4-H Vegetable Garden Project


Growing a garden is an opportunity for teaching kids about citizenship. Our Hardee County 4-H members had a chance to see what it takes to grow the food we eat by participating in our first ever vegetable garden project. They were able to show citizenship and learn valuable life lessons.

The Burch boys with some of their harvested tomatoes.


To get started with this project, we partnered with Hardee County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) to deliver this program in March 2017.

Participating 4-H members were given a raised 4’x8′ garden bed, soil & seed that was generously donated by YF&R. The participants met with Jonael Bosques, Hardee County Ag Agent & CED, to learn things such as how to properly plan out their garden (layout) and proper fertilization for the different vegetables. This year they were to grow sweet corn, squash, radishes and tomatoes.


The participants learned different lessons throughout the project. One of those lessons was about germination periods and time management as a lot of them had to replant radishes because they were ready to be harvested half way through the 8 week long project. One 4-H member decided to grow his vegetable garden strictly from seeds, where as most utilized transplants. He noted that his garden was not ready at the time of judging so he should start earlier next time.

Christopher Castaldi’s garden that he grew from only seeds.

Another tough lesson that the participants learned about was insects and diseases, especially on the squash plants.

After all was said and done, 12 Hardee County 4-H’ers completed their gardens as required and were eligible for awards and prizes. This year, we recognized the participants who had the 1st, 2nd and 3rd best overall gardens, as well as, the best yield and best record book.

Austin Barkers 1st Place Garden!

The 1st place overall winner was Austin Barker. Our 2nd place overall winner went to Logan Nihart and Sadie Shoffner was the 3rd place overall winner. The best yield award went to Paige Tatom and finally the best record book was awarded to Logan Nihart as well.

Vegetable gardening can benefit 4-H families by: teaching them responsibility, time management, providing them with an activity that connects them with nature and they can also show citizenship by donating the fruits of their labor.

We are proud of each participant and their hard work and we are looking forward to get “growing” again this fall!

This project was financed through partnerships with Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers and Hardee County’s Soil & Water District.


To find out more about Hardee County 4-H and our upcoming projects- follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HardeeCounty4h/




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Posted: June 16, 2017

Category: 4-H & Youth, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: 4-H, Garden, Vegetable


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March 8, 2022

During the time they require the brooder they do not need a run. Constant temperature and protection from drafts is the most critical part for their development at this point.

Donna Castro
February 18, 2022

Thank you for this! I am in the process of obtaining my first little backyard flock and am feeling a bit intimidated by this whole brooder issue. This really helped me feel more confident! I have a coop set up and ready, but also wanted to provide a run. Do these have to be connected? Can I train the birds to go into it and then back to the coop at night? Thank you for your help.

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December 14, 2020

Not that I am aware. Maybe watch weather pattern differences because these can affect the germination time.

December 13, 2020

any special requirements or things to be extra aware of in zone 9B-10, im right on the cusp?

November 10, 2020

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Jose Zayas

March 29, 2019

Saludos: espero estar traduciendo todos mis "blogs" para el beneficio de todos! Gracias

Edson Silva
March 29, 2019

Me da gusto que este post este en espanol espero que sigan poniendo mas

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August 9, 2018

UF has also released flies to manage fire ants. Bottom line: there is nothing more effective right now than chemical control right now.

July 25, 2018

University of Texas are studying agricultural control of fire ants with a species of phorid flies. Is this something we are trying in Florida as well? Fire ant mounds are very difficult to control and they can easily take over a yard. I have tried several different product without any good results. I am trying some products by Amdro, Siege, and Extinguish next. If there were any better natural products available I would much rather use than spreading chemicals.

Braden Bills
March 9, 2018

I was thinking it would be fun to have a food plot for the local wildlife. It makes sense that a good location would be important! I'll be sure to find a place that deer have access to.

Carolyn Wyatt
August 10, 2017

Well done, Marissa.

Carolyn Wyatt
August 10, 2017

Great article, Marissa.

August 3, 2017

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July 21, 2017

This is a terrific program. These students are so fortunate to get this information in such a fun way. Thanks to all the adults who shared their time and knowledge.

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July 21, 2017

What a great article!

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