When it comes to vegetable gardening, we are fortunate to be able to grow something twelve months out of the year here in North Florida. But that “something” is dependent on time of year and weather.
There are two distinct seasons when growing vegetables in North Florida. These seasons are typically referred to as warm-season and cool-season. There are distinctly two different groups of vegetables to plant/grow for each of the two seasons. Attempting to grow cool-season vegetables during the warmer months of spring and summer does not work. And attempting to grow warm-season vegetables during the colder months of fall and winter does not work. Understanding this timing is critical.
We are now moving into the time to begin planting the warm-season vegetables. This includes bush and pole beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumber, eggplant, okra, Southern peas, pepper, pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, tomato and watermelon.
Preparation for a spring/summer (warm-season) garden is the same as for a fall/winter (cool-season) garden.
First, choose a sunny location. Most vegetables perform poorly in shade. An area that receives at least eight hours of sunlight per day is best. Vegetable plants grow and produce best where there is plenty of sunlight.
Locating the garden near the house will make it convenient in tending the garden and harvesting the vegetables. It also makes it easier to keep an eye out for pests, including insects, diseases and larger pests such as birds, squirrels and rabbits.
For more on the topic of vegetable gardening by season, visit the below website or contact the UF/IFAS Extension Office in your County.
I will provide a presentation titled Tips on Growing Tasty Tomatoes on Thursday, March 7. This hour-long presentation begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Gerald R. Edmondson Extension Building located at 3098 Airport Road in Crestview.
If you are interested in learning how to be more successful in growing the warm-season vegetable tomato, plan to attend. There is no cost to attend but space is limited. Please call the UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office at 850-689-5850 to register.