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Planting and Growing Tips - Florida West Coast

  • Make a Plan: Tallest mature plants to the north with shortest to the south, so tall plants don’t shade the shortest plants. The plot needs to be in full sun and well drained.
  • Add Organic Material: Use decomposed horse manure, compost, mulch, etc. to add nutrients to the soil.
  • Plant Plants and/or Seeds: Place them far enough apart so when they mature, they will not crowd out other plants.
  • Carefully Place Seeds: Note and follow depth recommended on seed packets.
  • Carefully Place Plants: Plant them the same depth as they as they were in containers, except for tomatoes and peppers that should be planted up to the first set of true leaves. They will grow more roots and the stem will be more stable.
  • When Transplanting: Dig hole. If soil is dry add water. Push plant gently out of container. Put the root ball in the hole at the level that it was in the container, put soil around the plant, and pat down gently. Water gently.
  • Interplant Radishes: Place seeds every 6 to 12 inches with seed crops to mark the row. They come up quickly and are ready to eat before most other plants are grown.
  • Water Gently: Using a very light mist or sprinkle, taking care to be gentle with newly planted seeds and plants. Vegetables need ½ to 1 inch of water per week.

Plant at the right time of year!

Winter Cold Crops                          

  • Peas      
  • Tomatoes                                             
  • Onions                                                 
  • Broccoli                                               
  • Cabbage                                             
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Radishes

Spring/Fall Warm Crops:

  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Okra
  • Squash*
  • Cucumbers*
  • Melons*


*Vine plants that need a lot of room as they mature.

As tomatoes and peppers grow: Stake them with sticks/stakes and pinch out suckers (small leaf that forms at the “Y” of the stem). Tie plant with soft cloth strip using a figure “8” between the stem and stake. Tie with a bow so you can move the tie up as the plant grows taller.

To Combat Garden Pests:

  • Insects – Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) du
  • Caterpillars – on vining crops – Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)
  • Powdery Mildew, Blight, Blackspot – 1 Tbsp. each of baking soda and oil (horticultural, such as Neem) or use vegetable oil with a bit of insecticidal soap added per gallon of water. Spray both sides of the leaves thoroughly at first sign of disease.