Spring 2013 from the beginnings and through the seasons.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm planning to share pictures of our gardens from now and through the seasons and am hoping a few might do the same of their own gardens along with me here or on a thread of their own.

I'm planning to add to this daily, weekly or monthly with updates,... Remember,...I would like to see yours too, and its more fun to share......... Glad to answer any questions any may have. I like learning new techniques and ideas and vice-versa...


Happy Spring Gardening!

March 4-6 2013. The beds are torn out re-edged and weeded. The Mushroom compost is laid out and will be rototilled in with a little 10-10-10- tommorrow... (Most of the Winter Cabbages in the front beds were harvested today and have been cleaned, blanched and frozen... Making room for Spring plantings. Cauliflower and Broccoli are still forming. Everything is cut back on the whole and hope we are not going to have any more late Winter Surprises!

This message was edited Mar 7, 2013 8:06 AM

This message was edited Mar 21, 2013 5:20 PM

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Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

My o my, thats an example of what my yard does NOT look like right now. Im working on it little by little tho.

Cabbage, my family just rolls their eyes at me, but I eat cabbage almost every day. I never really liked cooked cabbage, but after my last seizure, I craved cabbage and Ive been at it ever since.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

It's nice hearing from you GG. Thank you. I Love cabbage too!

Today was a busy one, and there are a couple more photos and some information I would like to share today using this one bed from yesterday as an example for those who may gain ideas from it. I come from a 5 plus generation of Florida agrarians who taught me a lot and gave me my love of gardening. It was much harder for them then me, and after moving back to Central Florida now almost 5 years ago;...and buying a home on land that was a barren desert full of sandspurs with no vegetation left but the dead stumps of long past hedges from its Glory Days! Ha!......and then some....I have through trial and error; research and knowledge from the past, learned a few things that may be of interest to some....(Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences any and all also. I love to share and learn)
March 7 2013 here:

After the soil has been ammended in any bed I am restarting and smoothed;....I have become a fan of corn gluten as a good dose of sprinkle before the mulch goes down in my beds. I use crumble not pellets of chicken scratch from the feed store. (I have chickens and it made that easy from the start to play with)
Once the weeds are dug out to get rid of their roots it acts as a natural seed germination inhibitor for weeds and a light fertilizer at the same time. I have researched alternatives to "Preen" type products 4 years ago and have found it works for me very well. This is worth researching yourselves for the belief factor...
I love good cheap hay at 5.40 a bail locally as a top mulch in new beds. Once it is flattened down to smooth by a few days of watering it and the amendments in (and the dream of a heavy rain helps!), all I have to do is take a hand trowel or my fingers to part a smiddgen and set my new plants in.....It is easier to use this or mulches of choice first rather then adding it after the fact and tediously trying to not harm young seedlings or plants. Its also easier with larger plants. I hope this is helpful to some....

Happy Spring plans and gardening,


Yes another couple of dull pic's are needed from today to show what I am speaking of.....(In a couple of days of watering the hay down;...It will be flat for those who have not used it before)

I only had to use less then 3 quarters of 1, 5.40 bale of hay to do this 35x6 (at its widest) bed with leftover! Cost efficient and look great too! It only needs to be tilled in next year after its done its thing. The soil can only improve...

This message was edited Mar 7, 2013 7:50 PM

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High Springs, FL(Zone 8b)

David, that's interesting about the corn gluten. I'll have to give it a try. Over the years I've used different methods of "weed-proofing" new beds, but the results aren't what I expect (are they ever? LOL) Anything that can slow down weed growth would be welcome.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

I tried hay mulch one year on flower beds and it increased weed production. I complained to my husb. who buys our hay and he said it wasn't sprayed enough in the field to kill out the weeds before it was bailed. I sure was discouraged.

David your flower beds look wonderful. Please don't expect mine to look that neat. I have one bed I have to crawl on hands and knees to weed and it seems like weeds are back before I getout of the bed. I'm so desperate I'm considering a group cover between plants. I'm very interested in the one Sandy mentioned frog fruit. Also the stepable plant called isotoma. I'm going to quiz everybody for ideas during RU for a way out of doing all that backbacking (and knee hurting) weeding. I was about 9 years younger when I planted all these beds. Sure makes a difference.
Weeds defy mulch and push right up thru it.


DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I believe you will like the results if you do Am Gal. Use it liberally and it works. I have a rock garden area that was plaguing me for a couple of years until I dug-weeded it and sprinkled the corn gluten. (chicken feed crumbles) The effect is amazing...if I do that early in Spring it slows the weeds to a crawl.
I'm sorry the hay you used didn't work for you Bonnie. I have never had any extra weed effects at all from the coastal hay I use. I even have some amazing local gardening friends hooked on it who always used to use the designer mulches exclusively. After using it the last couple of years, they and are believing in it and the look too! It has to be use really thick and flattened out to effect weeds and all weeds have to be dug out first. I have been fortunate controlling them fairly effectively so far...

Good luck...and Happy Gardening!


DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I forgot to say,...I'm planning Okra behind the fence screens, and Amaranthus of different types all along the front with a couple of Lemon grasses and a few other things. Mexican Petunias live under the Sun face. They were the first plants I planted here...

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

I pulled mexican petunias for a good hour yesterday, they are spreading little devils. Easy to care for tho and a long bloom season.

I love okra, probably my favorite veggie, besides white acre peas. I dont plant mine till june, as it needs oppressive heat. That time of the year, those pretty yellow flowers are all I have blooming just about.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

You are so right about those Mexican Petunias GG! I keep on going with them anyway here and there though...and to think I just fertilized that batch in between? Ha!

Okra is the best! I have been babying 60 seedlings that are now 4 inches tall, and just moved 40 of them up today into 6" pots. I know I'm pushing the box with these cold night temps lately,...but along with the Amaranthus and Eggplants seedlings am just going to have to believe we are going to be heating up soon!

The front of my house helps I think somewhat (I hope?) It is full Southern exposure right there and I like to think the heat reflecting off the pale house color might help........We'll see!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

David you inspired me, now that I've gotten my husband's big birthday bash over with I'm ready to tackle the garden winter clean up. I took my camera and took some before photos, I'd never thought about doing that before. ☺

I have spider-wort growing all over the place, those buggers sure love my sandy soil. I use my turkey oak leaves as insulation in the garden beds and it is my biggest job cleaning that out. Nice to see lots of new seedlings of all sorts coming up under those leaves.

I brought my Amaranthus seeds outside yesterday and sat them in the sun, they really perked up from my son's neglect to water them while we were gone for a week.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Seems Like the Spiderwort is Universal! They are my first Spring flowers followed by the Gaillardias (not counting the incredible native Beach Sunflower (Dune Sunflower 'Helianthus dibilis') which blooms year-round somewhere in my yard.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I forgot to say "I appreciate the kind words Sunkissed..." answering the last note I wrote. Thank you. I would love to see your early shots too! It is fun to watch gardens transform. The Amaranthus will love this weather we have now...

Today I moved the Okra's, Amaranthus, Beans, Cucumbers, Tomatos, and Asian Melons seeds right out front since it is the hottest spot in my yard with Sun. While I water them and the new the beds together, the beds will be damp enough to transfer some. Most will go in the back gardens though...
March 10, 2012

These pictures from today show how some of the other beds look now in different areas now. It will be fun to continue to share the changes and I hope to see your pictures too!

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DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

( I forgot the pictures! )

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Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

David, I find you walkway entrance quite creative, did you make that?

I didn't get a chance to work in the garden today, too much going on today. Hopefully tomorrow I can get back out there.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Yes I did Sunkissed. It is 90% Trash to Treasure and thanks for reminding me... It has a story I can share on that forum!

I took today off to from the gardening. Sundays are good days to do that....

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Looking forward to these going in the ground soon...19 more trays of seedlings out back too...a lot of moving up to do...

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

David - sure wish you lived closer - I'd be kidnapping you to assist in my endeavors.
I re-potted my tomatoes yesterday. Hoping to rent a tiller Wed and get the back garden started.

How much of the corn gluten do I need to put down? Just sprinkle like fertilizer?

Okra is one of the very few vegetables i do not like. Really bad experience with it in Basic Training.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Hmmmmmmmmmm.................... I've not seen any of the Spiderwort re-emerge this Spring. Wonder where it went???

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Qwilter, it is all in my garden. ☺

David, sure a lot of seeds, I can't wait to see your progress coming along.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

You sound like one who would be a good neighbor to have Qwilter. Thank you...

Use the corn gluten/Chicken feed liberally as a ground sprinkle. It will not harm anything and be beneficial. Remember though that the already exsisting weeds have go to be dug out by the roots. It only works as a seed inhibitor.
It is a lot of seedlings going on here Sherri!

I actually compiled every Spiderwort I dug out here from the yard my first year here. We have the white, purple, and all shade in between variety. I then made a huge bed of them since they were free and that is what I had easily available for my first Spring on a barren landscape.

That bed is still one of my favorite memories. It actually was beautiful....They really are beautiful Iris-like-flowered plants to me.

Yes they do need to be controlled on occasion! Ha!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Guess I should have taken a few pics before I pulled the 3 trash cans of BIG weeds this afternoon. At least the BIG ones are easy to get a hold of & pull out. Tomorrow we are tilling it up. Then to decide what to plant & where.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

There's Plenty of time for pic's soon Qwilter. I shared my first pic's here after I had already done what you did today!
I am happy to hear you are getting going too,...and am looking forward to you and others sharing our early beginnings this Spring and through the seasons with pictures!

I would love to see a picture after the tilling even,... Truly....It could be fun for all of us Florida Gardeners to share our plans and watch them develop. I wish more South Florida folk would get envolved with us too,....What they can do down there!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I've forgotten how much work March brings...I took some before and after but they don't look much different. We've been tree trimming mostly this week. The yard waste people gave me a dirty look when they saw the pile by my curb yesterday. ☺

This is two areas I've cleaned out, the wine barrel in the first two photos, I found in a trash pile has some black and blue salvia seedlings coming up from the plant last year...I'll probably find something popping up around the yard to put in there also.

The back corner is my DH's wood chopping area and kayak storage (not much I can do about that area). The azaleas are done blooming so I cut them back, the crape myrtles were not trimmed back in the after photo but are now. The shed had bleeding heart vine all over it, I cut it back to just the trellis, new growth is already coming out of it. This is the only grass I have in the back garden...in case I ever get a dog again and a place for my hammock at the end of a hard day. ☺

1. before, 2, after, 3 & 4 before shed and back corner. 5. after of shed and back corner, should have stood in same place as the before....excuse the hammock, another trash to treasure I obtained.

Okay the pic's didn't come out in the order I put them. The before of the shed and back corner are pic#'s 4&5 an the middle pic #3 is the after photo.

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

My rubbish guys must wonder what goes on in my backyard. 6 trash cans out there today!!!! 2 full of just roots.

Now to sit & decide how/what I'm going to plant. I plan to put veg & flowers together. I have 4 large ceramic pots I can do something with. Want to put up a trellis section to hide the propane tank.

So much to do!!!!!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks for sharing those pic's Q!

I can already see the the Bleeding Hearts and Crape Myrtle growing!

Love the paths....

The kayak could be an asset with that hammock! Even your DH's wood (before its burned in the fire next year),...could be fun set side by side on end for fun during growing season as a border....

If you ever get tired of the hammock and don't find yourselve's using it that much,....a couple of posts at 8ft or so high could be sunk down in the ground across the cross of the pathway and create a rope/bridge/trellis tiki look!

Thanks for sharing Qwilter... Its going to be fun watching our Gardens grow!

Whats up with this last minute cold weather?...Lets believe its the last of it!


Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Been outside all morning. I cant think of a more perfect day. The pleasure derived from the azealas in full bloom is boundless. The yellow finches are out in force, and they are just tweeting up a storm. Im almost done with the daylilies, I got the bananas replanted. Picking up pots from the yard, they are everywhere. The dogs drag them out of my pot graveyard. I was over on the side, just relishing in the frangrance of the George Tabor ( light pink formosa) azealas. Next thing I know, I heard the crows set up a cawing fest, I then heard something in the air, I looked up and a huge vulture was over my head, flying at top speed towards me. I could have hit it with a shovel, it was that close. Freaked me the heck out. At first I thought it was a hawk, but when I got my whits about me, I was pretty sure it was to big for a hawk. Whatever it was, the crows were on its tail. The only thing I could think, was it might have smelled the moles that i had covered with the trash can so someone else will bury them. The dogs dig those things up and it makes me nuts.

OK, back outside, have inside work to tend to this weekend. Hope everyone is getting to enjoy a little of the day. Im gunna snap a few pictures this afternoon.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Pot Graveyards........;...... I have to share two pics of my favorites that I snapped just for you this afternoon,... (And of course anyone else who sees them......"What am I thinking?!!!!") Ha!

The Hawk story was really funny,..... Loved it!

It was incredible today,.....and its good to hear you enjoyed getting back to your gardens.

"I'm looking forward to those pic's!"

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DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

The whole back needs a major clean up and revamp here now too. Since I said I was going to be sharing the gardens here and through this years seasons and starting now,....I cannot by-pass the fact that these are other pictures of the way things really look here and out back today,... and hope it looks better in a couple of months!

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

David - are the shelves from inside the GH or is that just shade cloth over them?

How soon do I need to move the lettuce out of the sun & into a shadier area? We are looking at upper 70s & 80 here next week.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

The shelves are inside Qwilter...

Its hard to believe we are going to be up in the upper 80's next week...I think the cold is over and my lettuces start telling me themselves when they are uncomfortable. If they are well watered and still looing limp its the good old Sun,...and they're saying "Cool me Down, I'm getting Sunburned!" Ha!

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Lovely gardens


Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I purchased a Contorted Mulberry tree today. He's 5' tall with lots of "curly" small branches.

My top soil & pine mulch are being delivered Mon AM. They will drive the truck in & dump a bit out at a time so I have less to move about. I will remember to get some before pics tomorrow. Then the "in progress" phase.

I was given some Iris, black eyed susan vine roots, and ivy startings. I have plenty of room out back for the ivy to crawl about.

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

I just found your own personal site,( davidofdeland)you have as much space and work as I do, and I think I'll be learning some thing from you! Thank you for posting your picture's so I can relate to what your doing! I also am over the cold night temps, 3 nights ago I took every sheet, and any material I could get my hands on out to cover my beds! Thank goodness everything survived, when it was all in pots, I could pull it into the green house, but when I thought we had the green light for no more frost, I put it into the ground, and low and behold we had frost!! Grab the sheets!!! LOL, I guess this is why I love my gardens, nothing in my life can give me the satisfaction of seeing my hard earned works, growing something from seed! I just love it!, I'll follow you, and post picture's when I have the time, you also follow me, and post! :)
Thank you for your informative information !

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Looks like NE FL may get some much needed rain this week.Now to get my rain barrels made before it starts.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Sandy. The Pot graveyard too?!! LOL
You have me all imagining about the look of that contorted Mulberry Q?! (Somehow images of the Apple trees on "The Wizard of OZ" stays in my mind. Ha!) That would be a good one to photograph along with other early beginnings. I've been thinking about a Mulberry too and maybe a Cattly Quava.

We have a 40% chance of rain for Tuesday too,...."Bring it on!!!"...
I was replacing the fence behind the front pond area yesterday, and am going to try to finish up today... You can see the area in the pictures I will be replacing today on the other side of the gate. The gate and pond need a fresh wash of paint and this area needs a whole lot of help! The finished look by april or June should show a more attractive space is the plan...
Thank you Jami,
I think we have gotten the checkered flag to grow now I hope...No More FROST!!!
Its going to fun to watch each others gardens develop and how different they look from beginning to end. It looks like you already have a good headstart!

Just pulled these Turnips yesterday...Happy Gardening!,


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Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

I love that pond, it looks as though you used tires? crazy as it sounds, it sure looks like it from the picture, I had a home made pond at out last home, wish we could have moved it, but at this time none are in our plans, but maybe next year :), we still have a pool( above ground) to buy and get in before summer arrives! So many things I want to do, and believe it or not, we've only been in this new home since Jan 2, 2013. I started my seeds before we moved here, so some of the plantings I have in the ground already were started at my town house where I had the container garden! Gosh, we better NOT have any more below 40 temps!! I'm all geared up, and want to start seeing things growing, not covered up with blankets, and evrything else I can get my hands on to keep the frost off my baby's leaves:) lol, even my "kids" get all bundled Up! BTW,I love that mural on your home, of the fish, I just love that kind of stuff! You have a great garden, and I love the nautical look of it!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Oh David that is a unique pond you have there. You are certainly very creative in recycling items into your garden. I'm quite impressed with it all.

I hear rain outside this morning, still dark outside but the radar confirms it, love the sound of rain on the rooftop.
I was too busy with other functions Thurs. through Sat. to work in the garden, but was able to get out there again yesterday, mostly trimming and weed pulling. Something gave me a rash on my arms, which I'm not usually sensitive to plants, but I cut too many things back to figure out which plant gave me the rash.

I got some potted plants into the ground also, it gets harder and harder for me to find a spot to get a plant into the ground anymore, way too many tree roots to get around.

Here is my little pond, or should I say water fountain, yes it is store bought from Home Depot about six years ago....but I still enjoy it. I wish I had the room for a big pond. See that turtle on top, for some reason we have a squirrel that will keep pushing it into the fountain, it is a hoot.

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DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

No,..Its one of those 300 gallon stock ponds from Tractor Supply Jami. You've done a lot since January and by Jne you won't recognize your place! Thank You for the nice words...
That is a pretty area aroung the waterfall pond Sunkissed...and it looks like you have some nice plants!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

My parents had a planter in front of their house. It was an inside out tractor trailer tire on the rim. They were popular in west PA in the 70s. My Uncle was a trucker so was easy to get the old tires from him.
Planter was still there & in perfect shape when we sold the property 3 years ago.

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

here's my pond my hubby and I built at the old home we lived in before moving here! I wish I could have moved it, but when we left this house we went to Thailand for a year, was supposed to be 5 years, but I got sick, and had to come back to the USA to get fully well, which I am, thank God, but some days I miss being there, and I really miss things we sold before we moved there, as we couldn't take them with us. Here's my pond, and a few picture's of us in Thailand, ( I know I'm out of thread on this, but I just had to post something of Thailand:) ) This was a beautiful country, we managed to have about 13 months there, before I ended up in the international hospital for 10 days, after surgery, stomach problems, couldn't eat after I got out, constantly sick, so my hubby packed us up, and flew us home. It did take 3 months or so for him to make the decision as I was constantly fighting him over it, I wanted to stay, but he was very fearful for my health, so..... here we are, I guess you could say he made the right decision, as I'm as healthy as a horse, as you can see when looking at my gardens, I really wanted to build a garden there, but at the time, we were still in the tourist mode, so never got a chance to settle down and start building a life there. I had a maid, we had gardeners, and if we wanted the maid would cook for us. There was so much to see and do, that I never had a chance to live like we do here at home, which is weird, we went there to live. Anyway, I have nothing but good things to say about being there, wish we could go back, but now, I have a new life, and am "living " again! ( if that makes sense?)

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