Monday, November 11, 2013

November in the North Florida Food Garden from Gardener Ed

These are the vegetables available for harvest in your November garden or for purchase at “locally grown” markets:

Kale, chard, lettuce, green onions, ginger, turmeric, Asian greens, mustards, sweet potatoes and sweet potato leaves, arugula, and lettuce, pole beans, hot peppers, banana peppers, radishes, turnips, Seminole pumpkin squash. Quite a nice list. If you didn’t plant them in August and September, you can still get them at market or online through the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance at
Now is the time to plant varieties of "short day" onions such as Grano, Granex, Texas Grano, Excel or Tropicana Red. Granex is the variety that is used for producing Vidalia onions and St. Augustine Sweets. Onions grow well during our relatively mild winters and will be ready for harvest in early May.

Strawberries should be planted during October and November. Like onions, strawberry plants are very cold hardy, producing a full sized plant by spring and yielding a crop during March, April, and May. Use only "short day" strawberry varieties. These include Camarosa, Sweet Charlie, Chandler, Dover, Selva, Oso Grande, Florida Belle, and Florida 90.

Direct seed arugula, chard, collards, kale, lettuce, mustard, spinach, and turnips. Some of these may need a bit of frost protection, especially chard, and spinach. Others are kind of risky to plant this late, especially transplants of broccoli, cabbage, collards, and kale. In my garden beets and spinach are challenges. If you are in town or in a little warmer microclimate you can still plant carrots. Since radishes only take a short time to grow, you might plant a few along your carrot rows as markers because they come up much sooner than carrots.
With cooler weather, insects are less of a problem. However you may need to control caterpillars with BT or Spinosad. BT is degraded by UV light so apply it in the evening. If your brassicas look like lace, check them carefully for caterpillars by day and slugs/snails by night. Sluggo works well on the latter.

For soil building cover crops it’s not too late to plant crimson clover and rye. Two ounces of each per one hundred square feet.

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