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What to Plant in September in Florida: 30+ Surprising Vegetables That Thrive

If you’re wondering what to plant in September in Florida, you’re in luck! I’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll dive into the various plants you can start planting or transplanting this month. Plus, we’ll chat about important topics like weed control and garden maintenance.

Now that the scorching summer heat is finally starting to ease up, and the humidity is gradually becoming more bearable in Florida’s September weather, it’s the perfect time to immerse yourself in the tranquility of your garden once again.

Take this opportunity to reconnect with nature and indulge in the joy of planting an array of fresh herbs, vibrant greens, crisp lettuce, succulent fruits, and an assortment of nutritious vegetables. Trust me, the satisfaction and fulfillment you’ll derive from nurturing your little patch of paradise will be immeasurable.

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tomato plants growing on a trellis - What to Plant in September in Florida

Complete Warm-Season Gardens ASAP

For those of you in North and Central Florida, you can still experience a bountiful harvest by planting certain warm-season crops such as peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, and eggplant. If you didn’t get seeds started in July or August, visit your local garden center to find seedlings ready for transplant.

For those of you in South Florida, don’t worry; there’s still plenty of time to get your warm-season garden going. Just be sure to plant any remaining crops before the end of this month and give them ample water during the cooler days ahead.

planting lettuce seedlings close together - what to plant in September in Florida

Closest Plant Spacing Possible

When planting your home garden, it is crucial to use the closest plant spacing possible to ensure successful growth and maximize your vegetable garden’s productivity. This will not only help keep the soil cool and moist, but it will also prevent weeds from taking over your garden, as we discuss in the following section.

When it comes to planting, it’s always a good idea to check the seed packets and plant tags for the recommended spacing guides for each variety. By doing so, you can ensure that your plants have enough room to grow and thrive, allowing you to create a beautiful and bountiful garden. You want your plants to be close enough to protect the soil without the plants themselves competing for sunlight and nutrients.

Weed Control Strategies

Reclaiming your garden from the scorching heat and heavy rainfall of summer can be quite a challenge, especially when pesky weeds have taken over during the warmer months.

To regain control over your beloved garden, it is crucial to remain vigilant and promptly remove any weeds as soon as they start to sprout. By diligently keeping these unwanted intruders at bay, you will not only restore order but also create optimal growing conditions for your new plants to flourish and thrive.

Weeds can also be prevented from taking root in the beds in the first place by regularly turning over the soil, removing any debris, and using mulch or planting ground covers to prevent light exposure.

watering the garden with a metal can - what to plant in September in Florida

Watering the Garden

September in Florida can still be quite hot, with temperatures soaring and humidity lingering. In this challenging climate, it becomes even more vital to ensure that your garden receives an adequate water supply to support the survival and optimal growth of your plants.

To help your garden grow and flourish, it’s all about consistent and deep watering. When you fully saturate the soil, you provide the vital moisture that the roots need to thrive and establish a strong foundation. This consistent hydration promotes deep root growth, helping your plants absorb nutrients, withstand stress, and yield bountiful harvests.

To step up your watering game, why not consider getting an automatic irrigation system with a handy timer? It’s a game-changer! This nifty setup allows you to effortlessly provide your garden with just the right amount of hydration, even when you’re not around. Your plants will thank you for the consistent care, and you’ll save heaps of time and effort.

using trowel and fork to fertilize lettuce seedlings in the garden - what to plant in September in Florida

Fertilizing Schedules

When it comes to Florida’s sandy soil and the frequent heavy rainfalls, it’s crucial to adjust your fertilizing schedule accordingly.

Here’s a helpful tip: Consider top dressing with nutrient-rich compost or providing your plants with a nourishing spray of compost tea once a week during their productive phase.

However, here’s an interesting thing to note: if your plants are experiencing rapid growth and showcasing vibrant, lush green leaves, you may consider skipping a week of fertilization.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that legumes, such as beans and peas, typically require fewer feedings due to their natural nitrogen-fixing abilities.

By carefully managing your fertilizing routine and tailoring it to the specific needs of your plants, you can ensure optimal growth and productivity in your garden.

green tomato hornworm on tomato plant in the garden - what to plant in Florida in September

Caterpillars in the Garden

As we transition from the sweltering summer months into the more moderate conditions of September, you might start to notice a surge in the caterpillar population in your Florida garden. It’s not uncommon to find these little critters inching their way across your plants, especially your newly sprouted fall vegetables.

At first glance, you might think these creatures are a charming sign of a healthy garden ecosystem. However, caterpillars are not always the harmless visitors they appear to be. Many species are voracious eaters and can quickly decimate your garden if their population gets out of control.

Take, for instance, the tomato hornworm, a common nuisance in Florida gardens. This caterpillar, readily identifiable by its bright green body and the horn-like appendage at its rear, has a particular fondness for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Left unchecked, a group of hornworms can strip a plant down to its stem in a matter of days.

That’s not to say all caterpillars are pests. Some species, like those of the monarch butterfly, are beneficial for your garden, acting as vital pollinators. The key is to identify which caterpillars are friends and which are foes.

In any case, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for caterpillars in your garden, monitor their population, and take action when necessary. Whether it’s hand-picking the pests off your plants or introducing natural predators like birds and beneficial insects, you have several weapons in your gardening arsenal to effectively manage these garden guests.

You can also help prevent caterpillars by spraying plants with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or Spinosad every week. The best time to spray is in the evening when those caterpillars are most active. Just remember, while you’re protecting your plants, be mindful not to spray butterfly host plants to keep those beneficial pollinators, like butterflies, safe.

By taking these precautions, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy and balanced garden while effectively controlling those caterpillar populations.

what to plant in North Florida in September

What to Plant in North Florida

In September, North Florida experiences a unique blend of weather conditions that significantly influence gardening in the region. Daytime temperatures tend to be warm, but not excessively hot, ranging typically from the mid-80s to the low 90s. Meanwhile, evening temperatures start to dip, creating a cooler environment that is conducive to the growth of certain plants.

This transitional season offers an opportunity to plant a diverse array of crops. For instance, vegetables like beans, cucumbers, and squash thrive in these conditions, as they require warm soil for germination but benefit from slightly cooler temperatures as they mature.

Additionally, this is an excellent time to start preparing your garden for fall planting. You can start sowing seeds for cool-season crops such as broccoli, kale, and lettuce, which will mature as the weather continues to cool.

However, the fluctuating temperatures and the increased likelihood of rainfall in September also mean that gardeners need to be vigilant about plant diseases and pests. Many pathogens thrive in warm, damp conditions, so regular monitoring and preventative measures are essential to maintaining the health of your garden.

What to Transplant:

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese (Napa) Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Endive (Escarole)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss Chard

Seeds to Plant:

  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Mustard
  • Onions (Bulb, Bunching, & Shallots)
  • Radish
  • Squash (Summer & Winter)
  • Turnips

Additionally, you can start preparing herbs for winter by planting cool-season herbs like parsley, oregano, thyme and cilantro.

By planting these vegetables in September, you’ll have a steady supply of fresh produce throughout the cooler months of autumn and early winter.

what to plant in Central Florida in September

What to Plant in Central Florida

In Central Florida, September signals the end of the hot summer months and welcomes a slightly cooler yet still warm climate, which greatly influences what you can plant this time of year. The average temperatures hover between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, providing a conducive environment for a variety of plants that can tolerate this warm weather.

The frequent rain showers common in early September can provide natural watering for your plants, but gardeners must also be cautious of overwatering as it can lead to root rot and other diseases. As the month progresses and the rain decreases, be sure to monitor soil moisture levels to prevent dehydration.

This warm and, at times, wet weather is ideal for growing and planting warm-season crops such as beans, cucumbers, and squash. These plants thrive in the heat and can handle the humidity.

However, Central Florida gardeners can also start preparing for the eventual cool season. Start seedlings for cool-season crops like broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce indoors or in a shaded area, ready to transplant when the cooler temperatures of October arrive.

What to Transplant:

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese (Napa) Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Eggplant
  • Endive (Escarole)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes

Seeds to Plant:

  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Lima Beans
  • Mustard
  • Onions (Bulb, Bunching & Shallots)
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Squash (Summer & Winter)
  • Turnips

So, make the most out of your Florida September – it’s a great time to plant and transplant warm-season crops and start seedlings for cool-season vegetables. With so many possibilities, there’s something for everyone to take advantage of this September in Florida!

what to plant in South Florida in September

What to Plant in South Florida

While Central Florida gardeners are preparing for cooler temperatures, South Florida residents are still enjoying warmer weather for a few more months. This is the perfect time to plant warm-season vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, basil and tomatoes.

For those looking to start their cool-season garden, now’s also a great time to get started. Planting seeds such as cabbage, collards and Swiss chard seeds will ensure a harvest by the time “winter” comes around.

South Florida residents should also consider planting flowers in September to take advantage of the warm temperatures. Flowers like marigolds, cosmos, and zinnia thrive in the heat and bloom beautifully during this time of year.

What to Transplant:

  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese (Napa) Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Eggplants
  • Endive (Escarole)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes

Seeds to Plant:

  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Mustard
  • Okra
  • Onions (Bunching & Shallots)
  • Southern Peas
  • Squash (Summer & Winter)
  • Turnips

No matter what you decide to plant this September, there are plenty of options for every Florida gardener. Enjoy the warm months while they last! Now is the perfect time to plant and transplant vegetables and flowers before cooler temperatures arrive. With a little effort, your garden will be blooming in no time!

Final Thoughts

The month of September presents a wonderful opportunity for Florida gardeners. While the warm weather persists, residents in Florida can continue to plant warm-season vegetables like eggplant, and peppers, and heat-loving flowers such as marigolds and cosmos.

Meanwhile, it’s also a great time to start preparing for the cooler season, planting seeds like cabbage, collards, spinach, and Swiss chard for a successful winter harvest.

Regardless of your choice, a profusion of options awaits every Florida gardener to make the most of the season. Remember, a little effort now will lead to a flourishing garden soon. Happy gardening!

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