March is the last cool month in Central Florida (Zone 9b). With Spring beginning later in the month, March is a great time to grow vegetables here! 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 for our March Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida – zone 9b.
Florida Vegetables You Can Grow In March
Below are the vegetables and varieties that do well in Central Florida and when to plant them. In March you can plant both warm and cool season plants here in Florida.
Warm Season: Beans, Cucumbers, Melon, Okra, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Summer Squash, and tomatoes.
Please note – tomatoes are sensitive to cold weather. In Central Florida, we get our last cold snaps in March. I typically transplant my tomatoes mid-March. If there is a cold snap after you plant, you can cover your tomatoes to protect them from the cold.
Cool Season: Carrots, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Bunching Onions, Radish, Spinach, Winter Squash, and Swiss Chard.
Gardening Recommendations and Tips For March
One of my favorites to grow in March is Baby Bok Choy. This only takes 2 months to grow (and shorter if you’re picking the baby leaves). While the leaves are still small you can use them in a salad. Once the plant gets bigger you can cook it for different meals. Both the leaves and stems are edible. I use them in soup and my Stir Fry Recipe.
When I plant I generally use Botanical Interests Seeds. They have such a wide selection of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. And they’re continually getting new seeds. 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.
While March is a great time to plant in Florida, you may also need to use your frost blanket this month if you have one. Check out the post Protect Your Plants from the Cold to learn more about keeping your plants warm. Even though we live in Florida here, we do get the occasional cold snap between November and March. There are maybe half a dozen times during the season where I pull mine out to cover my plants. There’s a lot of different frost blankets out there that you can use.
If you’re just starting to plan your spring 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.
March Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida
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.
Below you’ll find the March Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida – Zone 9b. You can click on the chart to zoom in.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.
Because I have raised garden beds, I do my planting based on square feet using the square foot gardening method. 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 March 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. 🙂