Ready to start your vegetable garden?
Florida has a unique climate that can be challenging for some vegetables. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This guide outlines the 10 best vegetables to grow in Florida.
You’ll love growing these veggies in your garden – they’re easy to grow and taste great. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your vegetable garden today!
Best Vegetables to Grow in Florida
Do you want to grow your own vegetables in Florida? This guide outlines the 10 best vegetables to grow in the state. With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown vegetables all year long. Here are the 10 best vegetables to grow in Florida:
Tomatoes are a staple in many gardens, and for good reason! They’re easy to grow and produce bountiful harvests. Plus, there are so many different varieties of tomatoes that you can choose from. Whether you like them small and sweet or large and juicy, there’s a tomato out there for you.
The warm climate in Florida means that we can plant tomatoes from fall to spring. This is while the rest of the country is still cold.
Since tomatoes are a warm-weather crop, they will need some protection if you live in an area that sometimes has frost in the winter.
You can plant tomatoes in lightweight containers so that you can move them to a protected location if there is a frost or freeze. Another option is to set up a makeshift greenhouse or cover them with frost blankets.
If you want to get a head start, start growing plants from seeds indoors in August. Once they have become stronger, you can transplant them outside.
It’s also critical not to wait too long to plant tomatoes in the spring, because they require enough time to develop and produce fruit before the summer heat and rain starts.
Most tomatoes stop setting fruit when the temperature at night gets above 80 degrees. However, cherry and grape tomatoes usually do well during Florida summers.
Peppers are another easy-to-grow vegetable that does well in Florida gardens. You can find peppers in a variety of colors, including green, red, and yellow. They add a pop of color to your garden and can spruce up any dish.
Peppers like to be planted in the sun. They grow best in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5. Pepper plants need to be watered regularly so they will produce fruits.
You can grow peppers in your Florida garden year round, although hot peppers tend to do best in the summer while sweet peppers prefer cooler temperatures.
Peppers are a warm-weather crop, so it’s important to protect them during cold temperatures.
The best months for starting pepper seeds are July and November. You can start seeds indoors or outdoors.
If you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter, you may want to consider starting your pepper plants indoors and transplanting them outside when the weather warms up.
Pepper seeds prefer heat and humidity to germinate, so keep the soil warm, moist, and covered with a plastic dome.
Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s also easy to grow, making it a great choice for beginner gardeners.
In most of Florida, eggplant can be grown year round. It prefers sandy loam soil and temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your eggplant grows well. Make sure the soil is evenly moist and use drip irrigation if possible. Mulching can also help keep the moisture in. Eggplant usually doesn’t need as much water as tomatoes, but it’s still important to keep an eye on things.
The best times to start eggplant seeds in Florida are in August and January. Make sure the soil is moist but not too wet, and keep the temperature between 70 and 85 degrees. Once the seedlings have two leaves, they’re ready to be transplanted.
Cucumbers are refreshing and make a great addition to any meal. They’re also relatively easy to grow, so you’ll have no trouble harvesting a bountiful crop.
Cucumbers like to be planted in full sun and prefer loose, well-drained soil. They need to be watered regularly, especially during hot weather.
You can direct seed cucumbers or start them indoors and then transplant them later. If you start them indoors, make sure the soil is moist but not too wet and keep the temperature between 70 and 85 degrees.
Cucumbers grow best when they are planted in the spring. In Florida, the spring season begins around January or February based on the region.
They can be prone to powdery mildew, so either choose varieties that are resistant, or pretreat leaves with a baking soda solution.
Combine one tablespoon baking soda and one-half teaspoon of liquid, non-detergent soap (not Dawn). Add this mixture to one gallon of water. Use this mixture to spray your plants liberally.
Squash is a versatile vegetable that can be used in many different dishes. It’s also relatively easy to grow, making it a great choice for beginning gardeners.
Squash can be planted in the spring or fall in Florida. It prefers loose, well-drained soil and full sun.
Watering is important for squash plants. They need to be watered regularly, especially during hot weather. Try to keep the soil evenly moist but not too wet.
Squash is planted in Florida between August 15 and April 1. In South Florida, where frost is not a danger, people can plant anytime from August to March. But in North and Central Florida, fall planting occurs in August and September.
Squash plants can be affected by a number of pests and diseases. The most common are squash bugs, cucumber beetles, powdery mildew, and downy mildew.
You can control pests by using row covers or planting traps. You can also use fungicides or baking soda spray to prevent or treat diseases.
Beans are a versatile and delicious vegetable. They’re also easy to grow, making them a great choice for beginner gardeners.
There are many different types of beans, but most can be grown in Florida. Bush beans are typically grown in the cooler months when the weather is drier.
Pole beans, winged beans, and long beans are typically grown in the summer rainy season because their vining habit keeps them off of the ground.
Southern peas are also a shelling bean grown in the summer because they do well in the summer heat. They come in bush and pole varieties.
Beans prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They need to be watered regularly, especially during hot weather. Try to keep the soil evenly moist but not too wet.
There are two times that we can plant green beans in Central and south Florida. We can plant them once in February through May, and again in August through October. This way, we avoid the hottest and coldest months in Florida.
In North Florida, you can grow green beans from March to November.
The most common pests on beans in Florida are aphids, leafminers, and a few different caterpillars. Bacillus thuringiensis, or BT, is a good way to control caterpillars. Neem oil is a good organic option for aphids and many other pests.
Lettuce is a cool weather crop that can be grown in Florida. It’s a great addition to any meal and relatively easy to grow.
You can grow lettuce in Florida during the winter. Lettuce comes in four types: crisphead, butterhead, leaf and romaine.
All types of lettuce can be grown in Florida, but leaf lettuce often works best since it is more suited to our mild climate and can be harvested throughout the season.
Lettuce prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. It needs moist, well-drained soil.
Water lettuce regularly, especially during hot weather. Try to keep the soil evenly moist but not too wet.
You can grow lettuce in Florida from October through April. Lettuce is a cool weather crop and will not do well in the hot summer months.
The most common pests on lettuce are aphids, slugs, and caterpillars. You can control aphids with neem oil or ladybugs. Slugs can be controlled with beer traps or diatomaceous earth.
Carrots are a delicious and nutritious vegetable that is easy to grow. They’re a great choice for beginner gardeners.
Carrots do well in the cool season here in Florida. They will do best when they are grown in deep, well-drained, and fertile soil. They need a lot of water, especially as their roots grow quickly. This is something to remember if you are growing carrots in Florida during the drier part of the year.
Carrots need soil that is loose and doesn’t have any rocks, stones, or roots in it. This will help the carrot grow without any problems. If something disturbs the main root of the carrot, it will start to branch out. You’ll still get a carrot, but it won’t look like the ones you find in stores.
You should loosen and clear out the soil about a foot deep to prevent anything from obstructing your carrot taproot growth. Soil-borne pests like nematodes can feed on the root tip as well, causing forked or distorted carrots.
Carrots need 8 hours of sunlight to grow well. But they are a type of root vegetable, so they may be able to grow in less light. Don’t be afraid to try planting them in a less-sunny spot.
Carrots can be planted in North and Central Florida from August to March and in South Florida from September to March.
Carrots are also great for succession planting. This means that you can plant a new batch of carrots every two to three weeks so that you have a steady supply throughout the season.
9. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a leafy vegetable that is easy to grow and very nutritious. They’re part of the cabbage family, and they have a lot of the same growing requirements.
The best time to plant them in North Florida is from August to February, in Central Florida from September to February, and in South Florida from September to January. These greens take around two to three months to mature.
Collards can both handle cold weather and grow in warm weather. Gardeners in South Florida say they have success growing collards during the summer. Collards are one of the only greens that can grow during the summertime there.
Collard greens are easy to plant. You can direct sow seeds or use seedlings. Just make sure you have enough space for them to grow.
Collard greens need a lot of sun. They need at least 5 hours of sun each day, but the more the better. If they don’t get enough sun, your plants will be small and weak.
Collard greens need a soil that is rich in organic matter and has good drainage. They also benefit from being kept moist, but not wet—so make sure you water them appropriately!
Mulching will help protect the roots of your plants. It will also help prevent erosion and hold onto more moisture. You can mulch using grass clippings, leaves, or wood chips.
Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and is related to kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. It’s a cool-weather crop, so it grows best in the fall and winter in Florida.
The best time to plant broccoli in North Florida is from September to February, in Central Florida from October to February, and in South Florida from November to February.
You’ll need to find a sunny spot for your broccoli. This vegetable needs at least four to six hours of sun per day.
Broccoli can either be direct sown or transplanted into the garden. When growing broccoli, make sure that each plant has at least 18 inches of room all the way around it. This might vary slightly depending on the variety you get, so check the seed packet for recommended plant spacing.
Make sure to water it well, providing one to two inches of water per week. It’s best if you give the broccoli a heavy soaking once a week instead of several lighter sprinklings.
Broccoli may require a lot of attention when it comes to feeding. You should fertilize with a balanced organic fertilizer before you sow and then fertilize every three weeks afterward.
Broccoli can tolerate a light frost, but freezing temperatures will kill it. Make sure to protect your plants if a freeze is in the forecast!
Broccoli takes about 3 months to grow and produce. Broccoli will bolt when soil temperatures rise, so plant according to your region’s schedule.
Harvest broccoli by cutting the main head when it’s still tight. You can also harvest the side shoots that form after you cut the main head. These are called “broccoli raab” and are just as tasty!
You can also harvest broccoli leaves and eat them just like broccoli. The entire plant is edible!
Growing your own vegetables is a great way to get fresh, nutritious produce. Florida gardeners have a variety of options when it comes to beginner-friendly vegetables. These include carrots, collard greens, broccoli, and more. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy bountiful harvests of these tasty vegetables.