Growing vegetables in Florida can be challenging due to the state’s sandy soils, intermittent rainfall, and scorching summers. However, you can still have a robust vegetable garden if you plant the right vegetables.
Here is a list of eight of the easiest vegetables to grow in Florida.
Climbing beans, or long beans, are common in Florida vegetable gardens. They are low maintenance and grow in most soil types.
Pole beans thrive in full sun for six to eight hours each day and can be grown in a garden or planter. If you choose to apply fertilizer, only use half the amount you would apply to your other plants.
Did you know that cherry tomatoes are much simpler to nurture than larger tomato types? Because of this, cherry tomatoes are one of the more popular plants to include in vegetable gardens. Overall, tomatoes thrive in high temperatures, which makes Florida an ideal place to grow them.
The Everglades tomato is a favorite among Floridians; other types that grow well in Florida are Sweet 100s, Sun Gold, and Yellow Pear. Consider using transplants in your garden rather than seeds because seeds take longer to germinate.
Radishes grow quickly; they begin to sprout within three days of planting and are ready for harvest in about five weeks.
There are several kinds to consider, including Sparkler, White Icicle, and Cherry Belle. Summer heat can make radishes taste either excessively bitter or make them spicy, so consider planting radishes during cooler seasons.
Seminole pumpkins are one of the tastiest pumpkins in Florida horticulture. These pumpkins grow best from August to March. The ideal time to plant in North and Central Florida is during Spring (between February and April).
We recommend planting Seminole pumpkins in an area that gets 6 – 8 hours of direct sunlight. Their vines can grow in excess of 25 feet, so allow adequate space between them when planting. Your plant should continue yielding fruit until the year’s first freeze.
Seminole pumpkins are ready for harvest 3 – 4 months after planting. A telltale sign that they’re ready to eat is when their color becomes a sandy orange. Once harvested, keep them in a cool, dry place.
Okra grows well in the full, direct light of the Florida sun. For best results, plant okra seeds in August and September in holes that are one inch deep and 24-inches apart. In addition, mix compost in with the soil and ensure the soil is well-drained.
Once you’ve planted your okra seeds, water them regularly and only fertilize if needed. Okra grows quickly, so harvest them before they become 4-inches long.
April is the best month to grow eggplant in Florida because it thrives in warmer temperatures. Black Beauty, Ichiban, and Long are all types of eggplant that grow well in Florida. Plant eggplant in a location that receives at least 7 – 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Eggplant is also a drought-resistant vegetable, so excessive watering isn’t necessary.
Malabar spinach has the potential to become a cash crop in Florida, thanks to the state’s climate. Malabar spinach should not be planted until the soil temperature reaches 65°F – 75°F. This spinach type grows well as a perennial in South Florida. In North Central Florida, the optimal time to plant malabar spinach is around late May or early June.
Malabar spinach grows quickly in optimal conditions – it’s typically ready for harvest a little over two months after it’s planted. The plant’s leaves and stems should be hand-cut.
Winter is the best season to cultivate lettuce in Florida. Crisphead, butterhead, leaf, and romaine lettuce are the four basic varieties of lettuce, and all can be grown in Florida. However, leaf lettuce is frequently the best option to plant because it thrives in Florida’s climate.
You can grow lettuce from seed form or you can buy them as transplants. Lettuce can be planted in a variety of places, including planters. Lettuce does best when planted in well-balanced soil.
With the proper care, lettuce is typically ready to harvest within two months of planting. You’ll know when it’s ready to harvest when the leaves appear delicate and fresh. If you wait until the plant is completely grown to harvest it, the leaves will thicken and begin to taste bitter.