When to start growing in Florida?

Wicked Mike said:
Oh, and I have the glogs to prove it.

(Yes, I’m teasing Geo and Solid there).
 
Thank god this isn't a forum for advice on raising children.  Can you imagine some know-it-all giving advice, without posting pics, from conception through adulthood?  :D
 
Getting excited as I moved up my plans and will be there in a few weeks!  
 
I have a follow-up question:
 
As soon as I get sprouts, can I transplant them in large buckets and put them outside right away?  How bad can it be to imitate nature?  Living in my crappy Northeast growing zone has taught me the important skills of hardening off.  I've gotten good at it and understand why plants that grew up without wind and with artificial lights need to get adjusted to the real world, but if they start out in the real world, won't they just be able to deal with the elements?  
 
I'm asking as I'm growing some long-season varieties and would like to be able to "set it and forget it," which should speed up the growing process a bit if it works.  If I'm going to go this route, is it better to try and sprout in the final growing medium to avoid transplant shock, or will it not make a difference? 
 
Please let me know if I should baby them indoors for a while first.  
 
In any event, I should have sprouts by late January and am really looking forward to the grow, as well as sharing everything in a new glog!
 
In the time since you've posted this, I've raised a dozen or so plants up to in-ground transplants.
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You won't be starting seeds outside at this time of year, even in Florida.  You will need to get them up to a size that they can handle being outdoors, even with the occasional temperature dip.  I might even suggest that you put them outside in shade /indirect light (our sun is much less intense this time of year) right away, when you get hooks, and let the babies grow up outdoors.  Take them in at night, if it's gonna be less than 60 degrees. (for best results)  
 
solid7 said:
In the time since you've posted this, I've raised a dozen or so plants up to in-ground transplants.
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You won't be starting seeds outside at this time of year, even in Florida.  You will need to get them up to a size that they can handle being outdoors, even with the occasional temperature dip.  I might even suggest that you put them outside in shade /indirect light (our sun is much less intense this time of year) right away, when you get hooks, and let the babies grow up outdoors.  Take them in at night, if it's gonna be less than 60 degrees. (for best results)  
I'm probably going to go the easy, low-budget way of growing in a few 5-gallon Home Depot buckets or something similar.  You had stated earlier in the thread:
 
"Look for a local bark based bulk mix to fill them"  
 
I'll consider that, and may try it for one of the buckets.  For New York outdoor raised bad tomato and cucumber growing, I've had incredible success with mixing a lot of composted manure (don't remember the exact mix, but at least 1/3 of manure) to potting soil.  My last outdoor bucket pepper grow in NYC was a bountiful harvest.  I used a variety of nutes in the beginning but when I simply added a lot of earthworm castings to the soil, the plants took off.  Will anything about the Florida humidity make either of these mixes not work too well?



 
 
dragon49 said:
I'm probably going to go the easy, low-budget way of growing in a few 5-gallon Home Depot buckets or something similar.  You had stated earlier in the thread:
 
"Look for a local bark based bulk mix to fill them"  
 
I'll consider that, and may try it for one of the buckets.  For New York outdoor raised bad tomato and cucumber growing, I've had incredible success with mixing a lot of composted manure (don't remember the exact mix, but at least 1/3 of manure) to potting soil.  My last outdoor bucket pepper grow in NYC was a bountiful harvest.  I used a variety of nutes in the beginning but when I simply added a lot of earthworm castings to the soil, the plants took off.  Will anything about the Florida humidity make either of these mixes not work too well?



 
 
Yep.  Both the humidity and the pouring rains. What I could get away with growing in my Seattle place, was a stark contrast to what I use here.  And what worked well here, didn't work so well there.
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It's pretty hard to go wrong with a mostly peat based mix, if you can't find the bark.  
 
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