Panhandle Produce: When Should I plant vegetables?

An assortment of winter vegetables. Garden vegetables, healthy foods. UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright.

A common dilemma for new growers is determining when the right time to plant a particular vegetable is.  With cooler temperatures making it more enticing to work in the garden, who wouldn’t want to get out and get some winter veggies in the ground?  Broccoli and greens are often the go-to winter crops, but there is much more.  The image below shows the time the average planting and harvest dates for popular Panhandle produce.

As you can see, there are lots of options for this fall and winter to keep you occupied, but this chart provides you some insight as to when you should be planning to get your crops in year-round.  Take time this fall and winter to develop a plan for next year’s cropping season.  If you are going to plant by seed or get transplants grown, take the time to order seeds based on UF/IFAS recommendations.  For the most recommendations, please see the UF/IFAS Vegetable Production Handbook.  This all-encompassing guide provides suggestions on planting, fertilizer, pest control, and more.  Extension offices throughout the state have printed versions available on a first come, first serve basis.

One additional consideration for vegetable growers is irrigation.  During the slow season would be a good time to determine how to best set up an irrigation system.  A really good source to help you get started with what you need and how best to set up irrigation on a small vegetable operation, review this UF/IFAS publication: Drip-Irrigation Systems for Small Conventional Vegetable Farms and Organic Vegetable Farms.  To be a successful vegetable producer, proper irrigation installation, maintenance, and use is key.

Planting annual vegetables is a great idea, but winter is the ideal time to plant fruit like blackberry and blueberries.

http://wfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/media/wfrecifasufledu/docs/pdf/ProducerCalendar.pdfProducerCalendar_1