Thinking of planting some of your favorite plants but are stuck on deciding what soil to use? Perhaps your soil is just not great and wants to introduce a more nutrient mixture to supplement your plants. This guide will demonstrate the best types of soil mixtures to use for some of your favorite tropical Florida trees.
Here in Florida, many of our soils are a sandy – limestone mixture (found in Southern Florida). Although it may depend in your zone and are in Florida as your soil type may be diffrent.
Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix
This potting soil is great for all indoor and outdoor solutions. Made by Espoma this 8-quart organic potting mix will be a great supplement for your favorite Florida fruit tree. Either add this mixture to your tree outside or use it in your planter.
Formulated with coconut coir this potting mix is great for the gardener who is looking for great soil with the capabilities of less watering. Included with slow-release plant food for up to 3 months this potting mix is sure to be liked by your plants.
Fox Farm Bush Doctor Coco Loco Potting Mix Coco Coil Coco Fiber Blended Potting Soil Organic
This potting mix is for those who want to keep it very natural. Coco-Loco is a great potting soil- especially for sugar apples (Annona squamosa). This potting soil has excellent water-holding capabilities which acts like a sponge. Fox Farm Bush Doctor Coco Loco potting mix is more than just coconut, included is coco coir, perlite, worm poop, bat poop, composted forest humus, dolomite lime for pH balance, etc. It’s a coco-based complete potting mix and not just coco.
In Florida, cold weather can be a problem when it comes to growing your favorite seeds. Taking the proper steps is important to help maintain the propagation of seeds
Here are some steps you can follow below to ensure your seeds get the best protection from Floridas cold weather
Create a mini-greenhouse for your seeds
This method is very effective towards seedlings, covering up your seedlings with a material that allows sunlight to penetrate but providing a covered solution not only protects against harsh cold winds but also from pests that might like to munch on the baby leaves of your seeds.
We recommend a plastic cover that both works to allow sunlight through and block cold winds such as this product here
Add A Heating Source
Introducing a heating source such as a seedling heating pad (one such as this one here) can speed up the propagation process as well as protect them during the colder months in Florida. It is generally not recommended to start propagation of seeds during the colder months but it certainly can still be done – although there will be more of a risk of seedlings dying due to the cold. Adding a heating element and growing them indoors can increase success rates dramatically.
We recommend adding a heating source to your seeds in Florida if you live in the northern parts such as Tallahassee Florida and in those regions.
Cut a water bottle in half
In the warmer Florida months, it is recommended to cut a plastic bottle in half and use it as a miniature greenhouse. During the day the water bottle will absorb the sunlight and release it during the night providing a warm-air to circulate your plant’s baby leaves.
We recommend using a clear plastic bottle as it allows sunlight to penetrate the leaves while providing protection against harsh winds that might damage leaves.
Although this method can be cheap and effective, it does not do a good job against stronger winds and often blows over the bottle but a stronger solution where the plant can be strongly protected from wind and colder temperatures such as this one here.
Buy a Greenhouse for your Plants
Maybe its time to look for a perfect greenhouse for your plants. Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes and finding the right one can be overwhelming, check out this article here to find affordable greenhouses that you will love.
Overall protecting your seedlings from Floridas cold weather is necessary. Although in Florida temperatures usually are ideal to grow just about any tropical fruit – often times we can face harsh cold temperatures that can hurt your crop! Its always better to stay safer than sorry – especially when growing your favorite tropical fruit.
Ever wonder if there was really a way to ‘boost’ your fruits and vegetable production and overall growth without adding chemicals?
There’s a solution you need to hear about…..
Its called compost farming!
Now you are probably well familiar with what compost is – but if not here’s a quick overview.
Compost is the end product after leaving fruits, vegetables – and any and all plant life (weeds, plant trimmings, etc) into a bin (or in ditch in the ground) and letting it naturally rot away – this will leave behind ‘Supercharged’ natural fertilizer that the soil absorbs and in return feed to the plants.
The method of compost farming that we are going to do today is called ‘Compost Ditches’
How to create a compost ditch
Step 1: Select an area & dig your ditch
Selecting an area for your compost ditch is essential. When digging a ditch it can either be circular, squared, or whatever shape it needs to be to fit your garden. You want to dig deep enough where you could add a sufficient amount of compostable product 3-4 feet deep is well over enough. You want to make sure your ditch is deep enough so the soil can permeate the deep roots of your plants.
Step 2: Fill the ditch with your Garden/Kitchen scraps
Heres a list of what TO include in your compost in place
Animal manure from herbivores (but not meat-eaters like dogs and cats)
Paper towels (no ink if possible)
Coffee grounds and the filters
Cotton and wool rags
Crushed eggshells (but not the eggs with the yolks)
Fireplace white ashes
Fruits and vegetables (try to take off the sticker)
Weed and grass clippings, yard work gatherings
Hair and furs
Hay and straws
Dead houseplants / Live houseplants (leaves filled with water & nutrients)
Leaves from the garden
Nutshells from leftovers
Tea and tea bags
Wood chips and sawdust
Heres list of what NOT to add
Meat, fish, egg or chicken/poultry leftovers (because attracts odor problems and pests)
Dairy products (because attracts odor problems and pests)
Fats, greases, and oils (because attracts odor problems and pests)
Coal or charcoal ash (because contains substances harmful to plants)
Diseased or insect-ridden plants (diseases or insects might spread to dirt and other roots)
Pet wastes (dog or cat feces, cat litter) (might contain germs harmful to the roots)
Garden yard trimmings treated with pesticides (might kill composting organisms in the composting pile)
Step 3: Let mother nature do its thing
Let nature take it on from here. Contrary to some composting beliefs – some Gardners like to turn their compost once in a while – but there will be no need more that with our natural ditches (Unless you prefer too!) In nature fruits and dead leaves would fall from a tree and compost itself naturally – essentially we are doing the same thing but in different pockets around the yard!
Alternatives to Composting in place
On the other hand, if composting in place is not suitable in your area using a composter such as the FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter is excellent because it avoids the hassle of digging and mixing your compost pile by hand. The tumbling design makes mixing efficient and simple. Just close the door and turn it 5-6 times every 2-3 days. In hot sunny conditions such as Florida plus with a proper balance of natural biodegradable ingredients the compost can finish in as little as 2 weeks.
Check out more information here on the composting tumbler here.
Overview of compost farming: Compost Farming is an excellent way to increase the production in your fruit and vegetables without adding any harmful fertilizers or chemicals and to your garden.