Friday, August 10, 2012

Ready, Pot, Grow....The Florida Veg Season Arrives (Almost)

Last year, I watched a very enjoyable, 30 minute trailer of an upcoming movie/documentary that was narrated by HRH, The Prince Of Wales. The full length movie-doc is called "Harmony" and was released in April of this year. During the trailer they featured an English vegetable garden made of bricks. I must admit I was slightly rather envious, and long to have the same set up. Alas, brick-walled-vegetable gardens are not part of our budget this year, so I'm reduced to sticking to my rather modest aspirations and am in the process of installing raised vegetable beds made of wood.

The Raw Materials
Cedarwood is recommended, but it is three times more expensive than the Spruce Pine that I bought. Treated wood is also a no-no, and, to give the guys at Home Depot their due - they did NOT recommend it for veg gardens, and so I chose to rub pharmaceutical grade, Publix brand mineral oil into the wood to help preserve it. I also had some essential oil of Cedarwood on hand and mixed that in with the mineral oil. It dried with no sticky residue (and smelled wonderful). The heat and humidity will probably rot the boards before two years anyway. My first one is 8 foot by 4 foot. I used landscape fabric to block the weeds and then used cardboard and newspapers on top of that. We're in the process of filling it in, with our own garden soil amended with peat moss, home made compost, grass clippings, bonemeal etc. Maybe even some dog food nuggets if I can keep my dogs out the garden long enough for it to blend into the other ingredients. Why raised veg gardens? My reasoning is that they will be easier to water/or use drip irrigation with/fertilize/or cover with blankets - if we have one of those weird winters again when the temps dropped into the 30's. Plus let's face it they are more pleasing to the eye than 25 gallon pots everywhere.

While I was at the big-DIY store I treated myself to some ready-to-go transplants. "Sweet 'n' Neat" was available and will grow in a 10" pot (imagine that). So we are giving that a go this year.

And, in addition, to add salve to the brick vs. spruce-wood veggie-bed conundrum, I just felt compelled to buy...

A Yellow Bell Pepper and an Ichiban Eggplant. I also have an Early Girl Tomato, and some String Beans "Blue Lake Bush."

Here are some other vegetables that I will be starting from seed during August and September. I'm in for a busy season!! Better get some more wood in.

South FL Zone 10
Planting Times

The table is organized by month to plant, then variety of crops recommended for Florida. Black and bold indicates some of the vegetables I have personally grown in my garden and had success with. Blue and bold indicates veg that will be new additions to my garden but are recommended for the Florida climate. Some tomato varieties are claimed to be suitable for Florida, and I gave them my best shot, but I've had no luck with i.e. Marglobes, Cherokee, Solar Fire.

Cooler season veg will follow in a subsequent blog.

Seed sources can be found at the bottom of the page. I am not endorsing or recommending any seed supplier, just providing web sites as a guide.

months to plant
crop / A sample of popular varieties
days to harvest (APPROX)
Aug - April
Beans, pole: (McCasian, Kentucky Wonder, Blue Lake)
Aug - April
Beans, lima: (Fordhook 242, Henderson, Jackson Wonder)
Aug - April
Cantaloupes: (Athena, Ambrosia)
Aug - Feb
Collards: (Georgia, Top Bunch, Vates)
Aug - March
Corn, sweet: (Silver Queen, How Sweet It Is)
Aug - Oct
Eggplant: (Long Ichiban, Black Beauty, Dusky)

Aug - April
Peas, southern: (California Blackeye No. 5, Texas Cream)
Aug - April
Peppers Bell: (California Wonder, Red Knight, Big Bertha, Sweet Bell)

Sweet: (Sweet Banana, Giant Marconi, Mariachi, Cubanelle)

Jalapeno: (Early Jalapeno, Jalapeno)

Hot Peppers: (Cherry Bomb, Hungarian Hot Wax, Thai, Anaheim Chile)

Aug - April
Tomatoes: Large Fruit: (Big Beef, Celebrity, Heat Wave II, Better Boy, Beefmaster, Sunmaster) Medium Fruit: (Early Girl)

Yellow Tomatoes: (Lemon Boy)

Small Fruit: (Sweet 100, Husky Cherry, Juliet, Red Grape, Sun Gold, Sugar Snack)

Heirloom: (Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter, Delicious)

Seed Sources:

see note 2

see note 1
Note: 1
Reimer seeds stocks the Heatwave II Tomato seeds and Lemon Boy

Note: 2
Walmart have in stock Ferry-Morse seeds at time of writing - August


  1. Your veg box looks well on its way. Hope you get great results!

    1. Thank you! Can't wait to get going.


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