Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gardening in February

It's February 1st and South Florida gardeners should be planning and starting their spring gardens this month.
I will be cleaning up the winter garden after successful harvests of tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant and peppers between November and January. I plan to keep the eggplant and peppers going into the summer while adding new varieties.  Carrots and Parsley started in late December are slowly growing.  The citrus plants, Key Lime, Persian Lime and Meyer Lemon are all blooming.  If you didn't fertilize your citrus last month, do so now.

With the chance of a significant frost lessening it also time to plant pretty cool weather flowers before our temperatures get too hot.  Impatiens, Begonias, Verbena, Snapdragon are great for transplanting now for instant color and gratification.  If you are starting from seeds, try Marigold, Zinnias and Alyssum.  Try groupings of several or more varieties for a lovely cottage look.  There are many bulbing varieties of flowers however the majority of them do not stand up to the South Florida summers, I have only had success with caladiums and gladiolas and this is what I'll be preparing to plant again for summer blooms.

In the vegetable garden, you should start seeds now if you haven't already for tomatoes and peppers or you could always get transplants from Home Depot, Lowes or your favorite plant nursery.  Many vegetables can be sown directly into the ground at this time here in South Florida.  Carrots, Cucumbers, Canteloupes, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Collards, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, peppers and tomatoes could all be started or planted now. Ideally if starting from seeds, you would started mid January for transplanting into the garden from mid February to mid March, but it's still not too late to do it now either, so don't procrastinate or you'll be paying at least $3 per transplant.

For more information visit University of Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide

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