Nothing beats eating fresh vegetables that you hand-picked from your very own garden. They taste better than any of those you can buy in a store or supermarket chains. If you live in Florida, the good news is that there are various vegetables you can plant, depending on the season. And the good thing is that you can always incorporate this vegetable garden into your landscaping.
Having a home garden is convenient and healthy for you and your family. And in Florida, especially Pinellas County, you have an endless choice of vegetables for planting – various sizes, shapes, and colors. Knowing when and where these vegetables will thrive is the key. You can start by referring to the Florida Gardening Calendar, easily accessible online. This calendar provides tips and guides for each climate zones. There is also information about plants and how to care for them properly.
Tips on Landscaping Your Veggie Gardens in the Summer
It’s just your luck that you are living in Florida. With its subtropical temperature and warm, rainy seasons, the state is an excellent place to grow vegetables. However, some factors must be considered if you want to pursue vegetable gardening, especially during the summer.
- Choose the best plants for summer. Few vegetables can withstand the heat of a Florida summer, so you need to choose what seedlings to plant carefully. Some of the best plants that grow well despite the summer heat include peppers, eggplant, sweet potatoes, Okra, cherry tomatoes, herbs, black-eyed peas, and celery.
- Get familiar with Florida’s growing zones. There’s a map that divides the country into planting regions or zones from the United States Department of Agriculture. Each zone indicates why the type of crops can be successfully grown. For example, the northern part of Florida supports vegetables such as beets, carrots, kale, cabbage, and lettuce. This region cannot keep fruits like peaches, cherries, and some grape varieties.
- Know how to identify the most common vegetable problems. When growing your vegetables, you will experience various issues, and you need to know about them to solve them in time. Seed germination, wilting, poor yield, and diseases are just a few of these problems.
- Learn and understand companion planting. If you want better yield for your vegetable garden, this is important. You must know that there are vegetables that work and grow better when planted together. Companion planting is great for driving away pests and helping your vegetables grow as they usually would.
Types of Vegetables for Your Summer Gardening
Allowing your vegetables to have a good head start will result in crops that can fight off diseases. But you also need to have a clear understanding of what kind of vegetables can stand up against the pressure of heat and humidity. Here are some of the crops that you should consider:
This tuber is excellent for cultivating during summer. They also offer tastier and more bountiful harvests during the hot season. Make sure to loosen the soil around the roots now and then and cover them with some compost. Watering now and then is also advisable.
Another root crop that will grow well in the Florida heat is cassava. This crop doesn’t need much attention and is very easy to grow. However, once you provide it with regular care, you can expect better produce.
This plant is considered a perennial and grows well even during the summer. It can grow even under Florida’s heat without much of a problem.
Considered a rock star vegetable during the summer, Okra will grow even in 100 degrees of heat as long as you water them appropriately. This plant produces many flowers and tender pods that are perfect for pickling and cooking. Remember to pick them while they are young as they can get very tough.
Cowpeas and Black-Eyed Peas
Cowpeas and black-eyed peas are legumes known for their high tolerance to heat and drought. These are resilient crops that you can quickly grow all summer. They are also beneficial to your garden as they are fantastic at fixing the soil’s nitrogen content.
Whether you prefer hot, sweet, or bell peppers, these are all great crops that grow well during summer. You can even plant these in a pot and enjoy their products for many years.
Rosemary, thyme, and mint are excellent herbs that you can grow well even during the hot days of the Florida summer. Make sure to plant them in pots so you can add and relocate them somewhere with partial shades.