Pinellas County is not Zone 9 !
I've been using the UF veggie planting guides for South Florida but needed someone to tell me I'm not crazy. I emailed our local Extension Office, here's the correspondence.
Q: Do you have a home garden vegetable planting guide for Pinellas County? IÂm not talking about the dates set forth in the UF guides, although we are really a Zone 9B to me it seem much of Pinellas is really a 10B since in my particular area IÂve had NO frost since moving here in 1995. Thus, IÂve generally used the UF SOUTH Fla. recommendations, but IÂd really like to know if you folks at the Extension Office have more specific recommendations.
We do not produce our own guide for Pinellas County. A couple of organizations (American Horticultural Society and National Arbor Day Foundation) have created new draft Plant Hardiness Zone maps that have all of Pinellas County in zone 10 except for the very northeast corner. So, your observations are correct. When using the "Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide: (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021), we recommend choosing the south Florida planting dates. Another good source for veggie gardening is Vegetable Gardening in Florida by James Stephens. This book is more comprehensive and has lots of good pictures of pests and diseases. It can be purchased from the UF/IFAS Bookstore (http://ifasbooks.ufl.edu) or from most bookstores.
Let me know if I can help you further,
Urban Horticulture Extension Agent
Natural Resources Program Leader
UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension