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Lots of red tomatoes

Florida’s Weather is right for growing vegetables

Florida grows great vegetables

Florida’s great for growing vegetables, really it is. We rank second only behind California for vegetable production in the US. One thing that sets us apart is our mild winters. It’s because of this, that we can grow vegetables when other states can’t. So if you are trying to grow carrots this summer then you now know the problem. Florida’s hot summers are good for growing okra and sweet potatoes and that’s about it. So now you know part of the secret. It’s not what grows well here but when to grow it!

Three Garden Gem tomatoes developed by the University of Florida for a better tasting tomato alternative

Garden Gem Tomatoes developed by the University of Florida for their flavor make a great addition to any   vegetable garden. Photo courtesy http://hos.ufl.edu/kleeweb/newcultivars.html 

What’s wrong with my tomatoes?

Did you grow tomatoes at your northern home your whole life and now you’re retired in Florida? Are  your tomatoes not acting right? Maybe your tomato plants have spots or they quit setting fruit. Maybe when they had fruit earlier in the spring, some of them were cracked and others were rotting on the vine.  It’s not you, really. We’ll it’s partially you but that’s alright, there are solutions. Tomatoes grow great in the fall and spring in Florida. They can also can do well in the winter in many Florida locations. One trick is to grow them in pots. That way they can be moved inside on those rare occasions when the temperatures drop into the 30’s at night. Tomatoes will grow in the heat but stop setting or producing fruit when the night temperatures get warmer than 70. So we plant them in August and start harvesting in October and right through the winters.

Vegetable growing tricks

Those are just a couple of vegetable growing tricks that can make you successful in you Florida Vegetable Garden. Well, they’re not really tricks, just solid advice to get you on the road to success. So you can learn  more, I’m offering a Vegetable growing workshop Saturday, August 11th at the Bert J Harris Ag Civic Center’s Sam Polston Auditorium running from 9 am to 12:30 pm. click here to Register.  There will be a $10 charge at the door for adults and $5 for children 10 and up. Children under 10 are free.  Register ahead and you receive 100 pages of University of Florida articles on growing vegetables and some other goodies.

A young boy sits on his grandpas lap on a wagon in the Garden

Gardening is for the young and old alike. IFAS extension offers something for all ages. Photo: IFAS communications

That’s the latest from your Hometown Gardener!
Like my Hometown Gardener page on Facebook and stay up with the latest horticulture info in Florida’s Heartland.
Read Highlands County Extensions other blogs at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/highlandsco/
Save the Date for the 2018 Garden Festival by the Highlands County Master Gardeners. November 17th at the Bert J Harris Agriculture Civic Center in Sebring, Fl. Watch our advertisement trailer click here or for information or to be a vendor email me at davidaustin@ufl.edu

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