This page contains a list of the best vegetables to grow in South Florida, along with key information like germination rates and what varieties will perform best in our environment. Register for an account to get planting time recommendations by month.
The Best Vegetables to Grow in South Florida
Plant at 2–3 week intervals from fall through spring for a continual harvest. The dark green, spicy leaves can be steamed, pureed, or used raw in salads and sandwiches. Harvest individual leaves as needed or the entire plant when it is 8–10 inches tall. High temperatures cause arugula to flower and become bitter.
South Florida is perfect for this culinary herb that can thrive in containers or in the ground. To ensure that basils thrive, they must be pruned. After a shoot has 4 leaves on it, each at least an inch long, gently pluck off the two largest leaves. Basil love hanging out with tomatoes.
Bush beans mature early and do not need staking. Fertilize at 1/2 the rate used for other vegetables; too much nitrogen limits production. Flowers self-pollinate. Plant rust-resistant varieties.
Pole and bush-types exist; provide trellis support for pole-type varieties. Control stinkbugs that injure pods. Fertilize at 1/2 the rate used for other vegetables; too much nitrogen limits production. Slightly more heat tolerant than bush or pole beans. Plant rust-resistant varieties.
Fertilize at 1/2 the rate used for other vegetables; too much nitrogen limits production. Support vines. May be grown with corn for vine support. Plant rust resistant varieties.
Beets require ample moisture at seeding or poor germination will result. Leaves are edible. Thin early to so beet roots have room to enlarge. Very cold tolerant. High in vitamins and iron.
Harvest heads before flowers open. Many small side shoots develop after main head is cut. Very cold hardy and nutritious. Broccoli Raab is not related to broccoli.
Cool weather (58°F–60°F) is required or sprouts will open and not be solid. Sprouts are picked when they are walnut-sized and firm. The first sprouts near the bottom of the plant will be ready first. Pull off the leaves below the mature sprouts, then remove the sprouts by twisting them from the stem. Pick the sprouts at about 2-week intervals and keep refrigerated.
High in vitamins, especially vitamin C. Long fall/winter planting season. Buy clean plants to avoid cabbage black-rot disease. Needs ample moisture and fertilizer. Frost tolerant. Watch for caterpillars. Plant with ample amounts of dill to help ward of pests.
Bees needed for pollination. Disease prone. Mulch to reduce fruit-rot and salmonella. Overwatering or heavy rainfall reduces sugar content of maturing fruit. Harvest when the fruit cleanly separates from the vine with light pressure
Grow carrots on a raised bed for best results. Sow seeds shallowly. They are slow to germinate. Keep soil consistently moist throughout the germination and growing periods. Thin seedlings to recommended spacing when they are an inch tall. Excellent source of vitamin A.
Can be difficult to grow. Plants are cold hardy; heads are not. Tie leaves around the head (called blanching) when it is 2–3 inches to prevent discoloration or plant self-blanching varieties.
Can be a difficult crop in the home garden. Requires very high soil moisture during seeding/seedling stage. Needs 3 months or longer to mature. Look for early-maturing varieties.
Easy to grow. Two types exist: Heading (Pekinensis) or Open-leaf (Chinensis). Bok Choy is open-leaf type, while Michihili and Napa form tighter heads.
For best results, plant in a sunny spot in well-drained soil that contains some sand. Divide chives in the spring every three years, as the plants increase each year by bulb division.
This wonderful herb is a slam dunk in South Florida if planted at the right time.
Folks use the words cilantro and coriander interchangeably, but they refer to the herb and the spice, respectively, that come from the same plant. Cilantro is the leafy part of the plant, harvested at the peak of its growing season. Coriander is the small, round seed that emerges when the plant dies back, and is used whole in pickling, or ground in baking and roasts.
Cilantro is one of the herbs that should not be dried after harvesting, as it loses most of its flavor. The better option is to blend it with an oil base and then pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.
Cold and heat tolerant. Cool-season greens are more flavorful. Greens are ready for use 2 months after planting. Harvest lower leaves; never remove more than 1/3 of the plant at one time. Respond, well to nitrogen fertilizer
Requires space; plant in blocks of at least 3 rows for good pollination. Isolate different varieties by cross-pollination. Plant where it will not shade other vegetables. Sucker removal not beneficial. Harvesting in early morning maintains sugar content. Scout for corn earworm.
Two types: slicers and picklers. Pickling types can also be used fresh. Burpless varieties exist. Many hybrids are gynoecious (female flowering; only female flowers set fruit). Bees are required for pollination.
Dill grows well on an organic soil such as muck and on any other soil suitable for growing vegetables. Normally, the same cultural practices used for a vegetable garden should be used for dill. Dill is a great defense against pests in the garden and should be included in every bed if possible. At the end of the season, harvest dill seeds is very easy after it has begun to flower.
Requires warm soil and weather. Harvest into summer. May need staking. Bitter fruit caused by high temperatures or drought conditions.
Excellent ingredient in tossed salads or can be cooked as greens. Bitterness can be reduced by blanching 2–3 weeks before harvest. Escarole (Batavian endive) is a broad-leaved selection.
Good source of greens late fall through early spring in north and central Florida. Harvest outer leaves, but no more than 1/3 of the plant at one time. Ornamental types are edible, but not very tasty.
Easy to grow. Red and green varieties exist. Use fresh or cooked. Leaves are edible. Harvest stems when 1 ½ to 3 inches in diameter.
Leaf types grows well in Florida; grow crisphead type only in coolest months. Damaged by freezing temperatures. Warm temperatures cause bitterness. Sow seeds very shallow as they need light to germinate. Intercrop lettuce with longseason and/or taller vegetables.
If watered at least every other day, and kept sheltered for limited sun, mint will live all year round in South Florida. It’s best to grow in a container, as mint will quickly spread out and take all of the room it can get. Once mature, if not over harvested, mint will just keep delivering.
Good cooking green fall through spring; harvest outer leaves. Broadleaf types require more space. Damaged by freezing temperatures. Warm temperatures create bitter flavor.
Soak seeds in water for 6 hours for better germination. Requires warm soils and temperatures. Very heat tolerant. Highly susceptible to root-knot nematodes. Harvest pods a few days after flower petals have fallen or pods become tough and stringy.
Depending on type, onions may be grown from seed, sets, transplants, or division. Bulbing onions must be planted in fall and be short-day varieties.
Depending on type, onions may be grown from seed, sets, transplants, or division. Green/ bunching onions may be grown fall through spring. Plant close and harvest (thin) as needed. Insert sets upright for straight stems. Divide and reset multiplier types every year.
Oregano does great in the South Florida heat. This herb is best grown in a container as it will spread out and take all of the room it can get. Oregano should be dried after harvest.
Fertilize at 1/2 rate used for other vegetables; too much nitrogen limits production (as does warm temperatures). May need support depending on type. Consume soon after harvest for best quality.
Highly nutritious. Fertilize at 1/2 rate used for other vegetables; too much nitrogen limits production. Good summer cover crop. Cowpea curculio is a common pest. Maintain consistent soil moisture.
Transplants often more successful than seeds. Mulching especially beneficial. Will often produce into summer. Pepper “heat” depends on variety and is measured in Scoville units.
Transplants often more successful than seeds. Mulching especially beneficial. Will often produce into summer.