Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October in the North Florida Food Garden from Gardener Ed

By now you should have prepared your planting beds to receive fall plantings.

To guarantee a steady crop of your favorite fall vegetables make small succession plantings, every few weeks. This month, all vegetables that can be direct seeded do not need shade cloth protection from the hot sun.

What to plant now?

You have the choice to either to either direct seed or to plant seedlings or bulbs, in the case of onions, garlic, etc.

Vegetables that can be direct seeded are:

  • Arugula (you could be harvesting arugula if you planted it six weeks ago)
  • Asian greens like komatsuna, mizuna, bok choy, and tatsoi
  • Beets*
  • Carrots
  • Chard*
  • Collards
  • Daikon Radish
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Spinach*
  • Turnips
**Soak the seeds overnight before planting.

To gain some growing time, put in transplants of:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Onions; scallions, green onions, and bunching onions
  • Onions, bulbing
  • Onion sets: choose the short-day varieties such as Excel, Texas Grano, Granex, White Granex and Tropicana Red. Keep onions well weeded.
  • Onions, green
  • Shallots
  • Garlic as cloves - soft neck garlic is better for our area
  • Elephant garlic cloves
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
Plant annual herbs such as:

  • Arugula
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Fennel
Perennial Herbs that are better put in as transplants

  • Parsley**
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
**Parsley is a biannual herb and since it is so slow in germinating it may be better to do transplants than direct seeding. That way you may have parsley in time for Thanksgiving.

You can continue digging a few sweet potatoes, let the remainder grow larger but harvest before frost.

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