Happy October, everyone! Fall has officially arrived and it’s even starting to feel like it here in Florida. Our version of fall, of course. 🙂 Pumpkin spice and flip flops, am I right? Personally, I’m very happy to be outside right now. It’s not as humid and the temperature has been getting a little bit lower. This is when I really like spending time in my garden. Keep on reading to learn what to plant in October in Central Florida – Zone 9b.
Florida Vegetables You Can Grow In October
Last month we had warm and cool crops that we were able to plant, but starting in October those warm crops are no longer recommended to start. You might be able to get away with some of them (like beans), but your growing season could be cut short with the occasional cold snaps we get here.
Here’s the lineup for October in Central Florida (Zone 9b):
Cool Season: Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard Greens, Bunching Onions, Bulbing Onions, Radish, Spinach, and Turnips
My favorite to grow right now is Baby Bok Choy, also known as Pak Choi.
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 on 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.
Gardening Recommendations and Tips For October
This is an active website where every week a new article is added. For the month of October, I’ve collected the links to articles that I feel would be the most helpful to you during this time of the year. Feel free to check out any topics you’d like to read more about.
If you’re just starting to plan your garden and get ready I recommend checking out How To Prepare Your Vegetable Garden For the Fall and 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.
For the month of October, I also recommend using Shade Cloths here in Florida. These help keep your plants cool before our days start getting shorter. I find they especially help for tomatoes and peppers. This is the last month that I recommend using these. To learn more check out Beat the Heat: Using Shade Cloths in the Garden.
And if you’re looking for seeds I recommend Botanical Interests. The majority of the seeds I buy come from here and I absolutely love them.
What to Plant in October in Central Florida Vegetable Guide
Below is a chart you can print out for your convenience for your Central Florida October Planting guide! I hope this makes your planning a little bit easier. 🙂
Planting dates here are based on the University of Florida IFAS Extension.
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. Square foot planting is included in the chart. For example – if you’re growing broccoli you only want to plant one seed per square foot. For carrots, you can plant 16 per square foot.
Days to harvest depend 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 are also based on when your seed germinates, and not when you plant your seed.
I hope this October Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida helps you with your garden!
Interested in getting a head start for next month? Check out the November Planting Guide.