Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Grows During Our North Florida Summers?

There is always something that can be growing in a north Florida garden. Unfortunately, when the summer heat strikes the variety becomes limited. Here are a few fruits and vegetables that do well in the heat and humidity:

  • Peas can be planted through the entire summer. To have a harvest that never stops plant a new round of seeds every two weeks. 
  • Whether you like them sweet or hot, now is the time to grow peppers! You can enjoy them raw, use the hot ones to make hot pepper jellies, or freeze them for chili and stew come winter. 
  • Eggplant. You either love it or hate it. 
  • Watermelons! Muskmelons! The yummy fruits of summer can be planted through May and then again in July. 
  • My personal favorite: sweet potatoes! Looking for something that requires virtually no care? Sweet potatoes require virtually no water, don't mind our sandy soils, and can be harvested at any size. 
There are more: pole beans, bush beans, and squashes as well as corn, pumpkins, and herbs such as basil, lemon grass, and cilantro. Don't forget those few who can be planted at any time during the year, such as rosemary and chives. 

One of the other options for a north Florida garden in the summer is to prepare your soil for the fall. Load your beds up with manure, cover them, and let the heat turn it into healthy, rich soil. 

Send us your summer garden stories. Do you put your garden to bed for the summer? Do you pickle okra? Do you make basil to last the coming year? Send your stories and pictures to