Fall Garden Plans 2019

Variety recommendations and planting windows below are from the Florida Extension Service for North Florida and others as noted. Those shown in BOLD are planned for the big garden. We have seeds for those with an * and those in the lists at the bottom of this post.

Fertilizer/Lime for the Big Garden per Soil Report

Lime needed – 1 ton/acre or 50 lbs/1,000 SF. As the garden is almost 14,000 SF, we need to spread 14 sacks.

Fertilizer needed is 120 lbs-0 lbs-60 lbs per acre.

  • Beets* – Plant Sep-NLT Oct 1 – Tall Top (greens), Early Wonder, Detroit Dark Red, Cylindra, Red Ace, Yellow Detroit.
    • 1 oz = 100″ row = 9′-4″
    • Start planting in October and continue in three-week intervals through February. 
    • Optimum Soil Temp for Germination – 90
    • SESE recommends
      • Beets should be grown in a light loam of pH 6.5 to 7.0. If soil pH is below 6, sprinkle limestone or wood ashes in the row as you plant; otherwise, the yield will be seriously impaired. An even supply of moisture and the absence of extended periods of hot weather is necessary for the development of fine-quality roots.
      • Thin to 6 plants per foot for fresh beets, 3 plants per foot for beets used for winter storage, in rows 12 in. apart.
  • Broccoli – Plant Aug-Feb – Waltham 29*, De Cicco*. 1/8 oz = 100 plants = 100′ row
    • Seeds should germinate in 5 to 10 days at an optimal temperature of  77°F
    • Waltham 29* – “Known for producing large heads and long stalks, this longtime favorite is excellent for cooking fresh or freezing. The 4-6″ dark blue-green heads are arrayed with side shoots. Developed to withstand cold, it performs outstandingly in the fall.” From here.  Introduced in 1954.
  • Cabbage – Plant Sep-Feb – Bought Early Jersey Wakefield* and Flat Dutch* at St Elmo.
    • 1/8 oz = 100 plants = 100′ row
    • Optimum Soil Temp for Germination – 85
    • EJW Cabbage – Heat Tolerant
    • Flat Dutch – Frost resistant
  • Cauliflower
    • Aug-Oct – Snowball Strains, Snow Crown, Brocoverde. Tie leaves around the head when it is 2-3 inches to prevent discoloration. Brocoverde is green-headed. 1/8 oz = 55 plants = 100′ row.
    • A small acreage of this crop is produced in west-central Florida primarily during the winter months for fresh use. The growing season being October through April with the most abundant supply in January, February, and March.
    • When your plants are ready to be moved outside, plant cauliflower on 8- to 10-inch rows at least 36 inches apart. Make sure the rows are at least 15 inches (38 cm.) apart.
    • Fertilize frequently; cauliflower likes a good magnesium level as well as phosphate and will show symptoms of magnesium deficiency when the soil is allowed to become too acidic.
    • Good guide for TexasGardener here.
      • “If your soil is acidic, it should be sweetened up by adding lime. Insert the transplants into the garden, spacing them 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Plant only as deeply as the transplants are as they are removed from their containers.”
  • Bok Choy/Pak Choe* – From IFAS – Both gardens
    • Chinese cabbage needs a bit of room to grow, so space plants 14 to 18 inches apart, in rows 14 inches from each other.
    • Look for varieties like Napa, Michihili, bok choy, baby bok choy, joi choi, pak-choi, or the pak-choi hybrid called toy choi. Burpee page here.
    • Chinese cabbage is ready to harvest relatively quickly, depending on variety, taking 70 to 90 days when planted from seed, or 60 to 70 days when using transplants.
    • Planting Times North Florida Region – Traditional & Chinese: Aug-Feb
    • Germination temperature: 50 F to 80 F from here.
  • Carrots
    • Plant Sep-Mar – Nantes*, Chantenay*. 1/8 oz = 100″ row. “Space carrot rows 10 inches apart with plants spaced 1–3 inches apart.” From IFAS.
    • Optimum Soil Temp for Germination – 80
    • Mix your carrot seed with sand at a ratio of 100 to 1, that’s about a quarter teaspoon of carrot seed to a quarter cup of sand.
    • Sow carrot seeds about 1/4″ deep and cover with potting soil that will not crust over.
    • Good advice here.
  • Cilantro*
    • Plant new seeds about every six weeks to keep a steady supply throughout the growing season.
    • The “seeds” are actually two cilantro seeds encased in a husk. The husk is hard, round and is light brown or grey in color. Before you plant them in the ground, you need to prepare the cilantro seeds to increase the chances that they will germinate. Gently crush the seed husk holding the two seeds together. Soak the cilantro seeds in water for 24 to 48 hours. Remove from the water and allow to dry.
    • The most important thing to remember when growing cilantro is that it doesn’t like hot weather. Cilantro growing in soil that reaches 75 F. (24 C.) will bolt and go to seed.
    • Put the seeds in the soil and then cover them with about a 1/4-inch layer of soil. Leave the cilantro growing until it is at least 2 inches tall. At this time, thin the cilantro to be about 3 to 4 inches apart. You want to grow cilantro in crowded conditions because the leaves will shade the roots and help to keep the plant from bolting in hot weather.
  • Cover Crop for Southside
    • Plant Crimson Clover (20 lb/ac) and Winter Rye (80 lb/ac) on or after Oct 1 per IFAS.
    • The south half is 1/6th acre so need 4 lbs clover and 13 lbs rye.
  • Dill – Long Island Mammoth* at SESE – Items 1 & 2 below are from IFAS.
    1. Seed should be planted ¼–½ inch deep in rows at the rate of 6 to the foot and thinned to 1 plant every 12 inches. One ounce of seed should plant 50 feet of row. With considerable care, the seedlings may be transplanted if desired. September through December is the best planting time, but dill gives good results when planted in February and March. ‘Long Island Mammoth’ matures in about 65 days.
    2. Dill grows best in full sun, and will only need to be watered once a week if there is no rain. 
    3. From Southern Living Mag.
      1. Plant dill in full sun.
      2. Choose a place where the stalks are protected from strong winds, or be prepared to stake the plants.
      3. Dill likes rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
      4. In spring, sow seeds two to four weeks before the last frost; in fall, sow again about two months before frost.
  • LeeksKing Richard*
    • Sow seeds in the fall. When the plants are the width of a pencil, start mounding soil around them, and continue to do so as they grow.
    • King Richard Leek*, 3 g Approximately 1100 seeds
    • Optimum Soil Temp for Germination of onions – 75
    • See pdf at IFAS here with the following advice.
      • Planting dates for North Florida: Seed Mid Sept-mid Nov; Transplant Nov – Jan
      • Distance between rows (in) 14″-18″
      • Distance between plants (in) 4″
      • Seeding depth (in) 0.25″-0.5″
      • Days to maturity 100-130
  • Lettuce –
    • Plant Sep-Oct
    • Optimum Soil Temp for Germination – 75
    • 1/4 oz = 100 plants = 100′ row
    • Buttercrunch*
      • Space plants 8″-10″ apart, in rows 18″ apart.
      • Frequent use of nitrogen-rich fertilizer is recommended. The plants respond well to regular applications of liquid fertilizer.
    • Black Seeded Simpson* from here.
      • When planting in rows, thin to 6″ apart, in rows 12-18″ apart.
      • Some people sprinkle the seeds on top of fine soil and just water them in.
      • Black Seeded Simpson lettuce likes cool weather and lots of moisture.
      • Liquid fertilizer works well once or twice early in their growth cycle.
      • Plant small sections in your garden every couple of weeks.
    • Salad Bowl*
  • Mustard – Plant Sep-May – Florida Broad Leaf*, Tendergreen*
    • 1/4 oz = 100′ row
    • Build wide beds ridges 6 to 8 inches high, Plant double rows with seeds space 1″-6″ apart.
    • Sprinkle the row regularly with water to prevent soil crusting until the small plants breakthrough.
    • To have a continuous supply of fresh, tender mustard and turnip greens, make two or three plantings 10 days apart.
    • From TAMU.
  • Onions, Green and Bunching* – Plant Aug-Mar
    • Bulbing: Granex (yellow)
    • Bunching (Green): Evergreen Bunching, White Lisbon Bunching
    • Leeks: American Flag
    • Multipliers: Shallots
      • The shallot is a delicious onion with a delicate, mild flavor. Shallots are very similar to green onions but grow in clusters of small bulbs, much like garlic, rather than as individual onions. You can consume both the leaves of shallots and the bulbs.
      • Fall is a great time to plant. Shallot bulbs are between three-quarters of an inch and one-and-a-half inches in diameter and are red, pink, white, gray, or reddish brown. Plant small shallot bulbs about six inches apart, leaving the growing point exposed above the surface of the ground. Harvest in early summer when the leaves turn brown.
      • Save some bulbs for the next season’s garden. Store your dry shallot bulbs in a cool, dry area. Refrigerate green shallots and eat them within two weeks.

Peppers – Florida-friendly varieties from here.

  • There are a number of varieties of peppers to choose from, make sure you are selecting varieties that will grow well in Florida. ‘California Wonder’, ‘Red Knight’, and ‘Big Bertha’ are few varieties of bell peppers that will grow well in Florida gardens. Other sweet peppers suited for Florida include ‘Sweet Banana’, ‘Giant Marconi’, ‘Mariachi’, and ‘Cubanelle’.
  • If you are more interested in growing hot peppers, try the jalapeno varieties ‘Early Jalapeno’ or ‘Jalapeno M’ or the specialty hot peppers ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘Hungarian Hot Wax’, ‘Big Chile II’, ‘Numex’, ‘Ancho’, ‘Thai’, ‘Anaheim Chile’, ‘Long Cayenne’, ‘Habanero’, or ‘Caribbean Red Habanero’.
  • https://www.pepperscale.com/banana-pepper/
  • Pumpkins* – Plant in Aug. Bought Sugar Pie Pumpkin* at St. Elmo Seed.
    • plan on a minimum of 20 square feet [hills ~5 ft o.c.] being needed for each plant. From here.
    • Optimum Soil Temp for Germination – 95
    • For improved drainage sow in mounds, or hills, of soil 12 inches in diameter, 6-8 inches tall.
    • Sow 4-6 seeds in groups about 3 inches apart. Each group should be about 4-6 feet apart. Cover with 1 inch of fine soil and firm lightly.
    • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
    • Thin seedlings to 2-3 per group when they are 1-2 inches high
  • Radish, Diacom & Icicle for the squash – Plant Sep-Mar – Cherry Belle, White Icicle, Sparkler, Champion, Daikon. Bought April Cross Hybrid Radish Seeds*
    • Optimum Soil Temp for Germination – 85
  • Spinach – Plant Oct-Nov – Bloomsdale Longstanding*. 1 oz = 100′ row. Good general info here and at the Texas Gardener.
    • Soil Temperature: 50-75°F MAX. Optimal is 70.
    • Planting Depth: 1/2″
    • Germination: 7-14 Days
    • Height At Maturity: 12″-18″
    • Days To Maturity: 39-60 Days
    • Spacing After Thinning: 6″-8″
    • Plant several rows along wide topped raised beds. Space rows of plants 8 to 10 inches apart across or down the bed. Stagger plantings by 10 to 14 days to hedge your bet and to keep you in a good harvest all winter.
    • weather is a major factor in determining how early you can plant and shady areas may be ready a bit earlier. 
    • Soak seeds in a glass of water in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to planting, they will begin to take up water and initiate the chemical processes that lead to germination. Water the soil in the seed row prior to planting to soak it deeply. Then plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep.
    • A rowcover fabric placed over the row can help hold in soil moisture and allow the seedlings to get off to a good start. Just remember, don’t allow them to dry out. Seeds should germinate in about 7 to 10 days. When seedlings are about 2 inches tall, thin them out to about 6 inches apart. 

Squash Winter

  • Optimum Soil Temp for Germination – 95
  • Spaghetti squash* “Seeds should be planted in rows in groups of two about 4 feet apart about an inch or two deep. Each row should be 8 feet from the next.” From here. Bought Vegetable Spaghetti Squash* at St. Elmo Seed.
  • Table Ace (Acorn)* – “need about 50 square feet per hill [7 ft. o.c.] with two to three plants in each; plant five or six seeds per hill.” From here.
  • Waltham Butternut* – Plant bush butternut seeds 16 inches apart in rows, with the rows spaced 5 apart. Sow the seeds 1 to 2 inches deep in groups of four. Thin out all but the strongest plant in each group so the butternut squash is at the proper spacing. From here.
  • Swiss Chard – Plant Sept-May – Bright Lights, Bright Yellow, Fordhook Giant, Lucullus, Red Ruby
    • Plants are spaced about 6 to 12 inches apart.
    • Chard is ready to eat 50–60 days from seeding.
  • Tomatoes
    • Plant Aug – Celebrity*,
    • Amelia*

Thyme, German Winter

  • Germination when temps are 60-75°F, 14-30 days.
  • Transplant. 8 in. tall, space 12 in. apart.
  • Reaches 10-12″ high
  • Shrubby, evergreen perennial.


“Here in my North Florida vegetable garden, I grow ‘Green’, ‘Cisneros’, and ‘Purple de Milpa’ tomatillos. Tomatillos are grown just like tomatoes. They take 50-70 days to produce green fruits, and ripe tomatillos can be harvested a couple of weeks later. Tomatillos are frost-tender annuals that can be grown in most zones.”  From here.

Seeds for the Fall Garden

St. Elmo Feed and Seed

  • Ruby Queen Beets – 1/2 oz
  • Celebrity tomatoes – 20 seeds
  • Sugar Pie Pumpkin – 1 oz
  • Vegetable Spaghetti Squash – 1/2 oz
  • Waltham Butternut Squash – 1/2 oz
  • Waltham Brocolli W29B – 1/2 oz
  • Bloomsdale NG Spinach – 1/2 oz
  • Tendergreen Mustard – 1 oz
  • Florida Broadleaf Mustard – 1/2 oz
  • Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage – 1/2 oz 
  • Flat Dutch Cabbage – 1/2 oz

Park Seed ordered on 7/20/2019

Aspabroc Hybrid Broccoli Seeds
Rainbow Blend Carrot Seeds
Nantes Organic Carrot Seeds
April Cross Hybrid Radish Seeds

SESE ordered on 7/20/2019

White-Stemmed Pak Choi, 2 g
Thyme, German Winter, 0.2 g
Plastic Plant Tags, 50

JungSeed.com ordered on 7/28/2019

Long Island Mammoth Dill – 1000 seeds
Table Ace Hybrid Squash – 30 seeds

Remaining Seed From Spring Garden

King Richard Leeks SEP
De Cicco Brocolli AUG
Chantenay Red Core Carrots SEP
Common Cilantro
Black Seeded Simpson
Salad Bowl

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