Table of Contents
- What Does Spring Vegetables Mean?
- When Does Spring Start in Florida?
- What Can You Plant in a Spring Garden in Florida?
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Planting spring vegetables in your Florida garden seems like a fun way to enjoy your own meal. How come? You can easily get your favorite vegetables from your backyard and cook them. Even some of them can be consumed raw without further processing.
Even though it sounds very satisfying, we recommend growing your favorite vegetables so that no food loss ends with rotten vegetables being wasted. We have also written quick tips for you to prepare for the requirements of growing your spring vegetables in Florida. There are also some types of vegetables you might be able to grow this season.
What Does Spring Vegetables Mean?
Spring vegetables or spring greens are basically vegetables available abundantly in the season. They start growing their new leaves and are typically harvested in spring. Therefore, you can easily find your favorite spring vegetables in the market.
Generally, spring vegetables feature distinctive characteristics. They tend to have vibrant colors, such as green, red, yellow, and orange. In addition, their textures are pretty delicate compared to other seasonal vegetables.
These particular features are because they have a brief period to develop their roots and ‘stems,’ thus, leaving us with primarily soft and tender vegetables. Some spring vegetables you can consume in-season are asparagus, cucumber, lettuce, eggplant, green beans, okra, and many more.
When Does Spring Start in Florida?
Spring starts in Florida from March 20th to June 21st. During this time, you will notice many flowers beautifully blooming while vegetables are happily growing or ready to collect and consume.
In the Northern parts of Florida, the temperature will start getting warmer, reaching 16 to 33’C. Meanwhile, in South Florida, the temperature is approximately 27 to 30’C, along with high humidity. Spring also offers you a full sun exposure for around 8 hours which is absolutely needed for vegetable growth and development.
These conditions are favorable for growing your favorite spring vegetables in Florida because the temperature range is not too extreme. Therefore, there is no need to worry about summer heat which can damage the crops. Hence, besides summer, spring is undoubtedly the best time to prepare the vegetable seeds you will plant.
Additionally, some people usually prepare a mini greenhouse prior to planting their favorite spring vegetables in Florida. This greenhouse may protect vegetable plants from excessive sun exposure and frost weather if they are not frost-hardy vegetables.
What Can You Plant in a Spring Garden in Florida?
There are numerous spring vegetables you can plant in Florida. We suggest broccoli, carrots, collards, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, kale, lettuce, okras, peppers, radish, and tomatoes for growing in your vegetable garden.
They are fantastic to be planted in spring because you can have total sun exposure while still having a cool weather breeze throughout the season. Therefore, the harvest is also expected to have good quality.
Planting Tips: Broccoli loves full sun; thus, make sure you plant them in an area with plenty of sun exposure. In addition, a cool climate is always preferable to grow broccoli, which is why spring is the best time.
Harvest: Depending on the region, broccoli grows from January to June and is ready for harvest 80-100 days after planting.
Planting Tips: Prepare 1/8 inch deep soil and 15 feet apart from each seed. Make sure the seeds have slight contact with water to keep their moisture. You will need to water them once or twice a day, especially in hot temperatures, until established.
Harvest: Early spring or fall is recommended to plant carrots. The harvest period is from 70 to 120 days after planting.
Planting Tips: Prepare fertile, rich, well-drained soils under full sun to plant collard. Give space about 18 to 24 inches apart from each seed to allow the root to develop properly.
Harvest: 6-8 weeks after planting. You can either cut off the plant to the ground or leave the central bud to re-grow.
Planting Tips: 2-3 weeks after the last frost of spring is the best time to grow corn. It loves full sun with well-drained soils to obtain the best yields.
Harvest: 90-120 days after planting. In Florida, corn season starts from October to June.
Planting Tips: Usually grown from February to April or August to September in Florida. Prepare 1/2 inch below the soil and 4-8 inches apart to have your cucumber grow healthily.
Harvest: Generally, it takes 50-70 days to harvest cucumber after planting. However, you will only need 40-55 days to grow cucumbers until they are ready to consume in Florida.
Planting Tips: Typically planted between August and February. But, they usually grow from January to March in Central and North Florida. This sun-loving veggie loves fertile, well-drained sandy and loam, acidic soils to thrive.
Harvest: 100-120 days until mature. We recommend harvesting as young as possible because they taste best in such a stage.
7. Green Beans
Planting Tips: It needs 6-8 hours of full sun exposure with fairly acidic soil (approx. pH 6). Don’t forget to water them regularly to keep the soil moist but well-drained.
Harvest: This warm-season crop needs around 50-60 days to mature before harvesting time, characterized by 4-6 inches long bean pods.
Planting Tips: Kale prefers fertile, rich, moist, well-drained, acidic soils under full sun to grow properly. You can add compost to improve soil fertility. The best time to grow Kale starts from September to March when the temperature is cool.
Harvest: Kale needs about 50-60 days until its maturity and ready to harvest.
Planting Tips: Since the head seeds are too tiny to separate, the best way to plant lettuce is to spread the seeds in rows 3 feet apart on 12-inch wide beds. It performs well under the full sun. Provide partial shade only when the heat is too extreme.
Harvest: When the leaves reach around 6 inches tall or about 70-75 days after planting. Meanwhile, the lettuce head is ready to harvest after 55 days.
Planting Tips: A warm-season vegetable that is recommended to plant in cool night temperatures around 10’C. It also requires full sun with well-drained soils to thrive best.
Harvest: 60 days after planting or when the pod’s length is about 3 inches.
Planting Tips: Pepper favors full sun exposure to grow; thus, spring is the best time to plant them. It also prefers fertile, moist, well-drained soils with a pH of around 6.5.
Harvest: 8-10 weeks after transplanting depending on the variety.
Planting Tips: Recommended to plant radish from September to March in North Florida, while in Central and South Florida you can start planting in October until March. It tolerates frost and thrives in loose soils with neutral pH. Make sure you water them evenly to keep the soil moist.
Harvest: This hardy vegetable is commonly available throughout the year, but is more abundant in April.
Planting Tips: Generally planted from early February and the beginning of September. Tomatoes love moist soil and water but avoid watering the leaves and fruits to prevent them from rotting. Preferably do it in the morning when the sun helps with drying.
Harvest: Available throughout the year but especially from October to May before the summer hits.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the easiest vegetable to grow in Spring in Florida?
Spring vegetables in Florida are generally low-maintenance, but there are some that are categorized as the easiest vegetables to grow, such as lettuce, tomatoes, okra, carrots, beets, sweet corn, cucumber, zucchini, squash, and green beans. Few of them are also considered summer crops.
Are Spring Vegetables Good to Eat Raw?
Yes! Some of them are safe and good to be eaten raw as long as you wash them thoroughly and carefully. Here are some spring vegetables you can consume raw: cucumber, lettuce, kale, and tomatoes. They are even recommended to eat raw since they will lose texture and nutrients if cooked.