Fall vegetable gardening and September plant clinic
We are fortunate to be able to grow some sort of vegetables year round in Florida. But not all vegetables will grow year round. Planting time is critical. Cool-season crops tolerate and require lower temperature.
Many of these cool-season vegetables, sometimes called fall or winter crops, can be planted this month. The below recommended planting dates are for North Florida.
Broccoli is an excellent crop for the home garden. General cultural practices are about the same as for cabbage. September through February is a good time to plant broccoli and cabbage.
Collards will withstand wide ranges of temperatures if properly conditioned. They may be direct seeded and thinned to cabbage spacing or plants may be set. Collards may be harvested by cutting the whole plant or by “cropping” individual leaves. Plant collards during August through February.
Onions are generally grown from sets or plants. Sets and plants will require about six to eight weeks to reach eating size. These can be planted now through March. Bulbing onions will not be ready to harvest until spring. Plant bulbing onions September through early December.
Radish is fun to grow and it is fast. It should be ready to harvest 25 to 30 days after planting. Plant radish seed September through March.
Beets, cauliflower, kale, mustard and turnips can be planted now through February. Carrots and spinach can be planted now through March. Lettuce is best planted either September through October or January through February.
Additional vegetable gardening info is available at the UF/IFAS Extension Office in your County or online at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_vegetable_gardening.
The September plant clinic will be held Friday, September 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Fort Walton Beach at the Okaloosa County Extension building, 127 W. Hollywood Blvd.
The plant clinic provides a place and time for people to bring in samples of plants for diagnosis including weeds for identification.
Bring a fresh sample of the weed, plant, insect, etc., that you’d like diagnosed to the clinic. This may include a plant stem with several leaves, a 4-inch square of grass with roots attached, etc.
You also may bring a sample of soil for pH testing. Use a clean shovel, trowel or soil probe to collect a representative sample by taking thin slices or cores of soil to a depth of six to eight inches from ten different spots throughout the plant bed, lawn or garden. Thoroughly mix all of the small soil slices/cores together in a clean bucket. Place one to two cups of this mixture in a closable plastic bag and bring to the clinic for testing.
Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent, Okaloosa County, September 1, 2016