If you ever looked at the detailed
economics of growing a few plants for their harvest, you might want
to be careful about your purchase. With the Florida move now
complete, I thought it would be great to get in on the March
strawberry haul and grow about 10 plants myself. The Florida
strawberry season sets plants in October and harvests between
February and March, so it was a perfect time to get a quote. At
$2.95 per plant at the local garden center I started to think about
the average haul from each plant. Usually, it is about a pint or so.
Locally, the in season Florida
strawberries usually host prices between $1.50 and $2.50 per pint
when in season. At $2.95 a plant, I can’t justify buying the plant
for the potential yield. While I love gardening for the excitement
of great quality fruits and vegetables, I like to ensure that it is
worth my dollar. It really is disappointing. Unfortunately, in
Florida, the strawberry is grown as an annual and dies out fully
during the summer months, so I really can’t re-populate through
division or suckers. If anybody is out there who knows a bit more on
this or other resources in the space coast for local varieties that
are under the threshold per plant, please leave a comment as I would
like to get the cost under control to make it worth growing
strawberries. The 3 little snhers can’t get enough of them.
Greetings fellow gardeners, I have been keeping a database of plant varieties for a while now and wanted to make it available to you. This will never be a completed item as I scour varietal information across the internet. If you have more data to contribute, I would love to add your info to it.
For those who don’t know, I don’t use excel at home and prefer open office. All files that I put out (here) will be in open office formats. If you need other formats, just post the need and I’ll get in contact with you.
As the Fall season starts to come into view, many of you are eyeing a mountain of yard clippings full of leaves, grasses and small trimmings from your plants. Don’t throw that stuff out, start using it for compost to feed your garden next year.
If you aren’t in the habit of composting, now is a perfect time to build a 3 bin compost system in your yard and start with your fall stock. Make sure to put a healthy mix of green stuff (fresh grass clippings, clean food scraps, egg shells etc) and a mix of the brown (twigs, leaves, paper products like egg shell containers).
The compost still has about 6 months to cook until you need it for spring to feed your plants. Nothing beats free compost for your garden and now is the perfect time to get on it. It’s also a great way to reduce the amount of waste you put out to the curb every week!
Here are some great YouTube videos about composting:
Gardening is a past time that I have used over the last few years to relieve stress. I think is it genuinely one of the few activities that can be a positive on your belly, body and mind!
There is of course the first benefit of feeding yourself. Who doesn’t love the freshest and tastiest grouping of fruits and vegetables delivered minutes from the vine? There is no comparison between a tomato brought to a deep red on the vine vs a store bought tomato picked at the “peak of green-ness.” Yes, I have coined a new nonsensical phrase. The flavors are rich and sweet where a store bought tomato is often mealy.
Growing your own also benefits your body. It encourages you to eat higher quantities of the good stuff we should put into our bodies instead of the inner circle of grocery store goods which arguably contains nothing good we should be eating. Little monster SNH’er #1 completely decimates my pea plants each year, leaving nothing for me. Little does she know, I plan for that and encourage it! #3 loves to raid the fresh organic strawberries before anybody else. I also love that little monster #2 ate more cucumber that he ever did with grocery store produce!
Gardening gives our brain a chance to decompress from long doses of the workday routine. If you are in the retired community, it can give you a bit of a gardening high to brag among your friends about the biggest zucchini or heaviest bean bush that you have grown.
If you haven’t started a garden, it really is easy. Since I have been a renter the last few years, I have stumbled on a great way to create a temporary patch of real soil. Just get a set of 6 to 8 tomato cages, some plastic ribbed 3′ high mesh fencing for a few dollars at your local big box. Mark out an area around with the tomato cages as if they were fence posts and attach the mesh with some zip ties. In about 30 minutes, you can have a great patch to start planting and likely a bit lower in cost than the same equivalent for potted plants. The cleanup is quick too so you can return the ground to its original state when you move out!
That is all for now. Happy gardening. Oh, and since winter is coming up, might be a good time to get some red russian kale in the ground!