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Get Ready To Plant!

October is planting month here in south Florida, and any time during the month is good to plant in Zone 10. Ideally, it’s good to wait until mid month when the temperatures are likely to drop below 90 during the day. Tender seedlings don’t like extreme heat and hot sun, so get your beds ready, add lots of compost and organic fertilizer and get ready to plant!

I like to draw up my garden plans long before I plant or shop (or even start seeds.) This is a good example of a nice salad bed. 12″ of soil is plenty of depth for all these veggies. With lettuce in the front row, it’s easy to harvest, and having the onions near to the edges of the bed makes weeding easy. Onions get easily choked out by weeds, so keep vigilant on those squares. You can plant 9 lettuce heads per square if it’s a big leaf like butter crunch or romaine. Even oak leaf types will thrive at this spacing. Once the plants mature to about 6″ in height, you can begin harvest the outer leaves, a few from each plant. The plants will continue to grow and you’ll have a steady supply of fresh greens for weeks. Onions begin maturing after about 6 weeks to the scallion stage. We usually eat all of them up way before the roots form a large onion bulb. Onions can be planted 16 per square. I like onion sets rather than seeds because they’re useable faster.

Carrots will grow pretty tall greens, so place them behind your short lettuce. 16 per square is a good spacing. I prefer to use carrot seed tape since the seeds are so small. Same goes for lettuce seeds. See my page on making seed tape with toilet paper. It’s easy and effective for easy planting.

In the middle of this bed I put a pepper plant, which grow to about 18″ tall. Behind it I put one tomato and one eggplant or two tomato plants. Basil makes tomatoes taste better so I always plant basil near my tomatoes. Dill attracts tomato hornworm larvae where you can see them easily on the wispy fern like leaves before they get to your tomato plants. Marigolds repel root nematodes so I like to always include them with my tomato plants.

Any questions? Happy Gardening!


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