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When is the Best Time To Grow Vegetables in Florida?

By: Jessie Keith

“I live in SW, Florida – what is the best time of year for growing vegetables? Question from Colleen of Englewood, Florida

Answer: I see that your summers are sweltering, humid, long, and can be cloudy while your winters are short, cool, and sunnier. What you grow in these times depends on the crop and season.

In the “cooler” winter months, you can grow root and cole crops. Late winter and fall are good times to start many warm-season vegetables that don’t thrive in raging heat.  In high summer, grow super heat-loving vegetables, like Southeast Asian eggplant and okra.

Here are some crops that I would recommend for each season:

Winter: cole crops, greens, and root crops. (Click here to read more about the best vegetables for fall and winter gardens in the South. And, click here to learn more about root crop growing. )

Late-Winter and Spring: beans, cucumbers, early tomatoes,  and summer squash. (Watch the video below to learn more about growing cucumbers.)

Summer: okra, eggplant, peppers, and other heat-loving varieties and crops. (Click here to read more about heat-loving vegetables and here to read more about tomatoes for Florida.)

Fall: Plant as you would in spring.

Strawberries are also great for growing in Florida. To learn more about strawberries for Florida, read this article.

I hope that this information helps!

Happy gardening,

Jessie

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

2 Comments

  1. cmsb901

    Now I know why I’m having such a hard time growing Tomatoes here in SW Florida year round.

    Sounds like my gardening of vegetables will be in the late fall thru spring, which is totally opposite from what I’m used to.

    I do know that in the summer, no matter how much water my thirsty plants get, it’s never enough for them to survive.

    I’m now a winter time gardener –

    Thank You For Answering My Question !!!
    Colleen

  2. Jessie Keith

    Hi Colleen,

    I am glad to help! Tomatoes are some of the most water and nutrient needy plants of all. Try mulching them with straw and laying drip irrigation below the straw to help them through those superhot times.

    Best,

    Jessie

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