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Old 05-12-2011, 06:46 AM
 
28 posts, read 80,710 times
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I am an avid gardner and was curious as to how fertile the soil is in the Tampa area. What areas are better for growing? What are some common fruit trees and plants that are grown in Tampa?

I realize of course that palms are in paradise in that climate, but palms tend to be more forgiving about things like drought and soil conditions.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babak View Post
I am an avid gardner and was curious as to how fertile the soil is in the Tampa area. What areas are better for growing? What are some common fruit trees and plants that are grown in Tampa?

I realize of course that palms are in paradise in that climate, but palms tend to be more forgiving about things like drought and soil conditions.
Well, my dad's passion when he was alive was gardening, and he could grow just about ANYTHING, even some things that aren't supposed to grow well if at all in Tampa. He lived in old West Tampa, which is really central Tampa.

Citrus trees of all types, kumquat, guava, fig, bananas and many vegetables. Its always good to amend the soil, and of course fertilize. There are some nice books on Florida gardening, I have collected a few. One of the main ones is Florida Gardening by Stan DeFreitas, it is still available, along with many others.

Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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Some of America's leading producers of tomatoes, strawberries, and citrus are in or near Tampa. So I'd say the greater Tampa area is quite fertile...
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
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Come on now. Our "soil" is mostly sand. The soil is far from fertile compared to what northern gardeners are talking about. The advantages to growing here are an extended growing season with abundant rain and mild winters. That doesn't mean you can't have an amazing garden here. As for what areas are best for growing, it depends on what you want to grow. If your favorites need some winter chill time, living a little north of Tampa would be better, if you want to grow tropicals that can't freeze, as close to the Bay as possible, or consider nearby St. Pete.

Here are some links to the University of Florida extension service, with lots of valuable information. Most of the charts and such are broken up into north, central, and south Florida - Tampa is central.

Lawn & Garden - UF/IFAS Extension: Solutions for Your Life

Plants & Grasses - UF/IFAS Extension: Solutions for Your Life

Although there are many things you can grow here, of course like everywhere else, there are plants that just won't do well. Anything that needs significant winter chill, like many temperate decidious trees, will fail to thrive here and eventually die. A few that I hear people wistfully talk about a lot are hostas, Japanese maples, tulips, hyacinths, and lilacs.

For me, I especially love the native oaks and sable palms and magnolias. I like front yards that look like tropical resorts with giant philodendrons, heliconias, gingers, bromeliads, orchids, etc. People who love fall color will want a swamp maple. Your fruit choices are immense - you can grow many varieties of citrus, banana, pineapple, mango, avocado, and more. You can grow most northern vegetables during spring and fall, here's the data sheet for Florida veggie gardens.

SP 103/VH021: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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You have great soil, ok soil bad soil then our .... land. Limestone, sand, typically an alkaline slant in many places.

OK there are some exceptions like peat bogs and sand that is so loose you would sink trying to walk there to plant anything.

Tampa and most anywhere S of I-4 isn't that great for citrus. You see trees, but they also freeze.

It's a wierd climate to grow things in. Drought to monsoon, winds, freezes and blistering heat. Plenty of green things do fantastic but do your homework so you are not fighting disease, pests or nutrition all the time unless thats your preference.

Amend, amend, amend.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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Growth conditions are generally good, but the soil is generally terrible. You can do a lot, but you'll probably have to purchase or otherwise obtain good soil.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay Area
494 posts, read 1,422,591 times
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Opps I meant N of I-4!
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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When I bought my house in 2005 I had no idea on what to plant. I learned quick and I lost many I knew from up north that don't like this soil. I wanted to have a cookie cutter yard but then people kept giving me plants or clippings. Something funny happened, I loved it! The array of colors , would never do it any other way. To help newbies I will tell you some of the ones I have had luck with. hibicus (clipping), bouganvilla (clipping) , banana plants, blackberry plants, citrus plants (all the easy ones,lol) Others I figured out, plumbago(I grow wild against fence covers it all) 4 o'clocks ( can die in extreme cold front but come back) allamanda, bleeding heart, all jasmine(clipping), gardenia, morning glory, butterfly casio(clipping). Hardy growers , mexican petunia (clippings), torenia (clippings), geranuim, impatien, begonia(clippings). Blubs that took off on their own, amaryllis, candy lily, rain lily, naked lady lilly. I also have palms and some other plants I still don't know what they are,lol. plus veggie garden and herbs. Ones that say clipping are ones I added from one plant to many in yard. Took awhile and learning but those are plants you can grow in Florida. Hope it helps. Any questions let me know.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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Not in Danashores as it was fill from the bay in the 50's.
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