2020 Spring Garden Plans

Vegetable Seeds for Spring 2020

Vegetable Variety Source
Bush Beans Kentucky Wonder – 1/2 lb.
Jackson Wonder Bush Limas
G&D 1/7/20
Hurley F&F
Bok Choy Li Ren Choi (F1) Baby Green Johnny’s
Cantaloupe Hale’s Best 45 From 2019
CarrotDanvers 126SESE
Corn G90 –
Silver Queen
Cucumber Poinsett 76, (ALS, AN, DM, PM, SPM) From SESE for 2019
DillLong Island Mammoth & Bonnie Plants From 2019
LettuceSalad Bowl
Tehama Lettuce – Packet (250 seeds)
Okra Cajun Jewel
Clemson Spineless
Bunching OnionsItalian Red of Florence
White Lisbon
Peas PEPH “Top Pick”. South half, rows 2-5; Failed, too cool to germinate? Replanted with Mississippi PEPH bought from Hurley F&F.

Zipper – Failed, too cool to germinate?
TX Creme
MS Creme
Ho Lan Dow Snow Peas
Oregon Giant Dwarf Snow Pea

St. Elmo
St. Elmo
PepperCalifornia Wonder Bell
Charleston Belle Sweet Bell Pepper (N)*
Ancho Poblano Hot Pepper
Jaloro Jalapeno
Hungarian Hot Wax
Italian Pepperoncini
Cayenne – Carolina
* The first nematode-resistant bell pepper
G&D 1/7
Radishes White Icicle, Daikon.
Cherry Bell
Champion Radish – Packet (250 seeds)
SpinachLizard – HR: DM races 1-15, 17. Johnny’s
Yellow SquashGold Star (F1) – IR: CMV, PM
Golden Bush Scallop Summer Squash(DM)
Tomatoes Celebrity – VFFNTA
Granadero (F1) HR: F2, PMTMVV. IR: N, TSWV
St. Elmo
TomatillosEverona Large Green TomatilloSESE
ZucchiniDunja – IR: powdery mildew, papaya ringspot virus, watermelon mosaic virus, and zucchini yellow mosaic virus Johnny’s

Flower Seeds for Spring 2020

Beach Sunflower (Cucumber-Leaf) Sunflower SESE
French Marigold, Lemon Drop SESE
French Marigold, Naughty Marietta SESE
French Marigold, Spanish Brocade SESE
Zinnia, State Fair Mixed Colors, SESE

Herb Seeds for Spring 2020

Sweet Thai Basil Johnny’s
Sweet BasilBurpee from 2019

Seeds Jeff & Maggie Sent Us

Chinese CabbageShanghai Pai-tsai
Snow PeasHo Lan Dow
Asian CucumberTien Chin Long
EggplantChinese Long
Goat Horn Hot PepperSame Scoville Units at Cayenne, 50K

Periwinkle – Vinca

Plant Cora periwinkle from seed. Disease resistant to the common fungal disease. Good advice here and here.


Kentucky Wonder 125 Bush Bean


  • Beet seeds and Swiss chard seeds will benefit from soaking in water


  • Thin plants to 18” apart in rows 5-6’ apart.
  • If your muskmelons taste flat, the trouble could be a lack of magnesium in sandy soil. Sweeten the fruit by spraying the vines with this solution: Dissolve 6 ½ tablespoons of Epsom salts and 3-1/3 tablespoons of borax in 5 gallons of water. Spray the foliage when the vines begin to “run” and again when the fruit is about two inches in diameter.
  • Fertilize when vines start growing.
  • Once fruit begins to grow, prune end buds off vines. Your plants may produce fewer melons, but they will be larger and of better quality.
  • Above from Farmer’s Almanac.


  • Danvers 126 that is an improved strain of the Half Long.
  • Pre-sprouting advice is here. Freeze 24 hours then keep warm & wet until sprouts.
  • Good suggestions in Growing Guide here.
    • Plant seed 1/4” deep, 3 seeds per inch, and thin to 1-2” apart in rows 12” apart.
    • Cover seeds with a fine light soil, and keep soil moist. 


From 2019 Soil Test Report: “For corn in home gardens on sandy soils apply 1 tablespoon zinc sulfate per 100 ft. of row.


  • Poinsett 76 planted last year did well and is recommended here for its disease resistance.
  • Thin to 18″ apart when 4″ tall.
  • Fertilize at planting, 1 week after bloom, and every 3 weeks, directly to the soil around the plants. Do not over-fertilize or the fruits will get stunted. From Farmer’s Almanac.
  • Cucumbers are heavy feeders and require fertile soil, nitrogen fertilizer, and/or additions of high-N organic matter sources. Pale, yellowish leaves indicate nitrogen deficiency. Leaf bronzing is a sign of potassium deficiency. From Cornell.edu. Will side-dress with 15-0-15.


Dill gives good results when planted in February and March. The variety ‘Long Island Mammoth’ is suggested for Florida.


  • Plant Okra one-row wide so you do not have to walk between them.
  • Plant seed saved from last year’s Cajun Jewell Okra.


  • Begin lettuce production early and keep it going later in the season by planting tall vegetables in north-south rows and plant heat-resistant lettuce underneath the leaf canopy so that it is shaded during the hottest portion of the day. Corn planted in rows 4 feet apart or pole beans on a fence or trellis is ideal. Interplanting lettuce with bush squash also gives good results.
  • Direct sow lettuce in the garden 4 weeks before the average last frost date when the soil temperature is at least 35°. Plant first week of Feb.


  • Add some slow-release (granular) fertilizer in the planting hole. A 5-10-5 works fine.
  • Moisten the soil, then sow seeds 1 inch apart and no more than 1 inch deep.
  • While still small, thin the seedlings. Space French and signet types 8 to 10 inches apart.
  • From Farmers Almanac


  • Sweet Bell – Carolina Wonder – Best Root-knot Nematode resistance. SESE pg 41
  • Jaloro Jalapeno – [DID NOT PLANT, NEED TO TRY IN 2021.] Resistant to many diseases and milder. SESE pg 43. [1992, Texas A&M.] Big yields of colorful yellow Jalapeño peppers, one of the best in our 2018 jalapeño trials. 1½ x 2 in. fruits are juicy with thick walls. Medium hot fruits, milder than our regular Jalapeño. Shorter plants than our regular Jalapeño – a good container variety! – with bigger early harvests. Resistant to many diseases including TMV.
  • See Fertilize with Epsom Salts as it is recommended for soil high in calcium and low in Magnesium. But, our soil test in Dec 2019 shows high calcium and high magnesium.
  • Feed plants diluted fish emulsion solution every 10 days. Here

Southern Cow Peas

  • Pink-eye Purple Hull (PEPH) seeds left from last year
  • Pink-Eye-Purple-Hull “Top Pick” was the best pea grown this year and should be replanted in the fall 2020 and in 2021.
  • Mississippi PEPH – Planted a few weeks later than the Zippers and germinated well but were not consistently filled out and some crushed when shelling. No better than the PEPH last year. Do not plant again.
  • Zipper Peas – Did not germinate.
  • Good advice at SESE here including:
    • Sow seed 1 in. deep, 2 in. apart in rows 3-6 ft. apart, thinning to 4 in. apart.
    • They need warmer soil, so wait until 3-4 weeks after last frost to plant. 
    • Do not apply nitrogen, which will result in poor yield and lush foliage.
  • From HarvestToTable.com – “Sow Southern peas 4 weeks after the last average frost date in spring when the soil has warmed to at least 60°F. Southern peas prefer warm to hot weather, with air temperatures between 70° and 95°F–most days exceeding 85°F.” Likely planted the first PEPH, KWB, and Zippers too early when it was not that warm and that is why we had poor germination.


  • Plant the seeds ½ inch deep and try to keep them about an inch apart in the row.
  • Once the seeds have been placed to fill up a row, cover them lightly with the loose garden soil, plant the next row in the same manner.
  • When all done, sprinkle the row or rows lightly with water enough to settle things in, but not soaked to the point of becoming muddy.
  • Remember to sprinkle lightly with water, as watering too hard can wash the seeds right up out of the soil they were just planted in.
  • Read more at Gardening Know How: How To Grow A Radish 


  • Per https://harvesttotable.com/how_to_grow_spinach/
    • Refrigerate seeds 1 week before sowing to help germination.
    • Plant spinach seed ½ inch deep. Cover seed lightly with soil.
    • Sow seed 2 to 4 inches apart.
    • Sow 4 weeks before last frost date; i.e. 1st week of Feb
  • The varieties of spinach recommended for north Florida include Bloomsdale, Virginia Savory, Melody, Tyee, Olympia and Longstanding from here.

Summer Squash

Plant fungus-resistant varieties. For info:

  • 2019 yellow squash was https://www.southernexposure.com/products/early-prolific-straightneck-summer-squash/
  • Go here about varieties and treatments for So. Carolina.
  • http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/NewsArticles/Winter_PM_
  • Look into cushaw squash resistant to squash vine borers and tromboncino – https://wellnessmama.com/61326/cushaw-squash/
  • Keep soil moisture high by mulching per SESE.
  • Preventing squash vine borer damage usually requires treating the base of the plants with a residual insecticide spray at the time the moths are flying (early to mid June). Sprays provide a much better barrier against borer attacks than do dusts. Home gardeners can apply Sevin, permethrin, bifenthrin, esfenvalerate, spinosad or other labeled home garden insecticide.  From here. The following is a bit different and from the same site but a different page. Treating the base of the plants with either malathion or rotenone works to control borers before they enter the stems not after the fact. 
  • See Old Farmers Almanac about fertilizing.
  • My Plan – Combine the diff advice in the previous bullet and use malathion until blooming, then Spinosad.
  • From HarvestToTable:
    • Side dress squash with compost tea every 2 to 3 weeks during the growing season. Avoid feeding squash with high nitrogen fertilizer, 5-10-10 is best.


  • Celebrity
  • Tomatillos
  • Roma VF

Mulch to reduce diseases per SESE. BUT, too much mulch on the soil in the spring may delay growth by preventing soil temperature from rising enough to support active root growth. In June, apply a deep mulch around plants to conserve moisture, prevent disease, and increase yield. [Expect citing June is for SESE’s area in Virginia.]

See Fertilize with Epsom Salts as it is recommended for soil high in calcium and low in Magnesium. But, our soil test in Dec 2019 shows high calcium and high magnesium.

IFAS Northwest District here says to use gypsum to provide calcium without affecting the pH and avoid Blossom End Rot.

Per Harvest to Table

  • Two weeks after transplanting. Side-dress plants: water with compost tea or dilute fish emulsion
  • After first flowers appear. Side-dress plants: water with compost tea or dilute fish emulsion
  • When fruit is the size of a golf ball. Side-dress plants: water with compost tea or dilute fish emulsion.
  • First ripe tomato. Side-dress plants: water with compost tea or dilute fish emulsion.

Cherry Tomatoes in the Summer Heat. List below is too look for seedlings per IFAS here.

‘Super Sweet 100’—a hybrid closely related to the well-known ‘Sweet 100’ variety—is an indeterminate plant that produces sweet tomatoes well through the summer. This improved variety boasts resistance to verticilium wilt, fusarium wilt, and nematodes.

‘Sweet Treats’ is a vigorous indeterminate plant that produces firm, deep pink fruits that resist cracking and have an outstanding flavor. ‘Sweet Treats’ is resistant to fusarium wilt, cladosporium leaf mold, and tomato mosaic virus, and are somewhat resistant to fusarium crown rot and gray leaf spot.A handful of black cherry tomatoes

‘BHN 268’ is unique among cherry tomatoes in having an exceptional shelf life. This determinate variety produces tomatoes that are firm, sweet, and flavorful. It’s resistant to fusarium wilt, verticilium wilt, tobacco mosaic virus, tomato spotted wilt virus, and nematodes.

‘Juliet’ is known and loved for producing elongated sweet tomatoes that don’t crack. The vines of this indeterminate plant grow vigorously, so be sure to give you plants room to spread up and over their tomato cages. NO RESISTANCE.

‘Black cherry’ plants produce a lovely and visually interesting deep, dark red tomato. This indeterminate vine grows quite well and will need a tall cage for support. ‘Black cherry’ tomatoes can provide color variety while still giving you a red, round fruit. NO RESISTANCE.

But tomatoes don’t always need to be red; shades of yellow and orange can add something different to your garden in terms of both color and flavor.

‘Yellow Pear’ is an heirloom indeterminate variety and a vigorous grower, so be sure to provide support for this variety. The yellow, pear-shaped tomatoes have a mild flavor and produce wonderfully throughout the summer. NO RESISTANCE.

‘Sun Gold‘ is a very sweet variety that is tangerine orange. This indeterminate variety has strong, thick vines that should be given support. For the best flavor, delay picking until the fruits reach a deep orange color. These plants are resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium, and tobacco mosaic virus.

Thyme, German Winter

  • Germination when temps are 60-75°F, 14-30 days.
  • Transplant when 8 in. tall. Space 12 in. apart.
  • Reaches 10 in. to 12 in. high
  • Shrubby, evergreen perennial.
  • See Burpee for good advice

Timeline from ArborGate/Houston here.

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