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Central Florida Summer Harvest: A July Planting Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive July planting guide designed specifically for Central Florida gardeners. As the summer heat intensifies, it’s important to choose the right crops that can thrive in this challenging climate. In this blog post, we will explore the most suitable crops for Central Florida’s hot and humid conditions, providing you with valuable insights and tips for a successful summer harvest. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this guide will help you make informed decisions and optimize your gardening efforts during this season.

The Central Florida Climate & Its Impact On Planting

Central Florida’s climate is characterized by high temperatures, intense sunlight, and high humidity, presenting unique challenges for gardeners. The scorching summer heat can pose difficulties for many plants, but with careful selection, you can still achieve a bountiful harvest. Heat-tolerant crops are essential for success in this region. Some examples of such crops include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, okra, sweet potatoes, and southern peas. These crops have adapted to hot climates and can withstand the challenging conditions of Central Florida’s summer.

Our amazing volunteers picking Chinese Long Beans from one of our front-yard farms in Audubon Park, FL.

Choosing the Right Summer Crops for Central Florida

When selecting crops for your summer garden in Central Florida, it’s crucial to consider their heat tolerance and growth requirements. Opt for crops that have shorter maturity periods, as they will be more likely to thrive before the intense heat becomes too overwhelming. For instance, varieties of tomatoes such as ‘Florida 91,’ ‘Solar Set,’ and ‘Heatwave II’ are ideal choices for Central Florida gardeners, as they have been specifically bred for heat tolerance. Other suitable summer crops include sweet potatoes (‘Beauregard’ or ‘Georgia Jet’) and peppers (‘Sweet Banana’ or ‘Jalapeno’).

It’s also important to note that proper irrigation is vital during the scorching summer months. Ensure your plants receive enough water to combat the heat stress but avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Mulching around the base of plants helps retain moisture and keeps the soil cooler. Additionally, consider providing some shade or using shade cloth to protect your plants from excessive sun exposure.

Central Florida summer gardening

Our Fleet Farming Manager, Dawson, picking some delicious tomatoes!Ā 

Tips for Successful Summer Gardening

In Central Florida, timing is crucial for successful summer gardening. It’s recommended to start planting your summer crops around early to mid-July, ensuring they have enough time to establish before the hottest months arrive. Consider using transplants instead of seeds, as they provide a head start and increase the chances of success.

Furthermore, companion planting can be a valuable technique to optimize your garden’s productivity. For example, planting marigolds or basil near tomatoes can deter pests and enhance the overall health of your garden.

Lastly, regular monitoring and maintenance are essential throughout the summer. Keep an eye out for signs of pests or diseases, and promptly address any issues. Regularly prune and harvest your plants to promote healthy growth and prevent overcrowding.

Happy Gardening!

With this July planting guide tailored for Central Florida, you’re equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions and cultivate a thriving summer garden despite the heat. By selecting heat-tolerant crops, providing adequate irrigation, and following essential tips for summer gardening, you can maximize your harvest and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Embrace the challenges posed by the climate, and let your green thumb flourish in the heart of Central Florida. Happy gardening!

Edible Landscapes

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