When we moved into our new place in July there were 4 large raised garden beds completely overgrown with weeds.
Clearing out the weeds is taking a while for two reasons. Mostly it is just too hot and humid to work outside for long. Plus as soon as I get a spot cleared and turn to work on the next area, the previous one starts sprouting new weeds! It is a process, but I’m making progress!
I was pleasantly surprised to find that underneath the weeds, the soil was actually pretty decent. At some point in the past someone must have supplemented it because its not the sandy stuff we have in the yard.But the soil level was pretty low in the shallow raised beds so I bought a trailer load of good, organic garden mix to mix in.
in the meantime, I started some seeds on the porch where I could keep them out of the direct sun and keep them watered. I planted 4 types of tomatoes and jalapenos. They did great and I had to move some to larger pots because they grew faster than my garden prep progressed.
Finally I had one of the beds ready and I eagerly filled it with my little tomato plants.
2 days later they were all dead! This Florida sun is harsh! Thankfully I had saved out some of the best plants, just in case. I quickly ordered some shade cloth and picked up a bunch of PVC piping from the hardware store to make a shade cover.
I’ve just planted half of the remaining plants so cross your fingers that they won’t die this time. I did save some of them in case my shade cover doesn’t work. It only blocks about 40% of the sun so if they still get fried I will try putting a second layer on top. Now that the support is built it should be easy to toss something else over top if needed. Hopefully I’ll be able to use it in the winter with a different cover to keep warmth in on the few nights when it gets cold enough to frost. For a post on how I made the shade cover, click here.
I’ve also started some cucumbers peas and herbs and picked up a couple of bell peppers from the store (mine didn’t germinate this year). The peppers will go into the same bed as the tomatoes once the shade has proven successful. The other seedlings need to grow a bit more before transplanting and then they will go into the second bed once its ready!