Scarlett Nantes CarrotI just love this time of year.

The process of selecting all the different types of veggies I’m going to plant and imagining myself out there reaping the harvests! If, like me, you start your own seeds, you have the added benefit of starting your gardening and getting your veggies a couple months sooner!

For Zones 9a, 9b

For those of us here in zone 9a, 9b following is what we should be doing and when. For Northern and Southern Florida adjust dates accordingly.  See the Florida Planting Guide for help. For full gardening guides and additional help see:

Important ‘To Do’ Dates

Jan. 1st – Feb. 1st : Clean out all old crops.  The longer they are there the more diseases and pests will breed. This will infect your new crops. February 20- March 15 : Is Our “Plant out date” goal for most crops (approx.). Depending on the last frost. Keep an eye on the forecasts.

If you’re starting from seed for all or some of your Spring/Summer crops, you should have already aquired them. If you haven’t, do so ASAP!

  1. Incorporate partially composted organic matter into your soil 1 to 2 months before your planting date. You’ll want to make sure this is a good few inches down.

    Example… cow or horse manure, compost, leaf mold etc. If added 2-3 weeks before or closer to planting date it must be completely composted.

  • Draw up your garden plan.  Decide where you are going to put which crop.  Taller plants should go on the north side so they don’t block the sun from lower crops.  Use the companion planting chart to help with placement, the Florida Planting Guide for spacing and the Drawing up yourPlan page for layout.
  • Companian planting is very beneficial in keeping pests under control and putting back nutrients for one that the other is taking and visa versa.

Start your seeds!

Here are the dates for the most popular crops. For those not listed see the Florida Planting Guide.

TOMATOES —  Jan. 1st  – 31st The sooner you start the seeds, the sooner you get tomatoes, just transplant a few times to larger pots and shelter from frost if needed. Plant out March 1st-15th

PEPPERS —  Jan. 15th  – Feb. 28th Peppers grow slower and love the heat so they can wait a little longer. Plant out mid March.

CELERY —  Dec.– Jan. 1st Plants can be planted outside even if light frost. Plant out February.

COLLARD GREENS —  As early as July –March 15th Plant out August -March.

CUCUMBERS —  Feb. 1st – March 15th Can direct seed a couple weeks after last frost through April. Or start indoors 4 weeks before planting out, they grow quick so no sooner.

BEANS —  Feb. 1st – March 15th Same as cucmbers.

WATERMELON, MELON  Feb. 1st –March 1st  Same as cucumber. Can direct seed after last frost through April.

CORN —  Direct seed after last frost through April.

EGGPLANT —  Jan. 1st –Feb. 1st Likes warmer weather.  Can plant out until April.

SUMMER SQUASH —  Jan. 1st –Feb. 1st Same as cucumber.

WINTER SQUASH — Feb. 1st –March 1st Can plant until August.

LETTUCE  Jan 1st –Feb.1st  Start Indoors if temps are below 50 degrees or can be direct seeded outside through March, Lettuce can tolerate frost, light freeze.