Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Different Seasons...


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 Picasa

5 comments:

roger said...

our summer growing season is pretty much in between your two growing times. i will be starting some carrots and maybe beets and some cabbage stuff very soon, but this is my first growing season so it's all an experiment.

got yr e-mail. replied. thanks.

Hick said...

We have a relatively short growing season, but it's due to colder temps. Our frost date is April 19 and it starts cooling off again in September. But...good news is the area is great for apple growers. The apple season started on Labor Day. Yum! My diet may have to take a vacation for a slice of mile high apple pie.

Floridacracker said...

DPR,
Will mail that package this week.
Carrots...I left that off my list of fall garden plants. They do great in our winter.

Hick,
There are two fruits that Florida is missing that I really love: Apples and cherries. Edible cherries do not grow and produce fruit here. There are about 3 apple varieties that will struggle along and produce fruit, but they don't really belong in this climate and seem to know it...

Weary Hag said...

Well now, thanks to Hick, I want a piece of apple pie. You are so informative FC. I didn't know apples don't grow down there. My family would be so proud - I only have about 8 cousins, two aunts and several second cousins who live in Florida. Sheesh.

Floridacracker said...

Weary,
Thanks, Hick has me wishing for apple pie too...warm with good vanilla ice cream on top melting into the crust...