Friday, January 7, 2011

Vegetable Gardening Question - 2011


I want to start my spring vegetables from seed however, I just don't know when to start. I want to plant all of the regular spring/summer vegetables (Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peppers, squash, eggplant, watermelon etc.) When do I start these seeds indoors to get a head start?  What vegetables are worth growing from seed and which are best to just buy seedlings (transplants)?

Answer:
If it will fit into your schedule, I recommend you attend the upcoming Vegetable Gardening class on January 15th at 9:00AM.  Call our Master Gardener Clinic to register for the class at (407) 254-9200.

Next week is a good time to start your seedlings for the Warm Season garden.  They will need 4-6 weeks before you plant them out in the garden in late February or early March.  Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants are ideally started as seedlings for use as transplants in the garden.  Squash, Melons, Beans and Cucumbers should be planted in the ground during the first week of March.  These vegetables planted in March will reach maturity by June.  Summer vegetables include sweet potatoes, okra, cherry tomatoes, and southern peas.  Otherwise, summer is not a good time of year to grow your vegetables in Central Florida.

Read a copy of the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide with Orange County planting tables:  http://orange.ifas.ufl.edu/mg/pdffiles/vh02100_oc.pdf.   Pages 10-12 of the guide lists varieties that grow well in Florida.  Use fresh seeds from the local garden center (or purchase on-line).  Look over the planting table and you can see which vegetables can be grown as transplants and those that should be directly sown in the ground.

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