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Florida Gardening: Vegetable Garden Calendar
January- Plant seeds of English peas, mustard greens, turnips, carrots, and radishes. Plant transplants of broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts. Start potatoes. Raise tomato transplants indoors to set out after all danger of frost has passed. Choose varieties that are suitable for your area and have disease tolerance. Remember to keep mulch around your vegetable plants to conserve moisture and reduce weed problems.

Sow seeds of English peas, mustard greens, turnips, beets, kale, kohlrabi, spinach, lettuce, radishes, carrots outdoors. Start seeds indoors of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and okra. At the end of the month organic gardeners can incorporate manure into the garden for planting in 3-4 weeks. Use 20 lbs. of cow manure per 1000 sq. feet.  Start herb seeds indoors in a protected area- basil borage, chives, parsley, summer savory, and thyme. Provide as much light as possible. Make sure Fall-planted strawberries are getting enough water so they produce fruit.  

March -
Cool season vegetables such as mustard greens, turnips, and collards may still be planted. Plant seeds of green beans, corn, carrots, lettuce, butter beans, cucumbers, and other warm weather vegetables. Set out transplants of tomatoes, and peppers, Be prepared to cover in case of a late frost. Mound up soil around potato stems to protect tubers from sun damage.  Plant seeds or transplants of basil, oregano, dill, and lemon balm.

April- Plant seeds of green beans, okra, squash, corn, carrots, lettuce, butter beans, and cucumbers.  Check the seed packet or University of Florida "Vegetable Gardening Guide" for correct planting depth. Transplant tomatoes, peppers, onions, and other vegetables if you did not in March.  Moisten the soil before removing the transplant from the container. Plant gourd seeds in rich organic soil one inch deep.  Give them plenty of room to climb. Stake tomatoes at the time of planting or soon after with a rigid stake that is at least five feet tall.  This will help keep fruit off the ground.

May- Continue planting warm weather seeds and transplants.  Keep the transplants shaded.  Plant seeds of southern peas. Cut back the stems of Irish potatoes when they die but leave the tubers in the ground about two weeks to toughen the skin.  Carefully dig potato so you do not bruise the skin.  Wash off the hose and dry in the sun before storing.

June -
Plant seeds of lima beans, okra, and Southern peas.  Also plant sweet potato slips. Root tomato suckers for a fall crop.

July-Start broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and cabbage so you will have transplants for the Fall. Fertilize peppers, okra, and other warm season vegetables so they will produce throughout the summer. When nighttime temperatures stay in the 80's and above, blossoms of tomato, bush beans, cucumbers, and peppers may drop.  If temperatures stay cooler, plants will still produce. Remember to pick cucumbers, squash, beans, okra, and peppers regularly so plants will continue producing. Blossom end rot on tomatoes or a similar rot on peppers is caused by a calcium deficiency or fluctuations in soil moisture.  Try to keep plants evenly moist.  Discard rotting fruit. Remove all diseased vegetable plants or infected leaves from the garden.  Prevent the spread of a disease by watering plants carefully at the soil level. As basil plants begin to bloom, out plants back just above a pair of leaves to encourage growth.

Direct sow seeds of cucumber, onion, pepper, southern peas, pumpkin, turnips, and watermelon.  Select varieties that mature early in order to produce before the temperature gets too cool.  Watch for pests and provide water when needed. Harvest Spring-planted garlic when the tops are yellow and withered.  Dig the bulbs and allow to dry in a well ventilated area out of direct sun. Set out transplants of cauliflower and broccoli. Plant tomato suckers that were rooted earlier.

Prepare for your garden by incorporating organic matter into the soil.  Plant seeds for radish, beet, carrot, leafy greens, green beans, and cucumber early in the month.  Choose varieties that will mature in 7-8 weeks. Plant strawberries late this month through October. Choose healthy and quality transplants. Set out onions, broccoli, cabbage, collards, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. When planting fast maturing vegetables, make several plantings at 10-14 day intervals to have a steady harvest. Check cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower for caterpillars.

October -
Plant garlic cloves now for a harvest next summer.  Place a clove in the soil so that the pointed end is 1/2 inch below the surface and space cloves 6-8 inches apart. Herbs to plant to plant include parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.  Rosemary will even withstand salt and wind of coastal landscapes.

Plant transplants of broccoli, cabbage, onions, collards and Brussels sprouts. Start thinning vegetable when they reach between two and three inches in height. Apply organics to the rose garden to help build up the soil.
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