Our experienced growers, with up to 20
years experience here in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Polk Counties:
Debbie Butts, Ecofarms, Plant City:
Plant trays of tomatoes and eggplant--if you want them during the
late fall. They are slow to get to plantable and fruitable size.
Okra is another one that you can squeeze a crop out of before winter.
('Contender' bush, etc.), collards, zucchini & yellow squashes--but look
out, some of these are ready for the ground within 10 days! Onion seed
should go into trays, for sweet bulbing onions. Pretty soon we'll be
planting the dried scallion bulbs for
green onions, right into the garden. You can continually plant
something every week or two all season.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021 and search for the
vegetable gardening guide.
This will tell you everything you need to know about approximate planting
dates, spacing, varieties, etc. I WOULD like to see varieties updated once
in awhile. We have to rely on each other for info on good varieties for our
John Starnes, South Tampa:
I tend to play it safe and direct sow my brassicas, beets, carrots, sugar
snap peas in early October when the cool down is palpable. Many folks plant
a month earlier, and I always experiment with late August
and September sowings of the cool weather crops, but since 1982 I've found
that an October sowing in full sun in rich, fertile, pH balanced soil can
give folks, especially beginners in need of a boost in confidence, vibrant
lush productive winter gardens.
Jeff (Scotty) Campbell, North Lakeland:
What I'm planting in trays:
August: Corn and Acorn Squash August-Mid-September: Cucumber, Bush
Green Beans, Yellow Squash and Zucchini, and Amaranth
What I'm planting in ground:
August: Potatoes, and also transplanting the following from 4"pots sown
in July (or bought as plants) Cherry Tomatoes, Bell peppers, Eggplant
Trying a little early (normally would be October) planting in trays
small amounts of cool season crops: Kale, Swiss Chard, Beets and
Lettuce has to wait until October but we have plenty of "alternative,
yummy, leafy salad greens" that are thriving now!