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cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, green onions

New Vegetable Gardener — Growing Vegetables in Central Florida

Understanding the vegetable garden seasons in Central Florida will save you a lot of frustration. You should download and read the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/VH/VH02100.pdf) for a complete understanding about what to plant (pages 8-10) and when to plant (pages 6-7) and how to prepare your garden. And, there are tips for growing vegetables without using pesticides (pages 4-5).

The vegetable gardening season in Central Florida is about to end. This is the “warm season” vegetable garden that would include tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, melons, cucumbers, beans and corn. Since most of these vegetables take about 90 days to reach maturity, if they were planted in March, they would be ready for harvest about mid-June. There will be some that will be harvested throughout the “warm season” as they reach the size you want such as cucumbers, beans and squash.

During the summer rainy season, vegetable gardening is difficult. But the vegetable gardening season isn’t too far away; it starts in late August with “warm season” plants again and all will be harvested by mid-December.

The “cool season” vegetable garden starts in late October to early November. This would be the time of year to plant lettuces, carrots, beets, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes and Brussels sprouts. They are usually ready for harvest in about 45-60 days so you will have multiple plantings until about March.

When school is out for the summer, it is a good time to shut down the vegetable garden and improve the soil, repair damaged beds, and solarize the soil if you had diseases or nematode problems. After all, we don’t have the winter cold of the mid-west to shut down our gardening season (and they don’t have our hot and humid summers to slow down their vegetable production).

Come back and read more about the “New Vegetable Gardener.”