February in the Vegetable Garden

WOW!  Looks like we might have another relatively winterless year -  except for that bit of freeze we had for a night or two(from about Orlando south anyway)... 6 in a row.

That's good, but it's bad.

Good because we get extra growth, don't have cold damage dieback (except for this year there was a bit) soil flora and fauna grow faster building that good rich soil, planting season is extended, more time to enjoy the outdoors in our garden paradises...

Bad because no significant frost or freeze means no killing off some of the bugs or at least slowing them down, and bad because it gives us a false sense of "Spring is here" so we plant and then get a frost or freeze that destroys our seedlings and transplants.  The fruit trees and bushes get confused and bloom when they shouldn't, and there won't be enough 'chill hours' that some fruits and berries need to produce, ripen and sweeten fruit - including citrus.  The greens don't get that touch of frost/cold to make them sweet...

Regardless of whether we have any winter weather or not, there is a lot of planting to be done in February.

This list is not carved in stone.  It is only the recommended list of the FL Extension Service -- which means it's general.  Your yard is not identical to their test plots.  Yours may be cooler, warmer, wetter, dryer, higher, lower, more sun, less sun, protected, exposed... and then there are the micro-climates all over the place.

Experiment.  Chinese cabbage and spinach are not on the list for February, but I want to plant them.  So, I'll find a spot in my yard that's a little bit cooler and has a little less sun than the rest and plant some Chinese cabbage and spinach there.  If it works, GREAT!  If it doesn't, nothing lost.  It's worth the chance.

WARM WEATHER PLANTS

  • Beans - bush, pole, lima
  • Cantaloupes
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Summer Squash
  • Winter Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

COOL WEATHER PLANTS

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Collards
  • Endive/Escarole
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Onion - multiplier, bunching
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radish
  • Turnip

3 thoughts on “February in the Vegetable Garden

  1. Hi. I live in a central Florida area that is 85% sand and 15% clay. Horrible planting! I have to amend my square foot garden beds every time I want to plant. My success is lousy! Any suggestions on what to add? I try to use all natural products and compost without chemical fertilizers without much luck. I even use containers for each individual tomato plant, without a good yield.

    Thank you for your help

  2. Hi I live in Crystal River and I’m ready to put some plants from the list in the ground, but I keep hesitating because I’m afraid we will get one more freeze or frost. Which is more dangerous—frost or freeze? I’ve been checking the recorded dates but the weather has been so mild this year, as you know, I’m trying really hard to plant on time this year.

  3. I am new to gardening in Florida I don’t know how to tell the difference between warm weather planting and cool weather planting could you please give me some basics for those guidelines thank you

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