Happy February! Despite this typically being one of our coldest months here in Central Florida (Zone 9b), February is still a great month to grow vegetables. 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 the right place. Keep on reading to find our February Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida – Hardiness Zone 9b.
Florida Vegetables You Can Grow In February
Below are vegetables and varieties that do well in Central Florida and a guide of when to plant them. Temperatures can vary, but a guide can definitely help. In February you can plant both warm and cool season plants here in Florida.
Warm Season: Eggplant, Peppers, and Tomatoes can be started indoors this month.
Cool Season: Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Endive, Escarole, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Bunching Onions, Peas, Radish, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Turnips
Gardening Recommendations and Tips For February
To help you with your garden this month, I’ve collected a list of the top articles on this site that could be beneficial for you. Feel free to check out any topics you’d like to read more about.
When starting eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes indoors you’ll need a light and a growing medium. I use this grow light system and a biodegradable seed starter tray. I typically start mine indoors for a month or two before transplanting outdoors. Check out How to Start Seeds Indoors to learn more. The benefit of starting your warm season plants earlier in the year is to prolong their growing season. It starts to get pretty hot mid-year here.
One of my favorite vegetables to grow in February is Waltham Broccoli. Even organic broccoli from the local grocery store doesn’t taste anywhere near as good. And the great thing about broccoli is that in addition to harvesting the main head, you also get the broccoli shoots. The leaves and stems are also edible. Stems are great pureed for soup. And broccoli leaves can be used for stews.
February is typically the coldest month in Florida, so having a frost blanket on hand is especially helpful. Check out the post Protect Your Plants from the Cold to learn more about keeping your plants warm. There are maybe a dozen times during the season where I pull mine out to cover my plants, typically during December through March.
If you’re just starting to plan your garden this month then I recommend checking out Using a Garden Planner. I use a garden planner every season and it has helped me a ton with keeping track of what works and what doesn’t and planning for the future. If you’re still designing your garden layout this month I also recommend checking out Companion Planting and Crop Rotation. These help to give your garden an organic advantage to preventing your soil from being depleted and decreasing the number of pests in your garden.
If you don’t already have a reliable seed source, I recommend Botanical Interests. The majority of the seeds I buy come from here. I find the company to be extremely reliable, and provide a wide variety of organic and heirloom seeds.
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. The varieties that work well in Florida are included in the chart below.
February Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida
Below you’ll find the February 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.
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.
Because I have raised garden beds, I do my planting based on square feet. Square foot planting is included in the chart. For example – if you’re growing spinach you can plant 9 per square foot. For beans, you can plant 4 per square foot.
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.
I hope the February Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida helps you with your garden!
Do you have a favorite vegetable to grow this month? Share it with us in the comments below.