What to plant in december california

December Tips: Southern California

Finish transplanting flowers.

  • Don’t fertilize or water roses this month. They need to harden off for winter. However, in desert areas you may want to give them an occasional drink if you think they need it.
  • This month is a great time to transplant. Just be sure to keep new transplants well-watered if the weather is mild and dry.
  • Finish your planting of pre-chilled spring bulbs, such as tulips and hyacinths.

Planting Bare-Root Trees, Shrubs, and Roses — Finish planting bare-root trees, shrubs, roses, and vegetables. But hold off planting tropicals until next spring. It’s still too cold.

Planting Trees and Shrubs

Planting a Bare-Root Rose

Storing Tender Bulbs — In colder regions (Zones 8 and colder), dig up and store tender bulbs, including tuberous begonias, glads, dahlias, cannas, and others.

Storing Tender Bulbs

  • Protect tender annuals, such as cineraria, by throwing on a sheet or other non-plastic material when frost threatens. In fact, for vegetables, you can cover them indefinitely with any very light landscape fabric and anchor the corners with bricks or stones. It lets in sun and rain, but prevents light frosts from doing any damage. Also, try planting under a tree or overhang to protect plants from frost.

Smart Pruning — Prune deciduous fruit trees once they’ve gone dormant and dropped their leaves.

Smart Pruning

  • In those areas where frosts are just an occasional thing, keep plantings well-watered so whenever a freeze threatens, plants are more likely to survive. A “turgid” well-hydrated plant is better-equipped to recover than a dehydrated plant.
  • If a plant is damaged by frost, resist the urge to prune the damaged parts. They may well protect the rest of the plant during the next frost.
  • Cut back dormant grapevines. A bonus: The cuttings make great wreaths!
  • Stimulate wisteria by cutting it back now. Cut back the long, thin branches that appeared this season alongside or entangled with the older wood. Leave two or three buds at the base of the branch.
  • Set out a nice big basket to hold all those garden catalogs that have started arriving already so you can read them after the holidays, at your leisure.
  • If you’ve overseeded your lawn and there are bare spots, feel free to scatter a bit more seed to fill in. Also, if the weather is warm and dry, you may need to water the lawn.
  • In warmer regions, from now through February, after a killing freeze or a frost, is a good time to move a rose. Transplant it with as much of the roots as possible and keep well-watered.
  • Keep up with the harvest in the veggie garden and plant more, if desired. You can plant artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, greens, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, potatoes, and radishes now.

Sow African daisy (gazania), ageratum, alyssum, baby-blue-eyes, baby’s breath (gypsophila), bachelor’s buttons (cornflower), calendulas, candytuft, delphinium, forget-me-nots, hollyhocks, impatiens, larkspur, lobelia, lunaria (honesty, money plant, silver dollar plant), lupines, nasturtiums, pansies, sweet peas, California and Iceland and Shirley poppies, verbena, and wildflowers. While they may not germinate immediately, they will after a stretch of warm weather, so keep seed flats moist.
Plant more spring-blooming bulbs early this month, and save some to plant from mid-February through mid-March for extended bloom through late spring.
Transplant astilbes, azaleas, bleeding hearts, calendulas, camellias, canterbury bells (campanula, bellflower), cinerarias, columbines (aquilegia), cyclamen, delphiniums, dianthus, forget-me-nots, foxgloves, gaillardias, hollyhocks, lilies-of-the-valley, ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies, peonies, Iceland and Oriental poppies, primroses, snapdragons, stocks, sweet Williams, violas, and violets.
When transplanting, be careful to not compact the soil, now that it’s thoroughly cold and moist. After gently gathering the soil back around the transplant’s roots, barely water it in–just enough to settle the plant. Tamping the soil more than lightly will damage the soil tilth by compression, making it difficult for roots to penetrate.
Feed shrubs and trees that will bloom in January and February. If azalea and gardenia foliage is light or yellowish-green, water plants with a solution of chelated iron.
If you haven’t already, lift begonia, caladium, gladiolus, and dahlia bulbs, corms, and tubers. Let them dry for a day, and gently remove any remaining soil (but don’t wash them). They may rot if they are left in heavy, wet soil over the winter. Check stored bulbs, corms, and tubers at least every three weeks, and discard any that have spoiled; if any have sprouted, the storage area may need to be cooler or darker.
Divide dahlia clumps so that each new section retains a piece of the stem, as new shoots will sprout only from that spot. Store them in open containers with good ventilation in a dark, cool but frost-proof place that doesn’t get warmer than about 45 degrees.
Protect tender plants from frost. Move dish cacti and succulents and potted trees under cover for protection from cold and rain. For overnight protection when frost threatens, cover bougainvilleas, fuchsias, hibiscus, and other subtropicals with large cardboard boxes; or drape old sheets or tarps on stakes over them. If plastic sheeting is used, don’t let it touch the foliage, or the foliage may freeze more readily.
If you plan to decorate a live Christmas tree indoors and then move or plant it outdoors afterwards, choose a smaller size of tree, as it’ll adapt better than a more mature one. After you bring the tree home, water it well and store it in an unheated garage or outbuilding for two or three days as a “half way spot” transition area before you move it indoors. Keep the rootball moist and the boughs misted.
Once the tree is in place indoors away from heating vents or fireplaces, either water it directly or by scattering ice cubes around the soil surface to slowly seep down into the entire root ball. Limit its time indoors to a maximum of seven days; fewer if the house is very warm.
Move the tree outside again to the garage, shed, or protected spot for at least two weeks before moving or planting it in the open garden. The longer you enjoy the tree in the warm house, the longer it will need to reacclimate to outdoor conditions.
Prune conifers and broad-leafed evergreens to shape them, lessen chances of wind and frost damage, and provide trimmings for holiday decorations. Branches that hold their shape well indoors include incense cedar, fir, laurel, magnolia, oleander, pine, pittosporum, podocarpus, and viburnum. The red berries from cotoneaster, nandina, and pyracantha always serve as a bright accent.
Norfolk Island pines can become mini-Christmas trees, with their own tiny lights and ornaments. Provide each room in the house with its own individually decorated tree–like cookie cutters hung with red ribbon bows for the kitchen. Other living plants for indoor color include African violets, azaleas, begonias, Christmas cactus, Christmas (Jerusalem) cherry, cyclamen, and kalanchoe, as well as the ever-dependable chrysanthemum and poinsettia. Be sure to give these living plants bright indirect light, keep them cool and out of drafts, and water them just enough to keep the potting mix barely moist. Cacti and succulents are also good choices, but they need direct sunlight and very little water.
The garden is a treasure trove of possibilities for holiday decorations. Pyracantha berries alternated with popcorn make attractive garlands. Oranges, lemons or apples sprinkled with cinnamon or cardamom and stuck with whole cloves are delightfully fragrant pomander balls. Rose hips add bright red and orange colors to green wreaths. Vines from grapes, honeysuckle, wisteria, willow, or ivy will bend into many usable shapes. Eucalyptus pods, pine cones, acorns, and magnolia leaf clusters provide many shades of brown. Bufford’s Holly, which grows better here than the traditional variety, gives us stickery-leafed green with red berries. And, of course, the mistletoe.
Herbs, too, can trim yule logs, flavor jelly, give fragrance to clusters of twigs or wreaths and perfume the air in stovetop potpourris.
Don’t worry that your houseplants don’t seem too perky now–they’re going dormant, just like many plants outdoors. Plants need this rest, so stop feeding them, and water them only to keep the soil barely moist. Also, be sure they’re not getting blasted with hot air from a heater vent or fireplace. Plants close to windows may get too much cold air at night, so move them or provide a shield between them and the window. The most comfortable temperature range for indoor plants is 65-75 degrees, with extremes of 60 and 80 degrees.

It’s not too late to plant some veggies | The Sacramento Bee

Plant radishes now. Bigstock

Don’t put away that shovel! Even if you never got around to planting tomatoes and peppers last summer, you can grow vegetables in December – just not the same ones. Take a break from the holiday hoopla and work on your winter garden. Think of it as burning off those extra holiday calories.

▪ Transplant asparagus roots along with seedlings for bok choy, kale and leaf lettuce.

▪ Seed directly into garden beds such cool-weather favorites as fava beans, broccoli, mustard, radicchio and radishes. Also, plant onion sets and garlic.

▪ Start indoors early spring annuals such as aster, calendula, cornflower and cosmos.

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▪ Want spring color in a hurry? Seeds for California poppy and echinacea can be planted directly in the garden.

▪ To help prevent leaf curl, apply a copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees after they lose their remaining leaves. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective if applied now. Choose a fungicide with at least 50 percent copper.

▪ For larger blooms, pinch off some camellia buds.

▪ Plant spring bulbs such as daffodils, Dutch iris, hyacinths, ranunculus, sparaxis, watsonia, freesia and tulips. Over-plant with winter annuals such as pansies and violas.

Vegetable gardening in the winter time for most parts of the united states seems difficult.

Not in Florida.

There are lots of vegetables that grow in the Florida winter. Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Radish, Spinach, Swiss Chard and Turnips can all grow in the Florida winter.

North Florida has a legitimate winter, they have nights in the upper teens a few nights a year. some parts of central Florida see frosts and rarely freezing temperatures while south Florida normally doesn’t see frost conditions, although it does happen sometimes.

Each part of the state will have slightly different planting times in order to maximize the ideal growing conditions for these veggies.

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Vegetables That Grow In The Florida Winter

The coldest months in Florida are December, January, and February. Some of the vegetables on this list can withstand a north Florida winter. things like kale, Cauliflower, Carrots, and Chard can all survive freezing temperatures but not every single veggie on this list can withstand this.

those in North Florida and some parts of central Florida should make note of that. If you’re not sure what the average low temperature in your area is you can find that out here.

Arugula

Spicy spinach as I like to call it. Arugula can tolerate light frosts. Plant arugula in north and central Florida in September and in south Florida you can plant in October.

You can grow arugula all the way through march in all parts of the state. Arugula is a fast growing crop and can be harvested in about a month from planting.

Florida Friendly Arugula Varieties: Astro, Speedy

It’s best to spread out your plantings of arugula by 2 to 3 weeks. This lets you have a continuous harvest of fresh arugula. Each plant needs about 6 inches of space in order to grow to a nice size.

Beets

Beets love to grow in the Florida winter. Starting beets from seed is probably the hardest part of growing them. Our cool winters give the seedlings a better chance of getting established.

Beets can be grown in warm weather as well as cool weather. They are a versatile vegetable that can withstand a hard freeze. Plant beets in North and Central Florida during September and in South Florida you can plant in October.

Florida Friendly Beet Varieties: Cylindra, Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder, Tall Top, Yellow Detroit

Beets can be grown throughout the Florida winter all the way into early spring. March marks the end of the growing season for beets. Beets usually mature in about 2 months from planting.

Ensure you thin seedlings to give each plant about 3 inches of space all the way around to grow.

For more info on growing beets in Florida check out this post.

Broccoli

Broccoli can tolerate freezing temperatures which means that those in north Florida can grow this vegetable in the winter time. It is one of the easiervegetables to start from seed.

Those in North and central Florida should plant in September. Those in South Florida should plant in October. You can grow broccoli all the way through until March.

Florida Friendly Broccoli Varieties: Calabrese, De Cico, Early Dividend, Early Green, Packman, Waltham

Harvest broccoli heads before their flowers open. After you harvest the first head of broccoli the plant will send out more side shoots that you can harvest.

For more on growing broccoli in Florida check out this post.

Brussels Sprouts

A slow maturing, cool season crop which may be difficult for those in some parts of South and Central Florida. Brussels can take up to 140 days in order to mature and don’t like overly warm weather.

Warm weather causes the little tiny heads of cabbage to open up and taste bad.

Florida Friendly Brussels Sprout Varieties:Jade Cross, Long Island Improved

In North Florida you should plant your seeds in August. In Central Florida you should plant in September and those in South Florida Should plant in October.

Give each plant about 2 feet of space all the way around to grow. They can grow large, up to 3 feet tall but actually do not require staking.

Cabbage

Frost tolerant and not picky, it’s probably one of the easier vegetables to grow in the Florida winter. Cabbage hates warm weather and will begin to bolt at the first sign of the temperatures heating up.

Cabbages take about 3 months in order to mature. It’s a good idea to space out planting a little bit in order to have a continuous harvest.

Florida Friendly Cabbage Varieties: Copenhagen Market, Flat Dutch, Red Acre, Rio Verde, Round Dutch, Savoy, Wakefield

Plant cabbage in all parts of the state around September in full sun. Cabbage really benefits from being fertilized with a nitrogen heavy fertilizer.

The only issue that I’ve had when growing cabbage is armyworms, they cut down my cabbages when they were tiny seedlings. But I’ll have more on common pests later in this post.

Carrots

The hardest part about growing carrots for me has been getting the seeds to start. They’re really tiny seeds and they must stay moist in order to sprout and they can take up to 3 weeks to show their little heads.

In all parts of Florida you can plant carrots from September to March. Space out your planting times in order to have a continous harvest of carrots.

Florida Friendly Carrot Varieties: Chantenay, Danvers, Nantes, Imperator

It’s important to thin your carrot seedlings out to give them enough room to grow. Carrots like about 2 inches of space to spread their roots. They usually take about 2 months in order to mature and they also like loose soil.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower can withstand moderate frosts but can not take freeing temperatures. Those in North Florida and some parts of Central Florida should be mindful of this.

In all parts of the state you should plant cauliflower seeds in the garden around September. The growing season comes to an end around March.

Florida Friendly Cauliflower Varieties: Brocoverde, Snowball, Snow Crown

Cauliflower plants need about 18 inaches of space all the way around in order to fully mature. Plant in an area that gets full sun. Be sure to water regularly and treat with a nitrogen heavy fertilizer.

For more info on growing cauliflower in Florida check out this post.

Collards

One of the easiest vegetables to grow in the Florida winter and the Florida summer. Collard greens are an amazing vegetable. they can take our summer heat and can withstand hard frosts.

When grown in the cold weather, the leaves of the plant are much more flavorful. Plant collards around August and September for all parts of the state.

Florida Friendly Collard Varieties: Georgia Southern, Top Bunch, Vates

Collards do well when fertilized with a nitrogen focused fertilizer and are ready for harvest about 2 months after planting.

For more info on growing collards in Florida check out this post.

Kale

Kale tastes the best when grown through light frosts. The cold weather sweetens up the taste of the leaves. Kale can withstand even the coldest night the North Florida winter can throw at it.

Plant kale around September for all parts of the state. It can be grown throughout the winter time all the way until April when the weather begins to warm.

Florida friendly Kale Varieties: Tuscan(lacinato), Red Russian, Redbor, Vates Dwarf Blue Curled, Winterbor

Give kale full sun and about a foot and a half of space per plant. You can begin to harvest kale about 2 months after planting.

Kohlrabi

An alien looking plant that loves the cold weather. It’s not the most common plant to have in your garden but it is eye-catching. In german, its name translates to cabbage turnip.

Plant Kohlrabi in all parts of the state around September. You can continue growing until March. It’s easy to grow and comes in both red and green varieties.

Florida Friendly Kohlrabi Varieties:Early White Vienna, Early Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Kolibri, Superschmelz

Kohlrabi matures quickly, in about 2 months. You can harvest the root and also the leaves. Both parts of the plant are edible. Kohlrabi is a large plant and needs about 2 feet of space in order to fully mature.

Lettuce

Lettuce can mean a lot of different plants. However, all of them enjoy our Florida winters.

You have 4 different types to choose from. Crisphead, Butter, Looseleaf and Romaine. Crisphead lettuce is basically iceberg lettuce (and probably the most difficult one to grow out of all the lettuces).

Florida Friendly Lettuce Varieties:

  • Butter: Bib, Buttercrunch, Ermosa, Tom Thumb
  • Crisphead: Great Lakes
  • Loose Leaf: New Red Fire, Oak Leaf, Red Sails, Royal Oak, Salad Bowl, Simpson
  • Romaine: Parris Island Cos, Outredgeous

Lettuce can be planted in all parts of the state September through February. If grown in conditions that are too warm your lettuce will begin to taste bitter. But lettuce will not survive any hard frosts. This is easy to avoid though because lettuce is a fast growing crop.

You can harvest lettuce about 2 months after planting. This is another plant where it is a good idea to space out planting. This way you can constantly have a supply of fresh leaves.

I wrote an article all about growing lettuce in Florida which you can check out here.

Mustard

Mustard is pretty similar to collards in terms of growing them. The two might be tied for the easiest vegetable to grow in Florida. They are versatile in which they can be grown pretty much year round, they can take the chills and the heat Florida has to offer.

The best time to plant for Florida is September. The cooler months will allow the leaves to develop the best flavor.

Florida Friendly Mustard Varieties: Florida Broad Leaf, Giant Red, Green Wave, Mizuna, Southern Giant Curled, Tendergreen

Just like lettuce warm weather causes mustard to bolt and become bitter tasting. Mustard is a fast growing food, usually ready for harvest in about 45 days.

When growing be sure to give each mustard plant about a foot and a half of space all the way around.

Radish

A radish can really spice up a boring salad quick. This may be a less popular vegetable on this list but it is a fast and easy vegetable to grow.

Radishes are frost tolerant and if grown in warmer weather they will producer a spicer tasting root. In north Florida, you can actually begin planting in April all the way through to November. In central and south Florida you can plant from October to April.

Florida Friendly Radish Varieties: Champion Cherry Belle, Daikon, Sparkler, White Icicle

Radish plants only need 2 to 3 inches of space in order to grow. They mature fast, usually ready for harvest in about 45 days.

I’ve also written an article on growing radishes in Florida, which you can check out here.

Spinach

Spinach produces the best-tasting leaves only in the coolest months of the year for us. Like other lettuce type crops, bolting occurs when the weather warms up. Although Malabar spinach(not a true spinach) actually prefers the warmth. But that’s a whole different topic.

Plant spinach, in full sun, during October in all parts of the state.

Florida Friendly Spinach Varieties: Bloomsdale Longstanding, Melody 3, Space, Tyee

Spinach usually matures in 2 months from planting. Spinach is best grown from seeds directly planted into the garden. Give each plant about 6 inches of room to spread their roots and leaves.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard can withstand a moderate freeze and usually takes just under 2 months in order to grow large enough to begin harvesting. Chard is a bright leafy green that adds a splash of color to your green garden.

In all parts of Florida you should plant around October and you can keep growing from then until almost May. Hard North Florida freezes will knock this plant back but because it matures so quickly you shouldn’t have a problem waiting until those cold few weeks roll out and plant again.

Florida Friendly Varieties: Bright Lights, Bright Yellow, Fordhook Giant, Lucullus, Ruby Red

Like all of the fast growing crops, make sure you plant more every few weeks to ensure you have a constant supply of fresh chard on its way.

Turnips

The last fast growing cool season crop on this list! Both the roots and the green leaves of turnips are edible. Another less popular vegetable that I think gets undated.

Turnips can withstand light frosts as well as warmer weather. Those in central Florida would probably be able to plant these seeds year round but will get better results in the cooler months. In North Florida, you should plant in August through October and then again in January. Those in South Florida should plant in October.

Florida Friendly Turnip Varieties: Purple Top White Globe, Seven Top, Shogoin

Directly plant turnip seeds in the garden in a spot that gets full sun. Thin seedlings out as they pop up in order to give each plant about 3 inches of space. Turnips are root crops and prefer a soil that is loose in order to spread their roots easier.

Best Soil For Vegetables

There are a few vegetables on this list that can actualyl grow directly in the Florida soil. Things like Mustard and collards may not need any soil ammending but it is never a bad idea to add compost and a thick layer of mulch to your soil.

If planting directly into your Florida dirt, I would at the very least recommend adding those two things. Compost and mulch will go a long way. I’m a big fan of adding worm castings and Mykos to my dirt as well.

When I build soil for potted plants or raised bed I usually have really good luck with a mix that looks something like this:

  • 40% Peat moss (Check price on Amazon)
  • 40% Compost (You can get it on Amazon but I’ve found it way cheaper at local stores)
  • 20% perlite (Check price on Amazon)
  • Worm castings (Check price on Amazon)
  • Mykos (Check price on Amazon)

Lately, I’ve been using Coco coir (Check price on amazon) instead of peat moss because it is more sustainable and it is less acidic.

Most of this stuff can be found at your local box store or nursery. The only things you may have trouble finding are the worm casting and the Mykos. Worm casting adds an extra nutrient boost and the Mykos is a beneficial Fungus that helps your plants absorb those nutrients.

Fertilizing Vegetables

Each nutrient does something different for your plant. Nitrogen helps promote green leafy growth. Phosphorus helps the plant produce healthy roots and plenty of flowers. Potassium is a good overall health booster, helping the plant with numerous functions.

So depending on what kind of harvest you have, you will want to alter your fertilizer. For instance, the main harvest on collards are their green leafy growth. You would want to use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen to boost your yield.

while plants like carrots and radishes are used mostly for their roots. Your fertilizer would be better to have more phosphorus in order to increase your yield.

Common Florida Vegetable Pests

The most common pests you will see when growing vegetables in the Florida winter are Aphids and caterpillars.

A.)Armyworm B.)Hornworm C.)Aphids D.)Stinkbugs By Adityamadhav83 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26420202

There are a number of other pests you might come across (Leafminers, thrips, and whiteflies) but I think these two are by far the most common. This is what I’ve noticed from my personal experience anyway.

Thankfully these are easy to take care of. The best way to stop these pests from attacking your garden is to plant things that attract good bugs to your garden. Things like herbs and flowers will bring biodiversity to your garden.

A biodiverse garden is a happy garden. For more on attracting beneficial plants to your Florida garden check this post out.

However, sometimes there is a need for chemical action. There are two organic sprays that will take care of aphids and caterpillars. These are neem oil and B.t. Check these out with some other pest control measures here.

Growing Vegetables During The Florida Winter

  • 15 Vegetables the grow in the Florida winter are Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Radish, Spinach, Swiss Chard and Turnips.
  • The coldest months in Florida are December January and February.
  • Planting times for the Florida winter time are usually around September and October.
  • Most of the vegetables that are grown in the Florida winter are root crops and leafy greens.
  • Build good soil, provide full sun and adequate water and you should have no problem growing these vegetables in the Florida winter.

What to Plant in December in Central Florida

Happy December, everyone! One of the things I love about living in Florida is that you can grow food all year round. Florida is a place where you still have a full list of vegetables to plant even in December. Keep on reading to learn what to plant in December in Central Florida – Zone 9b.

Florida Vegetables You Can Grow In December

Here’s the lineup for December in Central Florida (Zone 9b):

Warm Season: You can start growing these three from seeds indoors this month: Eggplant, Peppers, and Tomatoes.

Gardening Recommendations and Tips For December

To help you with your garden this month, I’ve collected a list of the top articles on this site that could be beneficial for you. Feel free to check out any topics you’d like to read more about.

If you decide to get a head start on your eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, I would recommend using a grow light indoors. These plants can be transplanted easily, unlike cucumbers and beans that are much more sensitive. I typically start my plants indoors for a month or two before transplanting outdoors. Check out How to Start Seeds Indoors to learn more. The benefit of starting your warm season plants earlier in the year is to prolong the growing season. It starts to get pretty hot mid-year here.

While December is a great time to plant in Florida, it’s also a good time to get a frost blanket if you don’t have one already. Check out the post Protect Your Plants from the Cold to learn more about keeping your plants warm. There are maybe a dozen times during the season where I pull mine out to cover my plants, typically during December through March. One time I forgot to cover my avocado tree… I don’t have that avocado tree anymore. Learn from Candice – use the cover :D.

If you’re just starting to plan your garden this month then I recommend checking out Using a Garden Planner. I use a garden planner every season and it has helped me a ton with keeping track of what works and what doesn’t and planning for the future. If you’re still designing your garden layout this month I also recommend checking out Companion Planting and Crop Rotation. These help to give your garden an organic advantage to preventing your soil from being depleted and decreasing the number of pests in your garden.

If you don’t already have a reliable seed source, I recommend Botanical Interests. The majority of the seeds I buy come from here. I find the company to be extremely reliable, and provide a wide variety of organic an heirloom seeds.

What to Plant in December in Central Florida Vegetable Guide

Now without further ado..

Below is the December Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida! You can print this out and hopefully, it makes your planning a little bit easier. 🙂

Planting dates here are based on the University of Florida IFAS Extension, and you can find more information on that here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021

And if you’re not sure what zone you’re in, you can check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you go to their website you can type in your zip code for confirmation of your location. The picture below is from their site.

Because I have raised garden beds, I do my planting based on square feet. Square foot planting is included in the chart. For example – if you’re growing cabbage you only want to plant one seed per square foot. For carrots, you can plant 16 per square foot.

Days to harvest depends on the quality of your soil, so keep that in mind when waiting for your vegetables to ripen – they can take longer than the time stated above. Days to harvest is also based on when your seed germinates, and not when you plant your seed.

I hope this December Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida helps you with your garden!

Interested in getting a head start for next month? Check out the January Planting Guide.

Do you have a favorite vegetable to grow this month? Share it with us in the comments below.

Image by peter jung from

WOW! Looks like we might have another mild to winterless year (from about Orlando south anyway)… 5 in a row.

That’s good, but it’s bad.

Good because we get extra growth, don’t have cold damage dieback, 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 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/Escrole
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Onion – multiplier, bunching
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radish
  • Turnip

Everything you can to plant in April – vegetables, fruits and herbs for zones 3 – 10. Spring has sprung and the gardener’s mind is on their garden. Not sure what to plant in April? I have a list of different seeds to start (indoors and outside) for your spring and summer gardens.

Everything to Plant in April by Zone

This time I’ve divided them into zones to help more of you get started for you specific area; because there is a HUGE difference in zone 3 to zone 10 when it comes to what you can plant in April.

If you are not sure what planting zone you are in you can and put your zip code in to check. I’m in zone 10a where we have long hot summers!

I put together one post with all of my gardening tips, tricks, guides and articles, see: How to Have An Amazing Backyard Garden.

Planting in April Guides – Vegetables & Fruit

  • Easy to Grow Vegetables for New Gardeners.
  • 25 Purple Fruits and Veggies to Add to Your Garden
  • Growing Tomatoes at Home
  • How to Grow Corn
  • How to Grow Potatoes Anywhere! and Curing & Long Term Potato Storage
  • How to Grow Sweet Potatoes
  • Growing Cantaloupe
  • Growing Summer Squash

April Planting Guides – Herbs

  • Basil
  • Rosemary

Be sure to check out Getting Your Homestead Spring Ready and How to Have the Best Spring Garden Ever! And I can’t say enough about using companion planting and crop rotation for a happy and healthy garden.

What to Plant in April – Zones 3 & 4

In this far northern zone you may want to start some seeds indoors or work on readying your garden, if you still expect frost. Most of these seeds should be sown after April 15th outside.

Check out Seeds Now for Zone 3 and Zone 4 Organic, Non-Gmo Seeds

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots – How to Preserve Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Onions (seeds, transplants and sets)
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Potatoes – Storing your potato harvest long term
  • Radishes

What to Plant in April – Zone 5 & 6

Check out Seeds Now for Zone 5 and Zone 6 Organic, Non-Gmo Seeds

  • Asparagus (up to the 25th)
  • Basil
  • Bush Beans (after April 24th)
  • Beets
  • Broccoli (early April)
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots (early April) – How to Preserve Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Potatoes – Storing your potato harvest long term
  • Spinach

What to Plant in April – Zone 7 & 8

Check out Seeds Now for Zone 7 and Zone 8 Organic, Non-Gmo Seeds

  • Bush Beans
  • Poles Beans
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Okra
  • Almost all warm season herbs
  • Squash (bush and winter) – Growing Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes (zone 8) – Tips for Growing Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelons – How to Harvest Watermelon

What to Plant in April – Zone 9 & 10

Check out Seeds Now for Zone 9 and Zone 10 Organic, Non-Gmo Seeds

  • Bush Beans
  • Pole Beans
  • Cantaloupes
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Some varieties of Peas
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins
  • Summer Squash – Growing Summer Squash
  • Some varieties of Tomatoes (better as transplants in April)
  • Sweet Potatoes – Tips for Growing Sweet Potatoes
  • Watermelons – How to Harvest Watermelon

Plant in April – Other Considerations

  • If you haven’t already, start a compost bin or pile.
  • Add mulch to your garden to help retain moisture in the upcoming warmer months.
  • Be sure to keep good records of what you’re planting and where you’re planting it. Don’t rely on outdoor markers.

If you want more on gardening please see:

Tips for New Gardeners

Vegetables that Grow Great in Pots

What to Plant in April

Yes, Yes, Yes! April is finally here meaning that your garden soil is finally warming up! April is the best time to plant most of your vegetable seeds after your last frost for all zones. It’s still not too late to plant tomatoes and peppers from seeds as well! Check out the below vegetables that can be started in April. Be sure to check your gardening zone for last frost dates.

Listed below are flower, vegetable and herb varieties that are great to start planting in April based on the Hardiness Zone that you live in.

Beans (Zones 3-10):
There are two main kinds of beans found in gardens, bush beans and pole beans. Start planting both bush and pole beans now that the soil and air are warmed up as they should not have been started indoors. Try a continual 7-10 day sowing of different varieties, this will give you continual bean crops and not one large harvest with wasted crop!
Learning More: How to Grow Beans
Suggested varieties: French Garden, Golden Wax

Beets (Zones 3-10):
Beets are a perfect cool-weather vegetables that come in a variety of hues and shapes. All Zones can sow beets now for a fast, early summer treat!
Learn More: How to Grow Beets
Suggested Varieties: Early Wonder , Chioggia

Cabbage (Zones 3-10):
Cabbage is one of the easier plants to grow in the garden. Sown in April will lead to a great summer harvest! Select a variety that is right for your location (size and maturity length) and be sure to fertilize and water when cabbage head begins to form.
Learn More: How to Grow Cabbage
Suggested varieties: Late Flat Dutch, Golden Acre, Michihili

Carrots (Zones 3-10):
Carrots are a tasty summer treat for both humans and pets. Sowing in April will be sure to produce an early summer crop!
Learn More: How to Grow Carrots
Suggested varieties: Little Finger, Scarlet Nantes, Rainbow Mix

Corn (Zones 3-10):
Corn is a fast growing crop! Corn is delicious when grilled, boiled or steamed fresh off the stalk. Try a small plot of corn two weeks after the last frost, working your way to a large field of several varieties.
Learn More: How to Grow Corn
Suggested varieties: Honey Select Sweet, obsession, Butter and Sugar

Cucumbers (Zones 3-10):
Fast growing vine or bush cucumber plants can produce an abundance of cucumber fruits for a summer harvest. Be careful to pick a variety for the space you have in your garden. Cucumbers can be transplanted three weeks after being started or planted directly two weeks after the last spring frost.
Learn More: How to Grow Cucumbers
Suggest varieties: Spacemaster 80, Boston Pickling, Burpless Bush Slicer

Eggplants (Zones 3-10):
Eggplants are a great meat substitute and can come in different colors of white, orange, light purple and various shapes, for an attractive summer harvest.
Learn More: How to Grow Eggplant
Suggested varieties: Florida Market High Bush, Rosa Bianca

Herbs (Zones 3-10):
Herbs are great to grow inside year-round, but if you want to plant outside now you can start to plant heat loving herbs like basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme and sage.
Learn More: How to Grow Herbs
Suggested varieties: Italian Basil, Greek Oregano, Slow Bolt Cilantro, French Thyme, Broadleaf Sage

Lettuce (Zones 3-10):
Lettuce is a fast grower, so you can stagger the plantings for a continuous harvest. Sowing lettuce in late spring is great for late summer and early fall crops!
Learn More: How to Grow Lettuce
Suggested Varieties: Parris Island Cos, Garden Leaf Blend, Iceberg

Melons (Zones 3-10):
Melons are great for hot, long summers and a staple for summer picnics and family fun! Start seeds indoors and transplant outdoors after 6-8 weeks.
Learn More: How to Grow Melons
Suggested varieties: Tasty Bites, Honey Rock, Rocky Ford Green Flesh

Onions (Zones 3-10):
If you haven’t already, April is the time to start transplanting or directly sowing onions! Be careful to select an onion variety appropriate for your garden zone. If you are in a cooler climate, plant long day onions and if you are in a warmer climate, plant short day onions.
Learn More: How to Grow Onions
Suggest varieties: Red Grano, Ailsa Craig Exhibition, White Sweet Spanish

Peas (Zones 3-10):
Delicious green peas and sugar peas should be planted in April as they will flourish in the spring weather and will produce an abundance of May crops!
Learn More: How to Grow Peas
Suggested varieties: Dwarf Grey Sugar, Sugar Ann, Alderman

Peppers (Zones 3-10):
Fresh, crisp peppers are a garden favorite and can produce high yields when planted close together. April is the time to sow as many different varieties as possible! They come small, big, hot, mild and an array of different colors. If you haven’t already planted your peppers outdoors, now is the time to do so!
Learn More: How to Grow Peppers
Suggested varieties: King of the North, Early Jalapeno, Joe Parker

Summer Squash (Zones 3-10):
Summer squash is such a tasty summer treat when roasted or grilled! Planting summer squash in late April will lead to fresh, tasty squash and zucchini in the summer.
Learning More: How to Grow Squash
Suggested Varieties: Scallop Blend, Early Prolific Straightneck, Garden Spineless

Tomatoes (Zones 3-10):
If you haven’t already started your tomato seeds, start them now! Homegrown tomatoes taste delicious fresh, or they can be used for canning, sauces and other recipes.
Learn More: How to Grow Tomatoes
Suggested varieties: San Marzano, Sun Gold, Bradley, Red Zebra

Annual and Perennial Flowers (Zones 8-10)
April is a great time to start to sow your flowers indoors so they can be ready for summer blooms!
Annuals: Marigolds, Zinnias
Perennials: Tidal Wave Silver Petunias

If you would like to see a detailed map and planting schedule for your state please select below:

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

April in the Garden

Yes, the days are getting shorter. Yes, the first frosts may soon be here. But don’t simply run around shouting “winter is coming!” April is still peak harvest season! And it’s also time to make sure that in a couple of months you don’t look out onto a backyard of ‘white walkers’ and despair, but instead see a lush array of delicious winter veggies. Which, incidentally, will also provide adequate nutrition should any supernatural ice creatures threaten your suburban idyll.

What to plant

  1. Veggies: The colder wetter months in Melbourne are a great time to grow veggies, and now is an excellent time to plant! Consider cabbage, asian greens like mizuna, tatsoi or pak choi, lettuce, rocket, spinach, carrots, celery, cauliflower, spring onions, leek, onions, radish, turnips and swedes. And don’t forget some legumes for protein for you, and valuable nitrogen for your soil: now’s the time to plant peas of all varieties and the much maligned but actually very delicious fresh, broad beans. It’s also time to put in your garlic and shallots. Just don’t put them next to those broad beans and peas — as the onion family and legumes do not get long. (It’s an old but petty feud; the details aren’t worth going into here.) The beautiful, but dreaded enemy of the human species, the cabbage white butterfly is slowing down with the colder weather — but your brassica seedlings are not safe yet! Look for the tiny yellow football-shaped eggs on the underside of the leaves and simply rub them off every few days. Consider tempting slugs and snails away from your seedlings with a little bit of beer in a bowl. (They have a drinking problem.)
  2. Herbs: Get some parsley in, one of the most hardy, productive, delicious and healthy herbs there is. Also try some rosemary, oregano, thyme and if you’ve got a corner of the garden where it won’t go wandering into your veggie patch, some mint.
  3. Companions and flowers: Add some colour to your garden bed and salad, attract beneficial insects, and suppress disease with some flowering plants. Some multipurpose flowers (most, not all, edible!) include cornflower, calendula, pansies, viola, nasturtium, yarrow, daisies including feverfew and camomile, and marigolds.
  4. Green manures: Even if you’re not going to grow anything over winter to eat, you can grow some soil improving crops which you can dig back in or mulch with come spring. If your soil has been a little overworked, it will love you for it! It’s like taking your soil on vacation. At this time of year try broad bean (buy them in bulk as fava beans from Middle Eastern groceries), field pea, oats and wheat.

Fruit trees

You may be still bringing in the apples, pears and the odd fig, and this month will bring the first pomegranates, persimmons and feijoas. If you haven’t given your mature fruit trees a ‘late summer’ prune, now would be the time!

Fertilising, mulching and watering

If you’ve been growing summer veggies, it’s now about time for “out with the old, and in with the new”. The changing of the seasons is the best time to add new mulch, fertilise and build up organic matter in your soil with compost.

  • Now’s the time to begin pulling out the defeated of the summer veggies. Eggplants, basil and capsicum may be hanging in there, but maybe some of your other veggies are well past their prime. (Green tomato chutney anyone?) When you pull out the veggies — and weeds in between — don’t let those wonderful nutrients leave your system. The compost will gladly eat them up and turn them into great soil. If you’re pulling up diseased plants, you’d ideally build a hot compost to make sure the disease causing organisms are mercilessly cooked. Try to pull your weeds out before they go to seed, but if they have gone to seed, a hot compost will take care of them too! See our page on compost for more.
  • Some of last season’s plants might be able to stay right where they are to form a mulch for the next season. Or you may get your hands on some autumn leaves — now is the time to start foraging for your year’s supply. Whatever it is — mulch! It protects the soil from the elements and breaks down to fertilise your plants. It’s like a blanket for the soil too, so in the depths of winter nights it won’t get so cold, and the plants can keep growing. About 3-5cm is a good amount for most mulches. Make sure to pull it away from the trunks of plants and small seedlings to keep them dry.
  • There’s no longer as much need to water as much as in summer. If you’re using an automated tap timer, consider turning the tap off after rain, and turning it back on in dry spells.

Foraging

  • April is when the wild and wonderful edible weeds begin a flush of nutritious growth. Get a copy of Adam and Annie’s Weed Forager’s Handbook or come along to one of Adam’s Edible Weed Walks.
  • It’s also time to look out for edible mushrooms! But you better know what you’re doing because amongst the gastronomically inclined fungi there are many with very toxic intentions. Maybe check out one of Alison Pouliot’s great workshops.

What to sow and grow in February

With crocus’ flowering, it’s a sign that winter is coming to a close
Image: Crocus ‘Ruby Giant’ by Thompson & Morgan

February might be the cold, tail end of winter, but springtime is only around the corner. There are plenty of flowers, fruits and vegetables to sow and grow this month. Here are our top picks:

Flowers to sow and grow

Give your begonias a head start by planting them in a frost-free position
Image: Stanislav71

Here are the flowers that can be most successfully sown and grown in February:

In the greenhouse/indoors

  • • Sow lobelia in a heated propagator.
  • • Plant begonia tubers (hollow side up) in pots of moist compost and cover with a little more compost. Keep them in a bright, frost-free position.
  • • Sow antirrhinums (snapdragons) and laurentia now to ensure early flowering.
  • • Start dahlia tubers into growth by planting them in pots of compost, maintaining a minimum temperature of 10 degrees celsius.
  • • Sow sweet peas in a glasshouse, cold frame or a cool place indoors. Soak sweet pea seeds in tepid water overnight before planting them, to speed up germination.
  • • Grow your own chrysanthemum plants from seed – start them off now in the greenhouse for the earliest blooms.
  • • Sow geraniums (pelargoniums) indoors now for earlier flowers.
  • • Plant or pot on hardwood cuttings taken last year.
  • • Pot on rooted cuttings of tender perennial plants taken last summer.

Plant outdoors

  • • Plant lilies and allium bulbs. Although best done in autumn, you can get away with planting lilies and alliums until spring.
  • • Plant bare root roses in a sunny position for spectacular summer colour.
  • • Plant fragrant winter-flowering shrubs to add interest to borders, such as daphne, viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, witch hazel (hamamelis x intermedia) and wintersweet (chimonanthus praecox).

Vegetables and herbs to sow and grow

Grow your own herbs to adorn your dishes
Image: Fausta Lavagna

You can really get cracking in the vegetable garden this month. Here are the crops to focus on:

  • • Start growing (chitting) early potatoes on a windowsill indoors.
  • • Start sowing cucumber and tomato seeds for the greenhouse, in warm conditions.
  • • Sow peas – try sowing them in upcycled guttering with drainage holes drilled in the bottom.
  • • Start asparagus pea seeds under cover for planting out in late spring.
  • • Sow aubergine seeds now for indoor crops this summer.
  • • Grow your own basil on the windowsill to flavour your favourite Italian dishes and fill your kitchen with heady Mediterranean aromas.
  • • Start early sowings of brassicas under cover. Try Brussels sprouts, summer cabbage, cauliflower ‘All the Year Round’, and calabrese ‘Aquiles’.
  • • Start slow-growing celeriac seeds now under cover.
  • • Try bolt-resistant varieties of celery, such as ‘Lathom Self Blanching’, for early sowings.
  • • Sow leeks under cover – these vegetables need a long growing season.
  • • Try growing really large onions this year – sow ‘Bunton’s Showstopper’ and ‘Ailsa Craig’ indoors now.
  • • Sow sweet peppers for growing on in a heated greenhouse. Always provide plenty of warmth.

In the cold frame/under cloches

Varieties of early carrots can be sowed in February
Image: Audrius Merfeldas

  • • Sow broad beans, carrots, parsnips, early beetroot, salad onions, lettuces, radish, peas, spinach and summer cabbages outside under cloches, if you have light (sandy) soil and live in a mild part of the UK. Otherwise it’s best to wait until the soil has begun to warm up in March or April.
  • • Sow beetroot under cover.
  • • Sow early carrot varieties, such as ‘Nantes 2’, under cloches or in greenhouse borders.
  • • Grow chicory under cloches, for early summer harvesting.
  • • Sow early peas under cloches for your first crop of the season. ‘Twinkle’ is a good variety for this.
  • • Sow radish seeds now under cloches or in greenhouse borders.
  • • Grow some salad leaves, lettuce or spinach indoors or under cloches for a tasty and nutritious start to the growing season.
  • • Sow seeds of spring onions under cloches, in greenhouse borders or in cold frames. ‘Ishikura’ and ‘Summer Isle’ are good early varieties.

Direct sow outdoors

  • • Direct sow hardy broad beans, such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia’, if the soil isn’t frozen.
  • • Plant out garlic and shallots in light soils only; heavy soils still need longer to warm up.
  • • Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers.

Fruit to sow and grow

Create your own orchard by planting stone fruit trees in February
Image: Apricot ‘Flavourcot’ by Thompson & Morgan

February is a good time for planting the following fruits:

  • • Plant raspberry canes and blackberries, provided the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged.
  • • Plant redcurrants, whitecurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries if soil conditions are right.
  • • Plant bare-root strawberry plants outside now. Replace plants that are 3 years old or more, as they will have lost much of their vigour.
  • • Plant stone fruit trees, such as apricots, peaches and nectarines.
  • • Plant rhubarb crowns in a sunny position in well drained soil.

Keep one step ahead – what to order this month:

Order perennials like foxgloves in February
Image: Foxglove ‘Excelsior Hybrid Mixed’ by Thompson & Morgan

  • • Order sweet pea seeds to sow under cloches, in a cold frame, or in a cool room.
  • • Buy perennial plants like foxgloves
  • • Order summer bedding plug plants

Five perennials to plant in February

There might be a chill in the air, but there are plenty of tough, hardy perennials that can be planted out in the garden in February.

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By planting while the ground is wetter, you can spend less time watering your plantings, and give them more time to settle in. That said, waterlogged soils will need to be improved with some horticultural grit before planting. If you’re gardening in shade, you could try planting one of our top 10 shade-loving perennial plants.

Discover our perennial picks for planting in February, including plants with architectural and wildlife value, below.

1

Lupins

These vibrant perennials are available in a huge array of colours, from the crimson ‘My Castle’, to the ivory-flowered ‘Cashmere Cream’. A sunny position is best, though they will tolerate partial shade, and you should plant them in free-draining soil. Watch out for slugs and snails, and keep deadheading the blooms for more flowers.

Tall crimson blooms of lupin ‘My Castle’ 2

Hardy geraniums

Hardy geraniums, also known as cranesbills, are tremendously useful plants to have in the garden. The flowers will last for months, providing plenty of food for pollinators, and they’re easy to grow. They can also be grown in sun or shade. These robust plants will adapt to suit most soils, except those that are waterlogged.

Pink-lined white flowers of a hardy geranium or cranesbill 3

Globe thistles

Tall with metallic blue pompom-shaped flower heads, globe thistles (Echinops) are wonderfully architectural plants. They grow best in poor, well-drained soils, sited in full sun, though they’re tolerant of other soils. Varieties to grow include the deep blue ‘Veitch’s Blue’, or the woolly-stemmed ‘Taplow Blue’.

Vivid-blue spiky-globe flowers of Echinops ‘Veitch’s Blue’ 4

Japanese anemones

Reliable and vigorous, Japanese anemones will are ideally suited to borders, blending well with other plants and adding height and structure. They dislike being transplanted, so try to plant in a spot where this is unlikely to be needed. Grow them in partial shade, under trees is perfect, in moist, well-drained soil.

Advertisement Japanese anemone flowers: pale pink petals around golden centres 5

Acanthus

Another perennial suited to dappled shade beneath trees, Acanthus spinosus, or bears breeches, form impressive clumps, with large, glossy leaves and towering flower spikes, which appear from late-spring to late-summer. Bound to make an impression, plant in fertile, well-drained soil and give them lots of room to grow.

Glossy dark leaves and tall flowers spikes of Acanthus spinosus, or bears’ breeches

February Planting Guide

If you don’t know what zone your garden is in, find your USDA hardiness zone here. Enter the code on the security pop-up (it is case-sensitive), then enter your ZIP Code to see your zone. If you click where you live, a window will pop up showing your exact zone info.

What to Do In Your Garden This Month

Zones 1 – 4

  • Start a garden journal now, allowing space to record the dates of first and last frosts, seed-planting dates, transplanting, time of bloom, first fruit, fertilizing, problems with pests, and what worked and didn’t work. Over a period of years, this will be an invaluable record.
  • Check for winter sales at your local garden center; you can often find deals on pots, planters, and tools.
  • Test and replace fluorescent bulbs in grow lights. Also test LED grow lights if you are using them.
  • Organize seed packets according to planting date. Start ordering seeds. Do not wait until late in the winter, as varieties may sell out early.
  • Try raising an indoor crop of leaf lettuce beneath lights. Plant lettuce in flats and harvest before it’s time to start some of the later seedlings. Artificial light may be required, but the air should not be too hot.
  • Sprouts are a good indoor crop now.

Zones 5 – 6

  • Draw your garden plan before placing your seed order. Refer to last year’s notes and plan for crop rotation and selection of varieties that did well. Try at least one new variety this year.
  • Start ordering seeds. Do not wait until late in the winter, as varieties may sell out early.
  • Order onion bulbs now for the best selection, store them in a cool place.
  • Wash and sterilize seed-starting containers in 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
  • Start seeds of onions and leeks indoors towards the end of the month for transplanting in early March.
  • Start some herbs in containers, such as fresh parsley or garlic chives.
  • To give your vegetables an early start, use season-extending devices such as cold frames or hot beds.
  • For the earliest tomatoes, start short season tomato seeds under lights at the end of the month. In mid to late April, set out the transplants and protect them with Wall O’ Waters.
  • If the ground isn’t frozen, sow some spinach and radishes outdoors under cover.
  • Try raising an indoor crop of leaf lettuce beneath lights. Plant lettuce in flats and harvest before it’s time to start some of the later seedlings. Artificial light may be required, but the air should not be too hot.
  • Sprouts are an easy and quick crop now.

Zones 7 – 8

  • Start seeds of cabbage, early lettuce, and at the end of the month, broccoli.
  • Start onion bulbs in the garden underneath a row cover towards the end of the month.
  • Sow peas in the garden towards the end of the month. Cover the pea bed with clear plastic until sprouts begin to emerge; then immediately switch to a floating row cover to protect the seedlings from weather and birds.
  • Start herb seeds indoors under lights.
  • Feed the soil by applying compost to plantings throughout your landscape: trees, shrubs, lawn, and all garden beds.
  • Continue sowing pollinator attracting flower seeds directly into flowerbeds and flowers for cuttings.
  • Try sprouts for a quick, fresh green vegetable in less than a week.

Zones 9 – 10

  • Build the soil! During dry spells, dig in composted manure and garden waste; turn under cover crops such as annual rye, vetch, and clover.
  • Start seeds of beloved summer vegetables—tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant—indoors under lights. In hotter climates (southern AZ, desert CA & NV, southern TX and southern FL) don’t delay getting them started to have fruit before the June heat arrives.
  • Direct-seed radishes, spinach, carrots, peas, onions, and cabbage family vegetables so you can harvest a crop before the real heat sets in.
  • Later this month, plant corn and cucumbers in the garden, but be prepared to protect them from a surprise frost.
  • Set out transplants of hot peppers; be prepared to protect them from frost and, as the weather warms, from intense sunlight.
  • Also later this month, start southern favorites such as okra, southern peas, and sweet potatoes that love the heat.

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