First time Florida gardener. Clarifications needed.

ToxicTomatoJune 15, 2012

Hello to all,

Hi, I am new here, and fairly new to gardening. I have grown things here and there in the past, but never an actual garden. Well this past spring planted, tomatos, cukes, herbs, peppers in containers, and had an OK run at best. Peppers are still producing.

With the almost success of the past crop its got me looking ahead to this fall aug-oct planting. I need to be better organized if I want to be good at this. Such as keep schedules, and journals, and plant dates and all that.

It leaves me with some questions though I'd appreciate if someone could clarify, and I apologize if they are dumb questions.

When you see planting dates for certain vegetables, say Aug-Sept it suggest. When growing from seed, and going off those dates, does that mean August is when the SEED should be planted, or does that mean come august an already established plant should be placed in the ground outside?

Also how does an all year round gardening season work in florida. I see things labled, spring/summer/fall/winter garden. If you start seeds in march does that mean its a spring garden, even though harvest won't come till summer, or is it a summer garden? Same with the other seasons... seed starting vs planting dates confuse me. Are they the same thing?

I live in Clearwater, Fl. When certain vegetables planting dates are differentiate between North/central/South Florida, am I considered central, even though I am right on the gulf coast which results in warmer seasons, or should I be going off the south schedule?

Finally! Am I zone 9A or 9B?

Sorry for all the questions, but I feel I should know these silly basics!

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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

This is the latest USDA zone map.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Those are probably the transplant set dates you mentioned. Tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers need a long time to grow to transplant size. Cucumbers, melons, beans, and other big seed things can be planted directly in the ground.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 3:08PM
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You can probably grow all year long. It depends on what you are growing. Not much makes it through the summer but you are doing right by planning a fall garden and then a winter garden you grow cool weather crops......lettuce, brocoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower.
You can get good information from your county extention office on what and when to plant for your area

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 3:22PM
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Thanks for the info guys.

So large seed plants, like cukes can be sowed directly to soil at the same time as transfer of say a tomato plant. So if for planting date for a specific strain of tomato says for my zone to plant in August, that literally means that an already established plant should then be transplanted in the garden. So I would start the seed indoors in july?

The way I start seeds, or at least the way I did this past march was I germinated everything in individual little cups of soil outside on a window sill that protects from rain and after they grow for a little while I transplant to their final resting place.

As of now I grow strictly out of containers.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 3:56PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Hmmm, according to the new map, Pinellas Co. is now considered zone 10a...?

& I tend to use the guide for seed-sowing, & sometimes fudge it by a week or so either way. Of course transplants can be put in any time during those periods as well.

Pinellas Co. Extension Svc is just off Ulmerton Rd, next to Heritage Village & they have some wonderful gardens to show you what can be done, along w/ lotsa freebies & smart folks to talk to...

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinellas County Extension

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:35AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I would start the seeds outside if you can. I think they will grow alot better and faster. August seems awefully early for tomatoes to me. The ag center is the best bet for correct advice.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 9:00PM
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