In South Florida we are blessed with the ability to grow food all year long. Gardeners are able to shift their focus from planting cool weather veggies and herbs in fall, winter, and early spring to planting tropical edible plants in our late spring and summer.
Our late spring and summer is very rainy, hot and humid. It is a time when most cool weather greens and herbs don’t grow very well, if at all, but gardening can still go on. South Florida is one of the few places in the U.S. where tropical plants thrive. Food forests are a way of gardening which allow tropical plants (mostly edible ones) to coexist in a garden design that is closer to nature than traditional edible gardens.
With the additional help of Slow Food Miami and Wholefoods South Miami, Ready-to-Grow Gardens has recently created 2 edible gardens at Vizcaya. This is a pilot project for Vizcaya to test the waters of possibly creating a historic farm similar to the one that existing on the site about a century before.
Spring is an exciting time to be doing edible gardening in South Florida. At the beginning of it one still has enough cool weather to plant short-season winter annuals but it is also a good idea to start planting veggies and herbs that are more heat tolerant.
It is also a good time to start working on food forests and planting fruit trees. If any of you would like help planting a last round of cool weather veggies and herbs or help with designing, planting and/or maintaining a food forest or fruit trees we’d love to help!
Happy holidays! It has been almost 3 years since we have been based from our current location in South Miami and it has been integral in helping to get Ready-to-Grow Gardens where it is today. However, we were notified a week ago that our landlord is selling her property and that Ready-to-Grow Gardens needs to find a new home.
What is needed in new space:
Ready-to-Grow Gardens is a company that helps others with creating edible gardens. What we need a space for, is a place for growing our edible plants, for storing materials (wood, soil, mulch), storing equipment (trailer, trucks, tools), and for building garden beds out of wood.
The space would ideally be close to 1/2 an acre or larger. Our current space is about a quarter of an acre but it is very tight and it would be great to have a larger space, which would also help with the potential for creating new jobs with RTGG.
Though we are open to moving to Homestead, we would ideally like to find a space more centralized in the Miami area. Many of our clients are north and we want a place that is convenient for people to drive to for plants and other gardening materials.
If anybody has any ideas for where we could move to, please let me know! Best to email email@example.com or call 786-436-7703.
We are finally ready for fall planting now that the weather has started to cool slightly and most hard rains have ended! In the coming months we are able to grow the best salad greens, tomatoes and much more, right in our own South Florida gardens. This is as local as it gets. However, for many people designing a garden properly, bringing in soil and starting plants from seeds can be overwhelming. Often many are not experienced gardening with our unique climate or simply don’t have the time to start or do enough maintenance on a garden.
This is what Ready-to-Grow Gardens specializes in. Simplifying the process of designing, installing and/or maintaining edible gardens well suited for South Florida’s unique conditions.
If you or anyone you know would like help with an edible garden keep us in mind, and feel free to schedule an appointment. In addition to creating new gardens, we help replant existing gardens and have a great selection of edible veggie and herb plants for sale, with the majority seen here.
It has been a busy summer for Ready-to-Grow Gardens. As we became less busy planting raised beds for annual veggies and herbs we became more busy planting “food forests”, gardens that focus more on fruit trees, nitrogen fixers, and perennial vegetables/herbs that can grow all year here, even through our steamy summers. Without further ado, here is a series of before and after photos showing how fast a food forest can grow in just 3 or 4 months!
In progress on installation.
A few months later…
We are currently overstocked with banana papaya plants and are trying to make more space in our nursery for growing cool weather vegetables and herbs. We can work out GREAT deals on these and want to give them good homes. Call 786-436-7703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a planting, plant pickup or delivery. Continue reading
With the advent of our hot and rainy season many gardeners become frustrated in their inability to grow cool-weather vegetables well. I’ll keep it short and sweet, stop trying, they aren’t meant to grow here now. Now is the time for planting fruit trees, heat tolerant edible perennials/annuals and cover crops (plants that improve the fertility of soil). When these are planted together in a way that mimics the ways plants are found in nature, what you get are “food forests”. Food forests are great in that once they are established, they require little maintenance and are a very productive way to grow food in South Florida. More information on food forests and our food forest packages can be seen here.
Great new video on South Florida’s Local Food Movement by Carmen Rodriguez and Lucila Aguiar!
Substantial tomato harvest with a kohlrabi
Harvest from the collaborative garden with The Dome Restaurant and the culinary dept. at Coral Gables Senior High.
Cabbage – “Savoy”
“Purple Cherokee” tomatoes that will ripen soon
There is a window of cool weather left for more planting and lots of harvesting of cool weather vegetables and herbs in Miami and South Florida area. Enjoy it while we have it, because soon the focus of people gardening will be growing tropical fruit trees and heat-tolerant vegetables and herbs.
We’ve posted below some of our favorite close-ups of our spring’s abundance.
Feel free to email photos of your garden and harvest to email@example.com or post them on our facebook page.
Tatsoi with Red Komatsuna
Endive – “Frisee”
Cauliflower – “Romanesco”
Dinosaur Kale with other brassicas
Cauliflower – “Purple Graffiti”