• If you need help identifying a pepper, disease, or plant issue, please post in Identification.

When to start growing in Florida?

I'm moving to Palm Beach County, Florida in February.  That is USDA zone 10b.  I'm used to the crappy growing conditions of New York City and Eastern Long Island, and am not sure when to start in Florida.
 
Do seasons even matter in South Florida, or are there some seasonal genetics built into the seeds?  Can I go ahead and get started with the sprouting in February, or should I wait a few months?  Once I'm established, can I plant out whenever I want, or is it best to wait until a certain month?
 
February will already see the occasional 80+ degree day.  I don't do seasons in Florida.  Especially that far south.  You will literally have a year round growing season, so do whatever you like.  It's gonna slow don from Nov-Feb, but nothing really dies.  From Mar to May is big boom season.  Then come June, weather gets all stifling and muggy, and you'll be best served by growing in the shade.
.
Best of luck growing in ground, if that's your plan. YOu'll need to seriously condition almost any Florida soil that far south. (it's mostly sand)  Raised beds work well, and so do containers, if you know how and where to place them.  In ground is just a struggle.
 
Well, it almost never freezes, and the average winter low in in the mid 50s.  That should be warm enough for the plants to grow year round, without them going dormant for the season.  
Plan to provide mid-day shade in the summer, if possible.  Locating an in-ground garden just under the southern lip of a tree will provide that mid-day shade, as well as hail protection.
 
Geonerd said:
That should be warm enough for the plants to grow year round, without them going dormant for the season. 
 
Locating an in-ground garden just under the southern lip of a tree will provide that mid-day shade, as well as hail protection.
 
I'd almost say you're correct, but the big problem we have down there, is when the temp is 55 or below, coupled with rain, we get a full scale yellowing, that can't be overcome with nutrients or amendments.  The plant saps get all thick, and prevents mobility/utilization of Potassium. Nitrogen uptake also gets severely reduced.  So things look really shitty for a couple of months.  Even though, as stated, they don't really die.  It's a hard stop, many times, and you gotta be careful not to be twitchy and reactive, or you'll definitely love your plant to death.
 
And again, in the strongest possible terms, I recommend that new South Florida gardeners not attempt their usual garden the first year in Florida.  If you absolutely gotta do in-ground, raised bed is a really good compromise.  Look for a local bark based bulk mix to fill them.  Those do phenomenally well.  But be advised, that we don't tend to get as great looking plants as others.  They get big, cause they can grow old - but they don't fill out the same, and often aren't as green.  Oh, and rain.  Rain will often cause you blossom end rot problems in the early season. (February to May)
 
You can ask specific questions when you start gearing up.  But seriously think about containers or raised beds.
 
skullbiker said:
I personaly would not take advice from a person has no GLOG for proof that the advice is proven. The internet, ya know.[emoji848]
 
LOL
 
Whatever, dude.  Whatever.
 
Should grow all year round. My capsicum cardenasiis survived the winter here in southeastern VA. They lost most of their leaves but grew back. It'd be interesting to see if that species fruits there during the winter in south FL. To deal with rain you will need good drainage. Maybe try pots and raised beds to compare. It rains a lot here near the coast, and it's easier to control too much water with pots.
 

ahayastani

Extreme Member
skullbiker said:
Read through the GLOGS of people actually growing in Florida. That will give you the best information. I personaly would not take advice from a person has no GLOG for proof that the advice is proven. The internet, ya know.[emoji848]
 
Sound advice. I don't live in FL but my climate - in theory - allows year-round cultivation of about everything. I have learned a lot from FL-residents by merely watching the images and asking why?-questions. 
 
ahayastani said:
 
Sound advice. I don't live in FL but my climate - in theory - allows year-round cultivation of about everything. I have learned a lot from FL-residents by merely watching the images and asking why?-questions. 
 
Not everyone Glogs, but I guess. I've grown peppers in South FL with my grandmother decades ago.
 
Dulac said:
 
Not everyone Glogs, but I guess.
 
No, not everyone does.  This is a fact. ;)
.
Apparently, you don't have any credibility if you don't Glog.  I suppose that's akin to not having any validity if you don't have a certain number of likes or followers.  Hey, that's alright, though.  If someone wants to throw away free regional advice, because it doesn't come with a daily updated picture show, so be it.  It was worth the price, at any rate.
 
solid7 said:
 
I'd almost say you're correct, but the big problem we have down there, is when the temp is 55 or below, coupled with rain, we get a full scale yellowing, that can't be overcome with nutrients or amendments.  The plant saps get all thick, and prevents mobility/utilization of Potassium. Nitrogen uptake also gets severely reduced.  So things look really shitty for a couple of months.  Even though, as stated, they don't really die.  It's a hard stop, many times, and you gotta be careful not to be twitchy and reactive, or you'll definitely love your plant to death.
 
And again, in the strongest possible terms, I recommend that new South Florida gardeners not attempt their usual garden the first year in Florida.  If you absolutely gotta do in-ground, raised bed is a really good compromise.  Look for a local bark based bulk mix to fill them.  Those do phenomenally well.  But be advised, that we don't tend to get as great looking plants as others.  They get big, cause they can grow old - but they don't fill out the same, and often aren't as green.  Oh, and rain.  Rain will often cause you blossom end rot problems in the early season. (February to May)
 
You can ask specific questions when you start gearing up.  But seriously think about containers or raised beds.
 
Thanks for the detailed advice.  Raised beds or containers make sense so I can control the soil content.  Can't wait to start my 2020 GLOG as soon as I get the first sprout!
 
dragon49 said:
 
Thanks for the detailed advice.  Raised beds or containers make sense so I can control the soil content.  Can't wait to start my 2020 GLOG as soon as I get the first sprout!
 
I used to have a plot in Martin County, just to the north of you, and still have a property in Brevard (neither of which grew/grow well in the native sandy substrates).  If you need any assistance with acquiring bulk materials for raised beds, let me know.  I have a friend and business partner in the commercial nursery and landscaping business, with good contacts. 

Be advised: I don't have a Glog, so you may want to take my advice with a grain of salt.  ;)
 
solid7 said:
 
I used to have a plot in Martin County, just to the north of you, and still have a property in Brevard (neither of which grew/grow well in the native sandy substrates).  If you need any assistance with acquiring bulk materials for raised beds, let me know.  I have a friend and business partner in the commercial nursery and landscaping business, with good contacts. 
Be advised: I don't have a Glog, so you may want to take my advice with a grain of salt.  ;)
Ty 4 the offer.  I'll PM you next year if I want the contact.  
 
[SIZE=10.5pt]I know that a mix (50 -50? - don't remember the last time I measured, but something like that) of ordinary potting soil and composted manure works wonders in my raised beds of tomatoes and cucumbers.  I also had a great pepper crop one year in buckets after I added a liberal amount of worm castings to potting soil, but I had fertilized it before, so I don't know whether the initial fertilization was necessary.[/SIZE]
 
You'll want to avoid the heavy stuff (mixes made from mainly compost and soil) in Florida for raised beds.  I've had ok luck with heavy mixes when the raised beds don't have a barrier, and sit on earth.  The rains from June to November are pretty intense, and that doesn't do so well with heavy mixes. (compacting)
 
Really, the best bet is probably to seek out a bulk mix at a local nursery.  There are tons of them in Palm Beach county. (Especially out west in the Royal Palm area)  Try to find a mix that has lots of structure.  Dense mixes combined with high humidity and heat can be brutal.  If you absolutely can't get away from a heavy mix, consider cutting it with pine bark. (smallest nuggets you can find, or fines)
 
My gloggless opinion, start a grow anytime you want, at least in sF it works for me. All thruout the year I start seeds, they don't seem to mind at all. And that means pods all year round. S7 never steered me wrong and gave me the formula for a great container media.
 
  Sure, just as said, some times of year plants just seem to explode with growth regardless of amendments/ferts/etc, and other times it slows down, regardless. Shade cloth does seem to help some species considerably here.
 
almost all times of year got ripe peppers in racks...
 
UV was 12 here yesterday, insane sun, and rains every day for a little while at least. Most things are growing like nuts here.  With nothing but my anecdotal accounts, seems to make an extreme heat in my peppers even though the doldrums of summer have slowed growth down. My Jala have habenaro heat for a short duration. 
 
Summer doldrums is the same every year, all the fert in world won't change it. Maybe an ac'd greenhouse with solar control would give the perfect year round grow climate, but short of that if you can keep the bugs off your plants they grow outrageously imo.
 
The below pods were from seed last Oct.and haven't stopped flowering since. Just picked these 5 for my rice dish tonight. Been experimenting with different pepper combos. This 5 pepper combo have been my go to recently... Chopped up and Sauteed for a minute with fresh garlic, onion, little olive oil, butter. Mixed into Jasmine rice. Yum
 
 
SNSjdPP.jpg

 
JMO
 
solid7 said:
 
I'd almost say you're correct, but the big problem we have down there, is when the temp is 55 or below, coupled with rain, we get a full scale yellowing, that can't be overcome with nutrients or amendments.  The plant saps get all thick, and prevents mobility/utilization of Potassium. Nitrogen uptake also gets severely reduced.  So things look really shitty for a couple of months.  Even though, as stated, they don't really die.  It's a hard stop, many times, and you gotta be careful not to be twitchy and reactive, or you'll definitely love your plant to death.
 
 
 
Interesting.  I've never seen that here in Az.
 
Geonerd said:
 
Interesting.  I've never seen that here in Az.
 
Looks like this, sometimes a bit worse.  I usually just go into full scale neglect mode, and they pop back out.
 
29555472298_77ac74ae91_c.jpg

 
Here's another one.  Bottom right.  You might have to zoom in.  That was in November.  It was cold early that year.  You can see the yellowing that I speak of, setting in.  Come spring, it resumed normal service.
 
31537584976_69a0fe8c97_c.jpg
 
dragon49 said:
I'm moving to Palm Beach County, Florida in February.  That is USDA zone 10b.  I'm used to the crappy growing conditions of New York City and Eastern Long Island, and am not sure when to start in Florida.
 
Do seasons even matter in South Florida, or are there some seasonal genetics built into the seeds?  Can I go ahead and get started with the sprouting in February, or should I wait a few months?  Once I'm established, can I plant out whenever I want, or is it best to wait until a certain month?
Hey hey, Mark! Long time, no see.

I used to live in downtown West Palm. At the time, I had a side gig as the grower at the Grey Mockingbird Community Garden in Lake Worth, about ten minutes south.

I have very good news for you. With the right guidance, you’re in for the grow of your life. You’re going to have it even better than I do down in Miami. As Solid pointed out, you’re going to have a terrible time if you just plant in the ground. Personally, I grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, and a few of the Solanum spp. in big (25G) pots. For my potting medium, I amend Pro-Mix Mycorrhizae with Harrell’s 16-6-12, Black Kow, coarse vermiculite, Azomite, activated charcoal, Tomato Tone, Oil Dri (a calcined clay product), diatomaceous earth, and a light sprinkle of elemental sulfur. It sounds like a lot of amendments, but it’s the way to go if you want to be as successful as possible. All my lettuces, herbs, greens, kohl Ravi, carrots, onions, strawberries, radishes, etc. go in raised beds two or three cinderblocks tall. Here, you want to go with a moderately good topsoil amended with fertilizer, Azomite, and coarse vermiculite. You can start almost anything year-round, peppers among them.

Once you get settled in, I’d be more than happy to come up and help you get set up. I can also help you to get most of your materials at wholesale prices (which is WAY cheaper), and I can turn you on to a bunch of amazing tropical fruit you’ve probably never heard of. Plus, I can show you where all the best plant nurseries are, and I can give you the lowdown on all the best places to eat (Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, Modern American, Salvadoran, you name it).

All in all, I think you’re going to really like living in So Fla. Hopefully, having a pepper buddy an hour and a half down the road adds to the experience.
 
Top