April is a pleasant month in Central Florida (Zone 9b), with the exception insects. I find the majority of our insects start to come out of hiding in April and stop by the garden for lunch. If you’re looking to start your first garden, or just looking for a planting guide for your current garden, then you’ve come to a good place. Keep on reading to find out our April Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida – Zone 9b.
Below are the vegetables and varieties that do well in Central Florida and when to plant them. In April you can plant both warm and cool season plants here in Florida.
Warm Season: Beans, Cucumbers, Okra, Southern Peas, Sweet Potatoes, and Summer Squash.
If you’re purchasing plants from a local nursery, you can also transplant tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant this month. Plants from seeds will have a shortened season due to our hot summers.
Cool Season: Chinese Cabbage, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard
If you’re concerned about insects this month and are looking for organic methods to keep them away, pick up a bottle of neem oil. This is a concentrated version, which you can add to a spray bottle with water. It’s also available in a spray bottle. It helps with aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, and leaf rollers. It also helps control black spots and powdery mildew.
A favorite vegetable variety of mine to grow this month is Roma II Beans. These flat Italian green beans have a great flavor and they’re stringless. They make a great vegetable side of almost any meal.
When I plant from seeds I generally use Botanical Interests Seeds. They have such a wide selection of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. And they’re continually getting new seeds. They also have a good selection of organic, non-gmo seeds. And I find them reliable.
There are multiple varieties when it comes to vegetables that you can plant that are more tolerant of Florida’s heat and humidity. Picking the right varieties is important for your success. Some of the varieties that work well in Florida are included in the chart below.
Below you’ll find the April Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida – Zone 9b
Planting dates here are based on the University of Florida IFAS Extension, and you can find more information on that here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.
And if you’re not sure what zone you’re in, you can check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you go to their website you can type in your zip code for confirmation of your location. The picture below is from their site.
While April is a great time to plant in Florida, it’s also a good time to get a Shade Cloth if you don’t have one already. Check out the post Beat the Heat: Using Shade Cloths in the Garden. I use these April-October. There are different varieties that you can choose from
Days to harvest depends on the quality of your soil, so keep that in mind when waiting for your vegetables to ripen – they can take longer than the time stated above. Days to harvest is also based on when your seed germinates, and not when you plant your seed.
To ensure your plants are growing in the best environment, you can also get a pH Tester to check the soil. Don’t worry if you’re not at this step yet. My first couple of years growing vegetables I didn’t check my soil. Of course, if you’re interested in getting started, check out How to Test Your Soil pH Levels.
I hope this guide helps you with your garden!
What’s your most common pest? Share it with us in the comments below.