for an asian dish using the tendrils. Does anyone have this article? I would love to read how that is done. Anyway I bought a Chayote today and am waiting for it to sprout. I think you just leave it out and it does its own thing. There's a nice picture of that on this thread.


So has anyone grown this thing? Any advice you can give me?


Today's Harvest!

Black-eyed Peas, Banana Pepper, and tomatoes - Razzleberry, Red Cherry, Wickline Cherry, and Juliet. This harvest is actually a little smaller as far as tomatoes go, than what I have been getting. I didn't pick any cukes today either, but I have already eaten several.

Read more...Collapse )

Also growing and soon to be picked I have bell peppers, eggplants, tobasco peppers and TONS of cucumbers, as well as more tomatoes. Everything grown organically. Despite the fruitworms, hornworms and stinkbugs I have managed to get some for myself. Yay! :-D Zone 8b - North Florida.

x-posted to gardening and my journal.

Fuschias In Florida

After discussing with another member here I have come to realize that Fuschias are difficult to grow in Florida. Despite being labled as growing in Zone 9, some even to zone 11, all my pretty fuschias dried up and died. The same thing happened last year. All but one plant that was very different from my others. So I've been asking around and researching and have found out that Fuschias are finicky and don't like heat and hummidity. That's bad news for us Floridians.

But why didn't one of my plants die? I noticed that they looked like red honeysuckle and weren't like my pink and purple ones. I believe mine to be the variety called Gartenmeister.

You can see why they look like honeysuckles so much.

Gartenmeister is heat tolerant and derived from another variety that looks exactly the same called F. triphylla

These are nice but I still wish the purple ones could grow here. Well there is one other variety that can grow here and looks similar to the classic Fuschia look.

This is F. magellanica. Notice the long petals that's similar to Gartenmeister. It's possible that these longer flowers stand up to the heat better. I found this informative quote off of someone's journal.

F. magellanica 'Riccartonii' and "Gartenmeister Bonstedt" being derived from the heat tolerant F. triphylla, it blooms through all but the steamiest part of the summer.

This is good news indeed and there is hope for southern fuschia lovers.
There is also this link from The American Fuschia Society that talks about what can be done to help our plants out.

Fuschias are also shade plants but even with this they are picky. Full sun will burn them, but they don't like deep shade either. I think an ideal spot for them is under dappled sunlight or a very light shade tree.

I hope this is helpful and that we can set out these wonderful hummingbird magnets. I picked up more of the Gartenmeisters yesterday that I stumbled up at a store.


Garden Update

Hey everyone. Why so quiet? How are your gardens? Hopefully doing quite well with all the rain we've been having. I have an outdated update to make. These pics are old and I will post more soon. Also it's wild sunflower season if you have seen them out on the roads. I hope to take pics and post them soon as well.

I found this big cucumber! I'm glad I did before it got over ripe. It was hiddent under the leaves so who knows how long it had been there.

16 moreCollapse )

I currently have five ball luffas which I'm thrilled about and three Hubbard Squash. One on each of my plants. The tomatoes are getting fruits so everything is going so well. If it stops raining I shall update again.

Happy Earth Day

It's Earth Day so I figured I'd make a post. I have a youtube account where I keep a video log of my garden's progress. I started it last year. Here is my latest video showing my veggies.

I also have some pictures to share and I shall put those behind the cut.

Luffas, Gourds and SquashCollapse )

Ok folks, please don't forget about this place. How are your gardens doing?

Phlox season

It's that time of year again when the roadsided are painted in colorful pink, purple and white by the beautiful flowers Annual Phlox Phlox drummondii. I took some pics of a field where they grow everywhere. These are from last week and this week.

Click for full size.
This is just one small section on the corner of the road. I'm going to put the rest behind a cut because there are many.

Lots of Phlox picturesCollapse )

I worry that this year that field won't be as spectacular as it was last year. Last year it was pink to the horizon. I hope I didn't miss it but I'll keep checking until phlox season is over. It's interesting how the whites are the rarest. There are Reds too but I have only ever seen them on the St. Pete side.

So have the rest of you seen phlox along the roads or know of any locations were they are just totally abundant?


Hello everyone. My name is Des and I'm the new Admin for Florida Gardener. I'm not sure what happened to the original owner as their journal is deleted, but Live Journal turned the community over to me. I have made some changes. For one the layout is updated and I think much nicer. It is a winter theme but if you ignore the snowflake it works well. I wanted the Miami at night theme. That would have been Perfect but that's a paid feature unfortunately. I have added a more colorful and less gloomy icon to represent us. I have also added a beautiful Mood Theme for us to use. Have a look. My personal favorites are:

Excited (looks like a Tabebuia)
Infuriated (looks like our beautiful summer storms)

It takes a while to instal a mood theme I found out. I'll do my best to pump some life into this place and try to gather some members. Please do help spread the word about us. I've made a temporary profile as well. I intend to color it up nicely and add some images so it's not just ugly boring text. And I went through and removed members who's journals had been deleted. So now we're pruned up. Our affiliate sister site is cucurbitaceae for growing gourds, pumpkins etc.

I certainly don't know everything about gardening. I've only be doing it since 2005, so let's help each other out. So, how does your garden growing?


Scallion huge!

Greetings from Zephyrhills.
What happens when you plant a scallion from the supermarket?

My husband bought some scallions back in October. I thought this one was rather cute and I snatched it to see if it would grow in my garden. Here's what happened as of today.

Scallion, tomatoes and other picsCollapse )

I'm looking forward to planting more veggies in my raised beds very soon. Also wanted to mention a new community called cucurbitaceae for those that love to grow Gourds, Loofahs, Pumpkin, Cucumbres etc. Please join.

way to long intro, sorry

Im not sure why this comm. is dead, I know there has to be more then 20-something people on lj who are in Florida & Garden.

anyways, this is my intro post, which I should have done when I first joined.

My name is Stephanie, Steph or Stephi, Im 28 (old I know.) I just moved back to my moms house, because of personal reasons, & my mom & I decided that my boyfriend I should buy her house off her so she can retire & go rv'ing & get a time share at the beach like she always wanted, my boyfriend isnt living here at the moment, he is still in Austin, Tx. where we used to live, he was born & raised there, while I was raised in Florida

Im new, to this comm. & Gardening, not new to lj though. I live in Central Florida, Altamonte Springs to be exact.  I have alot of questions & I plan to post pictures of my gardens in progresse, before, during, after (winter) etc. so I hope this comm. will get going again, if it needs a new mod Id be happy to help but only as far as spreading the word & such as I am no plant expert. I have several Gardens that are all in the process of being started, in the middle of or finished & being maintained. We have a very large back yard, & our front yard isnt to bad either, Our house is basically a rectangle that faces south. I have a rose garden, flower garden, herb garden, succulent garden, shade garden & several fruit tree's, soon to be more garden types also, with a regular lawn inbetween each one.

Edit: I put this behind a cut because I blathered on WAY to much, most of the important stuff is above the cut.


more about me & more details about my gardensCollapse )

Getting rid of nematodes

So, I'm getting ready to plant my veggie garden for the summer and have read that the best organic way to get rid of nematodes is to lay down a piece of plastic over the planting site for a few weeks. Since I have a blue tarp that I never used this year (YAY!) can I use that or should I use something clear like viscuine (sp?)? Also, any other tips for land prep. It's been fallow since late summer except for a few habenero bushes.

Dwarf Banana Tree

I have several dwarf banana trees, all of which are growing quite well. However, they arent' putting out any fruit. Any idea how to get them to put out fruit?


Hey everyone.
I'm in South Florida (Miami). Do you think I can plant garlic cloves right now?


The squash I planted is getting eaten up and I have to confess, I sort of don't care. It's a summer squash (yellow) and I'm not so jazzed on the taste of the fruit it's producing. What can I plant in its place this late in the season which will grow well: lettuce, more carrots....?

There is nothing better...

then working in your vege garden and having your hands smell of tomato plants!

Growing tomatillos

Unlike tomato seeds, tomatillo seeds aren't too easy to come by. In the past, I have ordered them from Burpee. However, in the interest of expediency, do you think that seeds from store bought tomatillo's would bear fruit?