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Coastal & Tropical South: What to plant in May

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Coastal & Tropical South: What to plant in May Empty Coastal & Tropical South: What to plant in May

Post  givvmistamps on 5/1/2012, 2:52 am

Well folks, it's May 1st, and we're definitely into the tropical weather throughout the majority of our region. Most of us will be seeing humidity rise this month, so it's a good idea to keep hydrated while you're out in the garden and try to keep heavy work to the cooler parts of the day. I looked up the average highs and lows for my city...the average high is 89 for the beginning of May, then goes up to 91 by the end of the month. Average lows in May begin at 69 and by the end it's up to 71. With the exception of those along the GA and Carolina coastline, most of you will be seeing higher temps than that.

I referenced a book I have on gardening in FL to see what can be planted this time of year for Northern FL, so take this list with a grain of salt...for many of you it may be a little late to be planting some of these things, and for some of you there may be additional things you can still plant. I'm still looking into the differences and will report on what I find out. If you need to know before I can get that researched, consult your state's extension service website. For now, here's what I've come up with...

What you can plant in May…

Veggies:
  • Peanuts (hard to think of this as a veggie!)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Okra
  • Lima Beans
  • Malabar Spinach
  • Southern Peas (Cowpeas)

Herbs:
  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Bay Laurel
  • Borage
  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • Chervil
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Horehound
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lovage
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Since it's so hot, and many of us are facing drought conditions, it's going to be important to water the garden regularly to ensure we see our crops make it through to harvest. Special attention will need to go to our squares holding seeds and seedlings.

If you're trying to help a cool weather crop like lettuce continue to produce and you haven't already done it, you might think about putting a shade cloth over those squares. Many varieties of tomatoes might quit producing soon, though I've heard shade cloth might help with that as well. I have my tomatoes in planters and pots, so will be moving them closer to my maple tree to give them dappled sunlight in the hottest part of the day, and use them to help shade my lettuce and Swiss chard to see if that helps them along.

If you haven't already, please post photos of your May gardens in the string Coastal & Tropical South: Show me your May progress!!! so we can all see how other gardens in our region are doing.
givvmistamps
givvmistamps

Female Posts : 862
Join date : 2012-04-01
Age : 49
Location : Lake City, (NE) FL; USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, AHS Heat Zone 9, Sunset Zone 28

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Post  jeffhbell on 5/9/2012, 11:17 am

Well. I am about 150 miles south of you. I would say that it may be too late to plant anything as it will get very hot soon here in Polk County.
jeffhbell
jeffhbell

Male Posts : 25
Join date : 2012-05-08
Location : Winter Haven, FL

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Post  givvmistamps on 5/9/2012, 12:50 pm

I agree. You guys are a few weeks ahead of my location, and those up the Atlantic coast are a few weeks behind me. I just haven't had a chance to do enough research to update the list for those who are north or south of my location. Right now we're busy with school meetings, field trips, planning summer activities to keep my kids occupied this summer, planning (me) and building (husband) the fence to protect my boys from the neighbor's dog & the neighborhood fox, etc. I'll try to get more organized before next month's suggestions....though at that point most of us will be in harvest mode and looking at what to plant for the fall growing season.
givvmistamps
givvmistamps

Female Posts : 862
Join date : 2012-04-01
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Location : Lake City, (NE) FL; USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, AHS Heat Zone 9, Sunset Zone 28

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Post  jeffhbell on 5/9/2012, 3:23 pm

This fall, I am thinking Potatoes (in a bucket with bottom cut off. The Youtube videos looked interesting.

I am guessing early September to start. Harvest sometime in November.
jeffhbell
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Post  cheyannarach on 5/9/2012, 5:57 pm

Here's a fun link...

http://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-dates/zipcode/57730

Just change to your zipcode!
cheyannarach
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Post  givvmistamps on 5/9/2012, 6:21 pm

Hey, that's a great link cheyannarach, thanks for sharing! Very Happy
givvmistamps
givvmistamps

Female Posts : 862
Join date : 2012-04-01
Age : 49
Location : Lake City, (NE) FL; USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, AHS Heat Zone 9, Sunset Zone 28

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Post  jeffhbell on 5/10/2012, 10:16 am

Great link.

I wish the site took into account of our 2 growing seasons. (spring, Fall)

This is my 2nd yr of SFG. Did no research the first year except for browsing Mel's book in a store. (I really should have purchased it). Did really well with Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Carrots. In fact one of my Chinese eggplants survived 2 hard freezes and has some fruit and flowers on it. Got a very late start this year and I am just doing 4 new tomato plants.
jeffhbell
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Male Posts : 25
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Location : Winter Haven, FL

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Post  givvmistamps on 5/10/2012, 3:51 pm

Jeff, there's a chart showing recommended planting times for the different FL zones at this site: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021 The chart does take into account multiple growing seasons. Just scroll down about halfway. You can also save that file as a PDF if you want. I'm finding it very helpful in planning my next growing season. August or September is apparently a good time to start most crops for the fall/winter growing season.
givvmistamps
givvmistamps

Female Posts : 862
Join date : 2012-04-01
Age : 49
Location : Lake City, (NE) FL; USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, AHS Heat Zone 9, Sunset Zone 28

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Post  jeffhbell on 5/14/2012, 2:05 pm

Here is a picture of my sparse garden. Just tomatoes (x4), a surviving eggplant, and some carrots (yet to sprout). Watering 2x a day as it has been hot here.

Coastal & Tropical South: What to plant in May 2012-013


Close up of eggplant.
Coastal & Tropical South: What to plant in May 2012-012
jeffhbell
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Post  givvmistamps on 5/15/2012, 4:31 pm

That eggplant looks ready to pick!

I understand about needing to water often; it's been in the 90s a lot here since April 2nd, though we're fortunate enough that the temperatures are dropping to the mid-80s most of this week.
givvmistamps
givvmistamps

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