Hobo's blog

Hobo Hudson, business dog, author and farmer, shares his latest news and stories about his life and gives prudent advice to his fellow dogs, cats and other animals—humans included.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Florida gardening—Part 1

By Hobo Hudson

As you know, I made a sharecropping deal with Dad and allowed him to farm part of my back yard on a 50/50 basis but didn’t start barking about it until the crop was in full swing. Now that everything is running smoothly, I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you how we do planting and harvesting here in Florida because it’s different from the way people do it in other parts of America.

When I made the deal with Dad, I knew nothing about gardening but did know that I had better learn real fast or my share of the crop wouldn’t be very much if Dad would get lazy. Immediately, I went to the fountain of all knowledge, otherwise known as Google, and found scads of gardening tips. I learned that tomatoes should be planted about the first of June; peas should be planted about the first of May, and so on.

With my newly acquired know-how of gardening, I proudly instructed Dad how we were going to do things. He just snorted and replied that what I had learned applied to our northern friends, but it wouldn’t work here in Florida because of our semitropical climate. It seems that the summer months are just too hot and humid to grow any produce. If we would do it, bugs would eat what we have planted, which means a vicious cycle of spraying about every morning and having the rain wash the spray off into the soil in the evening.

Dad explained to me that Florida soil is naturally nothing but sand or if fill dirt had been added when the house was built—as in our case—the fill dirt was usually clay dug from deep below the ground.

Thus, we have two possible scenarios here in Florida: The soil will have no nutrients, and water will percolate down about as fast as we pour it on, or the soil will be highly compacted with no drainage and no nutrients. A copious addition of compost can correct the sandy soil while the clay soil needs a liberal application of sand, followed by applications of compost.

I appreciated the nice information Dad gave me, and I filed it away for confirmation later when I had more time. For the moment, I was more interested in pointing out the section of the back yard where I would rent ground to Dad. However, Dad suggested that it would be better if I let him rent the same plot he had farmed years ago.

When we walked over to the site, I could see the grass was greener and thicker than the rest of the lawn. I agreed to let him rent it, and Dad immediately went to work. As he started digging, my terrier instincts came into play, and I volunteered to help him. After shoving the dirt away with my paws for a few minutes, I asked Dad how I would know when I came to the edge of his old farm plot. Dad just grinned and told me I would know it when I came to it.

After a few more minutes of furious digging, thunk!  My nails wouldn’t dig any further. Relaxing my paws, I stared at the ground and finally asked Dad why it felt like a rock all of a sudden. He said that was the clay I was hitting where he hadn’t farmed before. Wow, there sure is a difference in the soil. Maybe Dad does know a little about Florida farming.          

To be continued




My name is Hobo Hudson. I’ve always considered myself a terrier mix, and I’m going to leave it at that. I used to share my mom’s website writing about my life, but Mom’s stories somehow got in my way. So, I deemed it more appropriate to open my own blog, which also allows me to engage my siblings in writing posts if I’m running short on time. After all, I’m a busy dog. My mom helps me with my blog now and then, but I think it’s only to safeguard my good reputation. Her website, newsandtales.com, contains some great stories.
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Bruny Hudson
Bruny Hudson, manager and editor of Newsandtales.com, assists as a consultant with Hobo’s blog.
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