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Create an Organic Garden

Jacksonville, Florida is the ultimate Florida location if you still want the cold of winter without blizzards and icy roads. If you are moving to Jacksonville from the north and have been dreaming of a Florida winter where your garden plants can survive, All My Sons of Jacksonville has some helpful hints for starting an organic garden at your new Jacksonville home.

These top 5 plants will have you eating organic in no time!

1) Arugula has been increasing in popularity since it can be used as a lettuce alternative, and also as an alternative for basil. Arugula is sometimes called “rocket” because of how quickly it grows, making it the perfect first vegetable to plant in your edible garden. During the hot, summer months in Jacksonville, you may want to replant your arugula in an area that has more shade so that it does not seed too quickly.

2) Broccoli Raab is generally an acquired taste and resembles traditional broccoli closely in appearance. Do not get it confused with broccoli though, because broccoli raab has a flavor that resembles that of a turnip. If you decide to add broccoli raab to your organic garden, keep a close eye on how it is blooming. Make sure that you cut the flower clusters as soon as they appear and before they start to open and flower. It is recommended that gardeners harvest broccoli raab every other day for the best results.

3) Cress, like arugula, is also growing in popularity due to the fact that it is easy it is to grow and presents a peppery flavor.  Cress is a very resilient green that can continue to flourish even in winter.  You want to make sure that you pick the leaves of cress as soon as they reach about 2 inches in length (which will occur as often as once a week). Approaching the summer months, you will want to replant your cress in a shaded area of your organic garden, because increasing temperatures will cause cress’s peppery flavor to become more potent.

4) Kale is arguably the most popular alternative to lettuce right now and is definitely a major part of the organic eating trend. Kale can also be grown during winter and is very cold-tolerant. If you grow kale, make sure that you water it plenty; dehydration of kale will cause it to taste bitter.

5) Radishes add some color to your green garden by adding one of the fastest growing vegetables available, radishes.  For the most unique colors and flavors, plant heirloom radishes. Radishes tend to have larger roots so you will want to spread the seeds far enough apart so that they can grow without constraint.