Have you ever felt confused about what kind of seeds to buy for a Florida vegetable garden? Even experienced gardeners want to throw up their hands and decide that nothing grows in Florida! One of the most common frustrations of sub-tropical gardeners is that garden plants do not respond the same way as they would in other regions. And, there’s so much advice that it can be ultra-confusing. It doesn’t have to be.
A successful Spring garden starts with growing the right kinds of vegetables that do well in the warm Spring season.
How do you know what kind of seeds to buy?
With over 25 years of experience with growing veggies organically in a sub-tropical environment, this is a list of veggies that I have had the most successful harvest for a Spring garden in central Florida.
- Green beans
- Baby Lima Beans
- Several varieties of Tomatoes
- Squash, yellow and zucchini.
- Cucumbers, salad variety, and pickle variety.
- Italian flat green beans
- Herbs: dill, cilantro, parsley, several varieties of basil, oregano, parsley
Other successful vegetables that are also best for Spring:
- Lima beans or a similar stake variety
- Southern peas, i.e. black eye peas, zipper peas, etc. (Don’t confuse them with English peas-don’t plant them now! They like our Winter.)
- Peanuts. You can plant these after a crop has been cleared. (I always have peanuts in the garden!)
- Potatoes, any variety. Be careful. Buy certified or they can cause a disease to spread into your soil.
- Seminole Pumpkin. I like to plant this amazing vegetable after green beans are cleared out.
Many of my seeds have been saved from the previous years. You can see part of my treasure bag of seeds in the photo! Purchased seeds can be stored in the freezer for several years. Just remember that the percentage of viable seeds will decrease with time, even if stored in the freezer.
When you order seeds from ANY source, read the description carefully! Many “successful” varieties that get rave reviews in other areas simply do not do well in Florida. As a rule of thumb, if the reviews come from someone in a different climate, I look for a different variety.
So, how do you know exactly which varieties will work?
The good news is: I’ve done the homework for you! When you subscribe, you will receive a quick list of the best varieties and where to buy them.
Subscribe and receive a FREE cheatsheet that lists the best varieties for a successful Florida garden. Subscribe HERE.
How do you know when to plant your seeds?
Florida Springtime comes early and the temperatures quickly turn into a hot Summer. You will need a different plan from the rest of our friends from other regions in the U.S.
There are basically two growing seasons-Spring and Fall with Summer being our season as our dormant months. Very few vegetables can survive the heat, rain, and pests that come with the heat and rain, so we just simply take the summer off!
However, there are two amazing exceptions to that rule. Peanuts and Seminole Pumpkin will survive summer heat and rain as long as the soil will drain quickly. These wonderful plants can be started as soon as one of your Spring veggies has been cleared out. Make the most of your garden space and plant one of these new crops in the empty place.
Start planning your garden now!
Spring is a season of dreams and hopes, including dreaming and hoping for a great Spring garden! Valentine’s Day is a great reminder to order your seeds for a Spring garden but, remember, not all veggies do well in our hot Florida summer climate.
Please don’t make the mistake of buying your seeds from the local box store unless you know the correct variety for this climate. Box stores sell the same seeds nationally, not region by region. For example, carrot seeds are sold in the Spring. The correct time to plant carrots in Florida is in the late Fall! Some seeds aren’t even a vegetable that CAN be grown in our heat. Unfortunately, your local store or seed source will sell you whatever you want, whether it’s the right season or not.
Don’t take a chance and save yourself years of trial and error! Download my cheat sheet that lists the exact varieties and where to get them.
A word about heritage seeds
If you like to harvest your own seeds, the good news is that there are heritage varieties that do well in Florida. Please do not try to save seeds from hybrid plants unless you are willing to let it be an experiment. Hybrid seeds will not grow plants that are the same as the parent plant. That’s a subject for a new blog. For now, let’s start at the beginning!
Saving your own seeds from a healthy plant that you grew is an aspect of organic gardening that is very rewarding. Once you learn how to save seed from a heritage variety, you can save your own seed and not have to purchase the seed again! Unfortunately, there are a few heritage seed companies that I have chosen to shop less frequently because of the low germination rate. Sad, but true.
See my FREE cheatsheet for the exact varieties and where to find them.
Order your seeds early in the year so you will be ready for planting in early March!
If you are ready to plant, hop over to my blog: https://seasonsofdevotion.com/learn-how-to-plant-seeds-for-a-successful-spring-garden/
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. – Mat 6:33 CSB
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