Tuesday, September 06, 2005
This was April. The tomatoes were already turning, the ground was weed free, and the cosmos was loaded with blossoms. I thought I'd share the North Florida gardening season as I see it. Please realize that the Peninsula is enormous and stretches through a number of climate zones.
My dad starts his peppers and tomatoes in his greenhouse in December. He uses his own compost, warming coils, and patience. These grow in the greenhouse until late February, and then he hands them out to us. If we are bold, we will put them in the ground by that month. Plant damaging frosts are rare after the second week in March.
We try and get everything planted early before the bugs and disease of summer. There will be a sudden rush of produce as summer dawns, but it is over quickly as heat and humidity rule the day.
This time of year, you can plant a fall crop of corn, beans, peas, even tomatoes. I like the fall garden due to it's cool temps and lack of bugs and plant diseases. This is the season in which Floridians can grow lettuce, onions, greens, etc. We can't grow greens and lettuce well in the summer, the heat causes them to bolt.
Remember that "cool" is relative and 80 degrees "feels" cool compared to the 97 degree heat of a month ago. By December the leaves will have turned and we will have some true cold weather. (4 degrees and an ice storm December 1989)
About 5 times in my life, it has snowed...
Posted by R.Powers at 7:18 PM