We continue to prepare the fall vegetable garden.
Amending the soil: Most Florida soils benefit from applications of various forms of organic material such as manure, rotted leaves, compost and cover crops. Now is the best time to thoroughly mix liberal amounts of organics in the soil well in advance of September planting dates. Spread 25 to 100 pounds of compost or manure per 100 square feet if you do not plan to use a commercial organic fertilizer. Compost also can be applied at planting time. Because of inconsistent levels of nutrients in compost, applying a balanced fertilizer can also be beneficial. You may find organic fertilizers at local garden centers.
Learn more about vegetable gardening: You can access a myriad of University of Florida information at the UF IFAS Extension website, edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Search "Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide." This publication provides crop-planting and pest information for all areas of Florida.
NEXT WEEK: Growing nontraditional vegetables.
Sources: Carol Suggs, Theresa Badurek, Pinellas County Extension Service; Hillsborough County Extension Gardening Almanac. Learn more at askextension.org, pinellas countyextension.org or hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu.