South Florida Gardening

So it is finally time to get some fall planting started – well, sort of. We are still experiencing weather conditions here in South Florida that are not conducive to our typical October plantings. Patience has been the keynote so far this season – we thought the late September (into October) rains would be over last week and we could start planting in the beds, as well as more seedlings in flats, but lo and behold it’s still raining! We did go ahead and put a few things in beds and for the most part they are doing fine. The seeds in flats are not faring as well as it’s just too wet for them. We’re hoping this coming week is the last of the rainy season before we’ll have not only mostly sunny days, but a little bit of cooling off as well. It’s been a wild ride with the weather this past two months, and we’re hopeful for some “normalcy” settling in soon.

Just briefly, here is a timeline of how we typically start our fall planting, under ideal conditions. (Followed by notes on current plantings)

  • Late August to early September –
    • Tomato and pepper seeds in flats (Tomatoes died i.e. drowned except for a couple, peppers doing okay! Will buy a few tomato plants and put more seeds in flats soon)
  • Late September to early October –
    • Bush bean seeds directly in beds (Done – doing well)
    • Cabbage family seeds – some in flats & some directly in beds – e.g. kohlrabi, cabbages, kales, escarole, broccoli raab (Done, not doing well except escarole; will redo most)
  • First to 2nd week of October – All these get planted directly in beds:
    • Lettuce family seeds – e.g. arugula, cress, mizuna, heat-resistant lettuce (Done, doing well except lettuce)
    • Choy seeds – joy choy (heat-resistant), bok choys (Two choys in beds, doing great!)
    • Radishes and daikonĀ  (Radishes planted, doing well)
    • Store-bought herb plants and some tomatoes (Coming soon)
  • Mid to late October –
    • Directly in beds: Carrots, Swiss chard, fennel, sorrel, daikon, tatsoi ( Asian spinach), pole beans, and onion setsĀ  (So far, carrots & chard in beds, doing okay)
    • In flats: cherry tomatoes, more cabbage family plants, celery, leeks, herbs and flowers (Not done yet)

We are hopeful that by the beginning to middle of November we will be caught up with much of our planting, and on our way to having a beautiful, flourishing organic garden this year! The weather should start cooling off and seedlings should begin to thrive. Meanwhile, bed preparations continue one by one and we will discuss that whole process in a near-future post. Though a bit slow out of the starting gates this season, we are still excited that our fall planting is getting underway!

Writing and Photos by D.K.