Florida’s climate is unique and robust in the fact that we can plant and harvest year-round. However, there are some plants that thrive best in the right conditions. Our fall growing season runs from September to February with our spring growing season right around the corner running from late February/early March to May. This gives us plenty of time to plant some of our favorite crops!
- First, you want to plan your garden layout. Are you planting in a raised bed or directly in-ground?
- Be mindful of last years crops to avoid planting the same plants in the same space. This will prevent reoccurrence of disease and undesirable pest.
- Are you planting seeds directly, transplants, or a mixture?
- Typically, you want to start off with a UF/IFAS soil test. You need to know your soil pH level PRIOR to planting because many plants favor certain pH levels.
- Next, up think about the soil you want to use and any fertilizer or amendments you may want to add. Prepping your garden site at the end of August or now is great timing to allow your organic matter to create a favorable home for your plants and seeds. It is best to use slow-release fertilizers in your garden beds so they can release nutrients to the plant for extended periods of time.
- Whether you are hand watering, drip irrigation, or enjoying the assistance of little ones making sure your garden receives adequate water is essential to success. Be sure to water in the early part of the day between 5am-8am before the sun is at its peak to avoid disease from setting in. Also, water as close to the roots as possible.
UF/IFAS has many resources available to get you started on your gardening journey, especially our new Floridians. Here we have:
- Vegetable Gardening Guide (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/VH/VH021/VH021-Dk6jmncj9h.pdf)
- Seeding the Garden (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/VH/VH02600.pdf)
Now, it’s time to visit your favorite nursery or big box store and pick out your seed packets or plants. A list of fall favorites can be found at https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/plant-of-the-month/infographics.html and found in the infographic below:
Remember, you can always contact your local county extension office for more horticulture information.