Watch My Food Grow ~ A South Florida Raised Vegetable Garden

Florida Backyard Raised Vegetable Garden

The Vegetable Hatt in Haines City, Florida

February 25th, 2010 by Matthew Steinhoff

Florida Vegetable Garden Construction

Florida Vegetable Garden Construction - Fun for Kids and Adults! (Mostly for the Kids. Those cement blocks look heavy.)

Laura and David Hatt of Haines City were kind enough to send me some pictures and information about their Florida vegetable garden.

Haines City (Florida) Raised Vegetable Garden

The Vegetable Hatt is a small garden located in Haines City, Florida. We grow many different types of vegetables and fruit year round. Our gardening area is a half acre in size with, at the moment, just over 100 square feet being dedicated to the raised bed vegetable patch. We are a firm believer in compost, recycle and reuse, so we try not to add to the landfill. We teach our children how to grow foods they like, recycle things, and above all else share in the bounty. Our plans for the future are to add more plants (Florida friendly and veggies alike) to our land and to find more ways to help the earth grow. We have been growing vegetables for over 20 years, with three of those years in Central Florida. With our blog we hope to keep an online journal of our garden, learn new things, meet new gardeners, and help other people understand that gardening in Florida can be done. We invite you to take a look at our blog and offer up any ideas and thoughts.

Below are some photos of The Vegetable Hatt.

Kentucky Wonder Beans

This photo is of our Kentucky Wonder Beans which love to run and get about 6-8in long. We love planting these beans, since we can eat them fresh or freeze them until another time.

Strawberry in Cinder Block Garden

We planted one strawberry root in each cinder block. They grew well, but small. So this year we are growing them in a large tiered slotted pot. They seem to be doing good so far!

Sweet Corn and Early Corn

Here we have our sweet corn and early corn. Both types did well but we did have a few problems with squirrels. We hope to plant some more this year.

Midnight Hot Pepper

This is our Midnight Hot Pepper, after the rain, which we got at a yard sale. We got it for one dollar and was able to make three large pepper and vinegar bottles with it.

A Cornucopia of Florida Vegetable Garden Treats

Tomatos, Cucumbers, Peppers, Beans - It All Looks Great!

Beautiful Vegetable Garden!

I really like that the Hatt raised vegetable garden was made out of cinder blocks instead of wood. No chance of rot there. It also gives them secondary containers in the brick holes. That could be a really nice decorative touch. Put your marigolds there!

Join me in giving that Hatt family a big thanks for sharing their garden with us. They have so many wonderful garden photos.

I Show You Mine – You Show Me Yours

I’m interested in seeing what your Florida raised vegetable garden looks like. Comment below and let me know about your garden. If you have pictures, I’d love to feature you on Watch My Food Grow.

— Farmer Matt

Tags: 17 Comments

Leave a Comment

17 responses so far ↓

  • I looked out the window a couple of mornings ago and told your mother that I could see at least two ripe tomatoes from all the way across the yard.

    She went running out to find that something liked them better than she did. Half of them had been eaten away. I’m going to bet possum. We don’t have that many squirrels around and I think a bird would have pecked the top of the tomato instead of the bottom.

    When you built it for her, you should have surrounded it with electric chicken wire or something.

    • Hi, one of the things I found helpful in gardening in Florida is BIRD MESH.. ( by any other name>>) I put it over my seeded beds until the plants are up to keep squirrels and birds away. Roll it up and keep it for next year after the plants are established. Perhaps this would also help with keeping critters away from tomatoes.

  • Thank you so much for this feature!

  • Hi, I made a simple raised garden out of an old table someone threw out. I took the legs and top off and lined the frame with black plastic. I dug it in deep enough and filled it with good soil and some worms I bought in the fish bait store. I planted Mesculn, bib lettuce,radishes and they all did very well.

  • Something that I have done for a garden is get potted plants. These things are super easy to take care of and there are a of of plants that you can use. You can check out my own blog for info.

  • JC: Nice job on the recycled table. A friend of mine recommends looking for old dressers being thrown out. She uses the drawers as box gardens.

    Daniel: This is horrible to say but I can’t get into flower pot vegetable gardening. It doesn’t seem ‘real’ enough. Even the raised vegetable garden I have seems like it is cheating. Thanks for the link. The photo you include looks very pretty.

    — Farmer Matt

  • We have several photos of our raised beds on our small farm in North Florida. Most are at the bottom of the home page on our site: Please enjoy!

    • Nice garden, Pam. I especially like the bed head and foot boards used as trellises. Nice touch!

      Why is your neighbor shaving a serpentine pattern in his fields?

      — Farmer Matt

      • Sorry I never did respond to your post. The neighbor is Ted Turner. They maintain the property for hunting. They plant food for the animals. They also do fire breaks. I assume the lines are where they run the bushhog.

  • Type in my e-mail address on last comment. Correct mail is or you can go through the “contact us” link on our site: for questions about the ocean minerals or just anything.

  • We give organic gardening workshops sponsored by FAMU, Raised beds, once they are in, it is the easiest gardening we have ever done. You don’t need anything gas operated or any big tools like a hoe. In fact, you can sit on the edge and plant and, if you have any, weed.

  • I have been thinking on having a section of my yard dedicated to growing my own veggies – this post is an inspiration!

  • I am amateur gardener in Englewood between PuntaGorda and Sarasota. My spring garden did well, cucumbers and tomatoes but its now September. What and when do I plant. I,m into raised bed gardening also.

  • You can grow anything you grew in your spring garden. After that you may want to add winter veggies like mustards and brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, etc.) Here is a website for an organic grower in Sarasota. You can see what she offers for sale. As far as when, you should be able to find a lot of online resources. However, if you are still having trouble figuring it out, please feel free to contact me.

  • Have you stopped posting to this site?

  • Hi Farmer Matt!!
    Love your blog. Check out mine for some SW Florida raised bed pics.

    Tim K

  • I,m looking for guava trees. I live in englewood, south of Sarasota.