Gardening in Hardee County 4-H

Gardening Continues in Hardee County 4-H

Vegetable gardening is not for the faint of heart. Our 4-H youth had a tough run at it this year. We started with eighteen youth members, ages 8-14, in late February

Austin Barker built a sign for the entrance to his garden.

who wanted to participate in our spring gardening project that runs through May. However, weather conditions were not favorable and out of the eighteen that started, only ten gardens were able to be judged. Weather conditions started with an exceptionally dry week, but then was quickly followed by several weeks of heavy rain (got to love Florida weather), so many of our youth were struggling with their raised garden beds flooding and crops being destroyed with no time to replant as judging was to be in May.

Fresh tomato growing in one of the gardens.

For some of our 4-H members, there was a light at the end of the rainbow. Three of our 4-H youth in particular were able to fight through the struggles and successfully complete some fantastic looking gardens.

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

As we did last year, we awarded the three best overall gardens and best record book. First place overall garden AND best record book was awarded to Austin Barker, who coincidentally was our first place winner last year. The challenge is definitely on for next year! Second place overall garden was awarded to Quentin VanSickle and third place was awarded to Christopher Castaldi! We are so proud of these young people and their accomplishments!


Bush beans from the 4-H garden project.

We could not continue this project without the generous support of our community. Hardee County 4-H’s gardening project was financed through partnerships with Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers and Hardee County’s Soil & Water District. Each year they donate supplies such as soil and lumber to make the raised beds, as well as, gift cards for the top 3 winners! We are so thankful to have their support to keep the youth of Hardee County growing!

To see what else is going on in Hardee County 4-H, please visit us on Facebook at



Posted: August 22, 2018

Category: 4-H & Youth, Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension

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