Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Veggie Gardening in the Southern US

I am originally from Southern California but now live in Southern Florida so I've never lived in the snow or terribly cold climates.  I like warm weather!  I like growing in warm weather.

However, growing veggies in Florida is quite a bit different than California.  While my mom and sisters aren't even thinking about growing veggies, I am harvesting tomatoes and beans right now.  Call me crazy but I try to grow early and succession plant for a nice long harvest.

Gulf Coast Gardening Region Map








According to Mother Earth News, the top 10 crops for the Gulf Coast are:
Sweet Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Bulb Onion, Slicing Tomato, Garlic, Lettuce, Spinach, Potato, Cucumber and Summer Squash.

Also from Mother Earth News, planting time in the Gulf Coast is March.  I planted Purple Podded beans in November and I just harvested a plateful of my first EVER purple beans!

My suggestions are:
-Plant in January!
-Plant seeds on a covered patio that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight each day but has shade during the hottest time of the day OR grow indoors.
-Consider planting throughout the growing season to extend your harvest.
-Marglobe Tomatoes are a fantastic variety and grow well in humid climates
Marglobe Tomatoes
Seeds to plant in January/February: (just suggestions)
Peppers, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Beets, Beans, Eggplant (needs cooler weather), Carrots, Swiss Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Lettuce, Broccoli, Cabbage, Radish, Bunching Onions (or Leeks) and ALL Herbs.

For areas/states that actually get cold, plant 6 weeks before your "last frost date."

The list is amazing!!! If you have not done so already, read my posts (3) on Companion Planting.  Companion planting will help keep away "bad" bugs, encourage "good" bugs and might save your veggies.  Trust me...I lost 3 entire cucumber plants to aphids my first time around!

If you are looking for additional help for natural or organic pest control check out "Natural and Organic Pest Control." I use Neem Oil for powdery mildew when I just can't get rid of it any other way.

Helpful links:

Would you like more gardening info specific to your area?
Let me know!
Chioggio Beets

15 comments:

Bonny Yokeley said...

I was thrilled to see this map on a linky party as I've only attempted a few items like garlic and onion. I'm pinning this to come back to throughout the seasons.

mary_smith said...

Great idea Bonny! Are you part of the Gulf Coast? If you're in another region let me know and I'll be sure to include your area.

tiffani goff said...

Wow, look at those beets, I thought they were radishes at first. Love that you are out gardening already in Januray. I love to garden but can't really do it anymore because of my allergies and I miss it terribly.

xoxo tiffani

Bonny Yokeley said...

Yes, I'm in the Texas Gulf Coast Region, so I look forward to learning from your blog posts!

Organized Island said...

Great source! I wish I had time to garden. Found you on Thumpiing Thursdays :)

Joyce said...

Thanks for the list Mary, as you know I'm in Louisiana so very helpful. My patio does not get any sun, nor do any of the windows in the house, well not for 6 hours anyway. Could I set them in the sun for the 6 hrs, and then put them on the patio? Also where do you get your garlic seeds?

mary_smith said...

Joyce, yes you can put seedlings out in the sun. Actually, if they are safe and it doesn't get too cold you might be able to leave them out.
Garlic actually comes in bulbs. I have not tried garlic yet as I don't have to space (yet).

Lisa Lynn said...

Hi Mary! Found your post on Katherine's corner and I would love to have you share this on The HomeAcre Hop!
http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/01/the-homeacre-hop-3.html

mary_smith said...

Thanks Lisa!!! I just shared.

mail4rosey said...

The beets are pretty, I almost thought they were lolipops! Hilarious, I know!

Ladies Holiday said...

Those beets are bee-u-tiful! Thanks for sharing your gardening tips on the Photo Friday Blog hop- cheers!

Paula Miller said...

I like warm weather too, but here I live in NH :) Thanks for linking up with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party!

Lisa Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!

Katherines Corner said...

Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

Christine said...

Oh Gosh.. what I would do to be able to plant most of the year. Winter...yuck :(

Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!