Getting Cabin Fever? Get outdoors and start a vegetable garden
By BJ Jarvis
A great way to break up the monotony if you are stuck at home is to grow some delicious and nutrition vegetables.
Spring is the perfect time to start some relatively easy vegetables that thrive in our warm/hot days and pleasant nights.
- Green bean
- Pea (English)
- Pepper (all types)
- Sweet potato
- Tomato (grow in a large container to minimize pest problems)
Choose a location with at least 6 hours of sunlight, is well-drained and free of weeds.
Access to water is critical, so close to a water source is also required. Newly planted vegetables need regular water until established and about 1” of water weekly during spring’s warm, dry spells.
Start from seeds or transplants? Transplants are quicker and guaranteed germination but have fewer options than seed. Seeds are slower and germination may not be high. You choose, or experiment with some of each!
Citrus County’s soils are generally poor. Add soil amendments (such as compost, well-rotted manure) to your garden whenever possible, including at planting time or top-dressing during the growing season.
Don’t fertilize for the first 30 days. Transplants usually have fertilizer pellets in the pot and seeds are too tender at the beginning. Later, use a slow release fertilizer which should distribute nutrients over the life of these seasonal crops.
For more information on a wider array of vegetables, pests and fertilizing, check out UF’s comprehensive Vegetable Gardening Guide or call the UF/IFAS Citrus County Extension office at 352-527-5700.