Monthly Garden Calendar for Florida

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Andres Mejides



I've lived in southern Florida (almost exclusively) since the mid-1950s and there is something special about each and every month here. Sure, transplanted single-zone gardeners have some trouble adjusting at first, and Caribbean immigrant gardeners complain about our "bitter 50s" winters, but folks, if we choose carefully, we can sow seed and garden every day of the year!

Cold-Loving Crops. One reason to love January is we get a chance to sneak in the "cold lovers" that single zoners have no trouble with—like peas! I hope you started some in December, but if not, you might still have a chance. Choose a quick maturing variety and plant in double rows so that they'll trellis each other. Better to choose a "sugar snap" type.

Splendid Spinach. Spinach is another timely, cool season choice here. Some varieties are advertised as maturing in 45 days or less. Don't expect that to be the case here and now. Those maturity dates are accurate where days are much longer and the nights cooler. If you grow spinach here, add at least a week or two to the maturity date.

Tropical Fruits. Late avocados, white sapote citrus, and early mangos are maturing now. If you have many types of fruit trees, you may want to tie a ribbon to each tree after it's finished producing. This way, when you prune them in a couple of months, you won't mistake a midseason avocado that hasn't bloomed yet for a late season variety that's done.

Beautiful Berries. Have your raspberries finished fruiting? Trim the canes to ground level.

Fig Fun. Plant figs (the edible Middle-Eastern types).

Seeds to Plant. Beets, radishes, eggplant, crowder peas, collards, hot peppers, calaloo (leaf amaranth).