We have started our backyard garden. (I'm very excited as I think this year it may actually do well.) My DH made a raised bed garden. We're getting older and though I don't think we are quite in the "elderly" age bracket yet, it is becoming a challenge to do certain physical things we once did with ease. The level of effort it once took to do certain things has been ratched up a bit. (What age would be appropriate to describe elderly anyway??)
I could hardly believe my DH was so willing to dig, weed, haul 50 lb. bags of garden dirt and fertilizer. He's always very helpful. I am blessed. If it were me and he asked me to do that I probably would have said "Are you out of your mind?"...not really. I would only think it. I wouldn't say it out loud. (I know, it's just as bad to think it as to say it. ( I do appreciate that he is supportive of my endeavors, even if it's manual labor contributed on his part.)
Living in Florida is not like gardening elsewhere. I have at least 4 books on gardening. Two are books on Florida gardening. However, there is a great difference in temperatures and dirt in North Florida and South Florida. These Florida gardening books seem to relate more to North than South Florida.
We've previously had good results with tomatoes, bell peppers, and okra.
I have not yet accomplished growing yellow summer squash. Last year the rain beat it to death and what was left was attacked by snails. I've read up this year and hope to meet the bug challenge with success.
Ground egg shells in the garden are a deterant to snails and I also bought a snail insecticide. The insecticide are small pellets that are sprinkled around the plant to keep the snails off.
(The snails also destroyed the green beans last year.) I'm as persistant as these bugs and I'm looking forward to the day I can post some pics of some squash and green beans!
Today we planted green beans at the back of the yard next to a chain link fence that the beans (hopefully) will be growing off the fence. We had to make a raised bed next to the fence also. We have dogs and they would most likely destroy the beans if not in a raised bed. I recently read that it might be a good idea to cover the area the beans are planted in with chicken wire to prevent birds from eating the young bean plants and seeds. I had only considered the insects and not birds. This is almost funny. The next project may be a scarecrow for the garden.
I forgot to mention that we have been successful in growing pineapples. They grow easily here all year long. The pineapple plant has an almost thorny type leaf and the leaf is so tough it would be difficult for most insects to eat. (one for the humans!!)