Florida is a weird state to grow edible plants. On the surface, we’re divided into USDA zones 9a and 9b, but then there’s this weird section down the middle where I live. We’re right on the dividing line of zones 9a and 9b. It’s too cold for some tropicals that do well in south Florida, but too warm for some plants that do well in north Florida. Our planting times can also vary slightly. If I’ve learned one thing about growing Florida edibles, it’s that you have to get your planting times right. Planting at the wrong times can mean your plants fail to thrive, or that they’ll be destroyed by bugs, rot, mildew or heat before you’ll get a chance to harvest.
Lucky for me, University of Florida puts together a calendar of Florida edibles that can be planted and transplanted each month based off of our unique climate. I already have sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans, lettuce and eggplant started and in the garden. I may pick up a couple more varieties of tomatoes and peppers to transplant. Most of what I have now is cherry tomatoes. I’d really like to find some more Amish Paste tomato plants so I can make some sauce.
I’m working on using up some of my older seeds, so I think I’m going to start some sprouts this week just to see which seeds are still viable. Just based off of what I already have, here are the Florida edibles I’ll be starting:
- Watermelon radishes
- Crimson Crisp Hybrid radishes
- Ruby Queen Hybrid sweet corn
- Obsession Hybrid sweet corn
- Bi-Licious Hybrid sweet corn
- Triumph de Farcy snap bean
- Little Marvel Dwarf peas
- Super Snappy pea
- Oregon Trail shell pea
- Sugar Pod 2 snow pea
- Mammoth Melting Sugar snap pea
- Pigeon pea
- Black Turtle black beans
- Clemson Spineless okra
- Burgundy okra
- Sugar baby watermelon
- Allsweet watermelon
- Hales Best cantaloupe
And that’s just based upon seeds I already have. I may have a seed addiction. (I may also have more seeds that I have temporarily misplaced.) They may not all sprout because some are old, but I’m going to hold off on buying any more seeds until I see how these germinate. Some of them are organic and some are not, but I’m working on replacing my seeds with organic, heirloom seeds as I use these up. I would like to get some zucchini seeds if I can find some organic ones locally. Worse case, I can order online, but I don’t know if they’d be here in time to plant this month. I try to order my seeds at least a month before I need to plant them so I have plenty of time for them to arrive.
Are you starting seeds yet? What are you planting this month?
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