As the summer heat gets more intense outside Florida homes, many vegetable gardeners hang up their trowels and wait until it gets nearer the fall. But there are some summer vegetables you can grow all summer long.
In Central and South Florida, the extreme heat and humidity does limit what you can plant. For example, you can’t plant tomatoes, they won’t fruit after the temperature rises above 70 degrees at night, but you can plant cherry tomatoes. There are other possibilities, too. The Florida Cooperative Extension Service offers tips on what to plant and what to do for successful summer gardening.
Vegetables the extension service recommends include:
Recommended varieties: Fordhook 242, Henderson, Jackson Wonder, Dixie (Speckled) Butterpea, Early Thorogreen
North Florida: plant through the summer until September; Central Florida: plant until May; South Florida: plant until May.
Recommended varieties: Black Beauty, Dusky, Long, Ichiban, Cloud Nine.
North: plant until August; Central: plant until April; South: plant until March.
Recommended varieties: Clemson Spineless, Emerald, Annie Oakley II, Cajun Delight
North: plant until August; Central: plant through the summer until September; South: plant starting in August.
Southern Peas (Field Peas, Cow Peas)
Recommended varieties: California Blackeye No. 5, Pinkeye Purple Hull, Texas Cream.
North: plant through the summer until September; Central: plant through the summer until October; South: plant starting in August.
Recommended varieties: Bell: California Wonder, Red Knight; Sweet: Sweet Banana, Mariachi, Cubanelle; Hot: Jalapeño M, Cherry Bomb, Hungarian Hot Wax, Long Cayenne, Habañero.
North: plant until May, then again starting in July; Central: plant until April; South: plant starting in August.– Sweet Potatoes
Recommended varieties: Centennial, Beauregard, Vardaman.
North: plant until July; Central: plant until July; South: plant until July.
Recommended varieties: Jubilee (Florida Giant), Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby, Mickeylee.
North: plant until May, then again starting in July; Central: plant until April; South: plant until April.
For complete tips on summer vegetable gardening for Florida homes, go online to the Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
And to learn how to incorporate a vegetable garden into a new Florida home, talk to the experts at ICI Homes.