gardening south florida

Grow Herbs

How to Grow Herbs in Florida

In days gone by, almost every home had a small herb garden just outside the back door. The herbs were used to flavor dishes and in preserving garden produce for the winter. The practice declined for many years, but is making a spectacular comeback as people seek natural spices and healthy alternatives.

Herbs typically don’t do well in intense heat and are best planted in the spring or autumn months in South Florida. However, herbs that include oregano, rosemary and thyme can be planted almost any time of the year and thrive. Some stay where they’re planted, while others like to spread and sprawl.

Plants or seeds can be planted directly in the ground, in raised beds, and in containers on decks and patios. It’s easy to tuck herbs in amongst flower beds. They’ll require at least 6 hours of sun and will do well being shaded from intense, afternoon sun – especially mint.

Plucking the newest leaves and pinching back plants when needed aids in extending the harvest, while helping to keep them from flowering. Herb production slows down when the plants bloom and they’ll try to produce seeds.

Basil is extremely popular and while some varieties are annuals, there are also perennial types. Peppermint and spearmint easily spread to other areas via underground roots. It’s best grown in pots where it can be contained. Oregano can be grown year-round as a perennial. Rosemary is a perennial that can get very large if not pinched back.

Chives can be cut to the ground if they become overgrown and they’ll begin to regrow in about a week. Dill adds flavor to a variety of dishes and can become a host for black swallowtail butterflies. Fennel is another herb that can be cut to the ground and regrow. It’s often a perennial in South Florida and also provides a home for the black swallowtail – along with parsley.

Sage is an herb that can also be grown as an ornamental. Shiso is a Japanese herb that does well in South Florida for those that enjoy Asian cuisine. Typically used as a sushi garnish, it’s also known as beefsteak plant.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Gardening with Kids

Florida is a fortunate place to live for gardeners. Unlike colder climates where gardening depends on the whims of the weather and seasons, people in Florida can garden even during the winter. It’s also an ideal time to introduce kids to the joys of gardening and growing their own food.

Make a Plan

Decide what you want to plant, preferably vegetables that kids actually enjoy eating. Plants will need to be located in an area in which they receive at least six hours of light each day. Since watering will be part of the gardening process, make sure the garden is near a ready source of water that doesn’t have to be carried a significant distance.

You can use raised beds or create an in-ground bed. For success, pay attention to optimal planting dates as there is variation depending upon which part of the state you live. You can purchase seedlings for some plants, while some seeds can be planted directly in the ground – a task that’s easy for even young children.

Winter Vegetables

There’s an abundance of cold-weather vegetables that can be cultivated in Florida. They include carrots, radishes and cabbage to arugula, Swiss chard, and multiple types of lettuce. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kohlrabi are other good choices.

You may be surprised to learn that it’s possible to grow garlic, onions, celery, beans, and English peas during the winter months. You and your child can also cultivate multiple types of herbs. An additional benefit of gardening in the winter is that there will be fewer insect pests to worry about.

Learning Opportunities

There’s nothing quite like the wonder on a child’s face when they harvest the first produce to eat that they’ve grown themselves. Planting a variety of vegetables gives children the opportunity to observe the growing habits of different plant types. Peas and beans also provide an opportunity for your child to learn about vertical gardening.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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vibrant garden

The Popularity of Raised Gardens

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh vegetables or the fragrance of a newly picked bouquet of flowers. Millions of people are discovering a new hobby, a healthier lifestyle, and even making extra money through the use of raised gardens.

Rather than placing plants directly in the ground, an increasing number of people are having raised beds constructed, building the containers themselves, or purchasing pre-made kits. Raised beds can be created from a wide variety of materials ranging from wood to stone. Some creative gardeners are even repurposing items such as claw-footed bathtubs to add a decorative look while growing flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

A raised bed can be as plain or elaborate as desired and one of the most welcome features is that they can be created at any desired height to make gardening less stressful and painful on the back. Most people favor beds that are 6-12 inches in height and placed directly on the ground, many individuals are choosing to support their beds on legs so they don’t have to bend over at all.

Raised beds mitigate the tedious and time-consuming task of weeding. They’re ideal for areas where drainage is a problem or the soil is poor and won’t support plants well. Gardeners have the ability to control the type of soil in a raised bed, allowing them to provide optimal conditions for any type or plant they want to grow.

With the addition of a well-supported net, trellis or other structure, individuals can even grow vining and climbing varieties such as morning glories, pole beans, and sugar snap peas. Vertical gardening can easily be combined with raised beds to add additional growing space. It also reduced damage from insects and disease, while facilitating harvesting.

There’s really no limit to what individuals can grow in a raised garden bed, up to and including raspberry canes. Just be sure to select a variety without thorns for ease of harvesting. Fragrant herbs are another choice. When selecting plants, keep in mind that some can be aggressive growers and become invasive if not carefully monitored and controlled.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Creating a Raised Garden

Raised garden beds are becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. They require less weeding, provide more growing space, and are an elegant solution for locations that have poor soil. A raised bed is warmer earlier in the year which extends the growing season, aids in preventing depredations by moles, gophers and other pests, and promotes water retention.

They can be created at any height for ease, comfort, and to accommodate individuals with disabilities. They can be constructed with a multitude of materials ranging from wood and metal stock tanks to blocks and concrete and can last for up to 20 years, depending on the selected materials. The beauty of a raised bed is that it can rest on the ground or on support legs for an elevated solution.

The best lumber for gardens constructed of wood is redwood, cedar, or black locust due to their resistance to rot and treated lumber is safe to use for raised beds. Cinder blocks and concrete are durable but can retain more heat than is desirable in the South Florida climate. Cinderblocks are far less expensive than concrete and individuals are getting creative with recycled items.

Raised beds can be constructed in any size dimensions or shapes desired. The beds don’t have to be deep to be effective. A raised bed that’s 14 inches high will accommodate most plants, while some have had success with beds built of untreated 2x4s for a height of six inches.

No matter what material or form that individuals choose, laying down plastic or other types of gardening material in the bottom before adding soil is critical for gardens resting on the ground. Failure to do so will result in weed growth coming from beneath the bed.

Raised gardens offer multiple benefits and enables gardeners to maximize their tillable area. Once the beds are installed, there will be far less work to keep them weed-free. Individuals can begin their annual planting much earlier whether it’s a vegetable oasis, kitchen garden spices, or simply a place to plant flowers for personal enjoyment.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more