If there’s one thing many of us likely realized during our recent global health crisis, it was the ability to adapt to a lot of home cooking (or a lot of takeout and delivery). But, let’s assume many of us rediscovered our kitchens, pantries and recipes we swore we’d try when we had time. And, since some of us likely started a backyard garden, let’s get excited about Gardening 2.0 with warmer weather and, hopefully, more positive global outlooks ahead.
Don’t worry — if you’ve never grown fruits, vegetables and herbs, it’s incredibly easy in the Sunshine State. Agriculture is one of Florida’s linchpin industries and it’s no wonder with our sub-tropical and tropical climates. You can grow most anything year-round here. All you need is a willingness and location to plant, water and fertilize, and within weeks, you’ll be slicing homegrown tomatoes for that lunch-time chef’s salad.
Since we’re Florida’s Custom Home Builder, we at ICI Homes might a bit biased about green thumbs, but — hint, hint — kitchen gardening is an awesome new project if you’re buying or building a new custom Florida home. Read on for easy tips for your own backyard garden.
Find the space
If you’re done some backyard or kitchen gardening before, you’re probably good to go. But if not, there’s no shortage of online information and videos that can help you learn the basics.
Another source is friends and family members who grow some of their own veggies and herbs, and folks who work at garden centers and nurseries. Get coached up, then head for the backyard for your first step. You’ll want to find a sunny place to plant.
This can be lawn space, or open space in an existing flower or shrubbery bed. Another option is installing raised gardening beds (eliminates digging up sod and your yard), which can ease back strain and accessibility.
No lawn? Not much backyard? No problem! Container gardening yields tasty, fresh produce from pots scattered in as many sunny spaces as you like on your lanai, deck or patio.
Decide what to grow
Don’t overthink it. Choose easy favorites that are hits with your household.
For example, tomatoes, peppers, basil, mint and oregano thrive with basic attention and lay the groundwork for homemade pasta sauce or salsa. And fresh herbs accent many different dishes.
Other easy kitchen or backyard garden favorites are zucchini and yellow summer squash. But you do need some room for them. If they like where you plant them, they’ll take over your yard!
Assemble your supplies
A few containers, bags of potting soil, gardening gloves, a trowel for digging, hose or watering can, and starter veggie plants from the garden center will get you going.
Planting a true backyard garden plot? A small spade, shovel and wheel barrow will be helpful. Also hand clippers or pruners for harvesting your ripened trophies.
Ready for your custom Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here.