About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Spring Vegetable Garden

In early to mid-March, once the threat of freezing temperatures is greatly reduced, warm-season crops can be planted in the garden. But, remember if you plant early...you may need to protect young seedlings if the temperatures drop.

Warm-season vegetables...those that will produce through mid-June (some longer) are:

Beans (bush and pole), corn, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, peppers, potatoes, yellow squash, tomatoes and zucchini.


Basil, dill, fennel, marjoram, Mexican tarragon, oregano and parsley.

Garden Tip: Rosemary is a great year round herb to plant in the garden...even if you don't cook with it. It doesn't freeze, it's fragrant and it makes a great looking landscape plant.

Planting seeds is most economical, but to harvest tomatoes before summer's heat and humidity arrive, you'll  need to start your seeds in pots the first two weeks in January, and bring them indoors to protect them from cold weather. If you're just getting started now, buy already established plants from a local nursery and plant directly into the garden.

Garden Note: You can still plant cool-season varieties such as: broccoli, carrots, lettuce and radishes that should produce into May (better to get them planted by February 15th). But, if you have limited garden space, you may want to stick with warm-season varieties for a longer harvest time.

To extend the tomato season into summer, try the new heat-resistant varieties available such as: Solar Set and Sunmaster, or plant some cherry tomato varieties which will do better during the hot months. My favorites are chocolate cherry, black cherry and sun gold.

For the total scoop on growing tomatoes in Florida see the University of Florida Extension's article: Tomatoes in the Florida Garden.

To the seasoned Florida vegetable gardeners...

What advice would you give to someone planting vegetables for the first time?


The Florida Blogger said...

Be patient and don't worry if your fail.

FlowerLady said...

Great post.

We need to not give up and just keep trying.


daisy said...

Great advice. I may need to force myself to go and buy a tomato plant. Got a late start on that. I want homemade gravy in the freezer.

Darla said...

Great tips here.

Elizabeth said...

This is great!! I thought I had missed my window of opportunity to plant my square garden beds. Now I just need to find some rock dust to supplement my soil.
Thank so much for getting me inspired to put the garden in.
Peace and Raw Health,

Dawn said...

Regarding Tomatoes, my humble advice to folks would be: Sunmaster Tomatoes do well both in pots and in the soil. If you are going to put them in the soil, line the hole with newspaper, add a cup of dog food, some slow release fertilizer or fish emulsion, water well then put good potting soil with the tomato. I have found Sunmaster (zone 10/11) still produces through July. Transplant young tomatoes either on a cloudy day or in the morning. If you are growing on a patio, put a banana in the potting soil and watch them take off.

Anonymous said...

Lots of sun, fertilizer, and ample moisture are the keys to success. You also should plant only what you want, and not too much of what you want. Use pots for moisture control and to make future plantings easier: just replace with clean soil and plant.

Best Price Hydroponics said...

Just hold your patient and this blog would be the number one blog within couple of days

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enthusiastic said...

I am new to Florida veggie gardening, but a veteran to them in Canada & VA. I am curious how one gets anything to grow in sand. I have brought in awesome dirt two years ago and the sand ate it like it was starving, leaving nothing to plant in but more sand.

I am curious if people use raised beds or magic in planing.

Many thanks.