Growing Radishes with Kids

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A lot of people ask me what is a good starter vegetable to grow with small kids. My answer is always the same: Radishes! Radishes are not complicated to grow and the best part is that they grow fast! Kids tend to have a very short attention span, so rather than making them wait for 60-70 days for carrots, radishes germinate in just a few days and many varieties only take about 30 days until they are ready to harvest.
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To grow radishes first you need to choose what variety you want to plant. If you are planting with children, I would recommend Cherry Belle radishes as they mature in just about 22 days. This particular variety of radishes grow well in the spring and fall seasons. Choose an area that will receive full sun and is well drained. Plant seeds about a 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Of course if you are growing a larger variety, allow for more space. Make sure you water your radishes evenly every day but be careful not to over water. Radishes like for the soil around them to stay moist but not soaked.
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Radishes are the perfect starter vegetable to grow with your kids. They will learn a valuable lesson on how to grow food and have a better understand a how important it is to know where your food comes from.
Let me know what you have grown in your garden with your children by commenting below!

Happy planting!

Much Love!

Eva

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Fall Planting in Florida

According to the weather man, we have had our first “cold-front”. For those of us here in Central Florida that means we didn’t break 90 Degrees Fahrenheit. If you are anything like me you put a light jacket on in the morning and by 9am you were sweating bullets!

Much like the temperature is different, fall planting is also on a bit of a different schedule in Zone 9. (what are zones in the gardening word?) During the summer, the scorching heat and heavy rain makes it difficult to produce the variety of vegetables we would like. While things like peppers, okra and eggplant grow well in the hot, muggy, rainy Florida summers, it can be difficult to successfully grow much else. And while I LOVE my successful peppers this year, I am ready for more variety!

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This week is the official start of fall and that means it is the BEST growing season in Florida! So I have begun to start my seeds. This fall I will be planing zucchini, yellow squash, a variety of different tomatoes, mustard greens, collard greens, swiss chard, beats, carrots, radishes and a variety of herbs, just to name a few! I am so EXCITED!

Collage 2015-09-21 17_36_29 I like using these mini greenhouses to help with the germination process. Starting your seeds is very important. Make sure you read the package to see if you should start them indoors or if you can sow them straight into the ground.

I’ll have an update soon when I am ready to transplant into the ground! Be sure to leave a comment and tell me what you are growing this fall!

Happy Fall planting!

Much Love

Eva

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What are Zones in the Gardening World?

So you are ready to start a garden. (Yay! I am so excited for you!) You buy a bunch of seeds, some good soil and start watering away. After a while you notice that some of the plants are not doing so well or never made it much past germination. Sound familiar? It does for me because that is exactly what happened to me the first time I tried to start a garden. So may times before I got to this point and gave up but I am here to tell you that you don’t have too! A little bit of education is all you need to start a successful garden. One of the best tools to use is the Plant Hardiness Zone Map that is put out by the USDA. This map divides the entire country into “zones”. These zones are designed to help farmers and everyday home gardeners figure out what plants will thrive in any given season in your specific area.

Click here view the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

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Seed Addict! How to Save Your Own Seeds

Hello! My name is Eva and I am a seed addict! It may sound silly but I know my fellow home gardeners understand how I feel. On Friday of last week I picked a few items from my ridiculously large wish list on one of my favorite organic seeds website. It took me almost an hour to pick what I wanted to plant this fall! There are so many amazing choices! I also had to take into account that I already have a TON of seeds either left over from last season or that I have saved from my own harvest. I looked at the tracking number about 3 times a day to see where they were at and only three business days later I got my seeds! I was like a kid in a candy store!

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While buying seeds to start off or to ease your seed-addiction 😉 is exciting a fun, some people forget that saving your own seeds is not only rewarding but also FREE! One of the best accomplishments for me as a home gardener will always be when I see a plant growing with beautiful vegetables to feed to my family. What makes that feeling even sweeter is when I know that the plant came from a seed that was previously in a vegetable that I grew. Saving your own seeds is also a way to pass heirloom seeds down to future generations. The word heirloom refers to an item or object of value that is past on from one generation to the next. Therefore, an heirloom seed is a seed that comes from a plant that has been passed down from one generation to the next. In other words your children, your children’s children and beyond could be planting seeds from the same plants you are growing in your garden right now. Heirloom seeds that are passed down through many generations are considered to be very valuable to home gardeners and farmers.

Planting your own seeds is not only FREE but so easy to do! Some seeds require a little more attention then others depending on what kind of seed you are working with but they all follow the same basic steps: take the seeds out of the fruit, wipe off any remaining flesh and place in a glass or ceramic container in a non-humid, shaded place. Keep checking on them every few days and once they are fully dry (not sticking together or bending) your seeds are ready! One thing to keep in mind is if seeds are wet, like tomato seeds for example, try to stay away from placing your seeds on a paper plate or paper towel to dry. The wet seeds tend to get stuck to the paper and are difficult to remove. Using glass or ceramic is best. And of course, always plant organic, non-GMO seeds 😉

If you are just starting your garden or are in need of more seeds to plant some of my favorite companies to buy seeds from are Seeds Now, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Seed Savers Exchange.

Happy fall planting!

Much Love!

Eva

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