The Insider’s Guide to Fall Planting in Pensacola

Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different t...

Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different types of basil, marigolds, zinnias, garlic chives, zucchini. An American flag and a solar-powered light are also in the garden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, if you and your garden have survived the last couple of months of rain, then you are both to be commended.  As if it wasn’t tough enough to grow a garden around here already, the weeks of rain and humidity have conspired to make both happy bugs AND delighted garden bacteria.  Do not despair.  Fall planting season is upon us.  If you start right now, you can more than make up for the disappointing summer you may have had (or, am I the only person who lost most of what I had?)  Not the peppers, of course.  Peppers rock in the heat.

Why am I so excited about planting a garden in the fall?  Well, for me, it’s like one great big springtime “do-over.”  The things that we planted in the spring are all ready to go right back into the ground!  Fall is the one season that peppers and lettuce and tomatoes and cilantro will actually overlap in your garden.  (I’ve always found it slightly inconvenient that tomatoes and lettuce and tomatoes and cilantro can never conspire together to grow at the same time in the garden).  And, don’t even get me started on the so-called warm weather cilantro substitutes!

You may be thinking that I’m about to tell you to stock your garden full of cabbages and brussels sprouts and cauliflower.  Not so.  We have an entire month or two before those cool weather lovers need to go into the ground.  For now, I’m talking about all those warmth lovers that just can’t take the generous heat of a NW Florida summer.  Take a look at some of my favorites that you can plant right now, if you don’t delay:

  • summer squash,
  • tomatoes,
  • watermelons,
  • cucumbers,
  • snap beans,
  • and more!

Before you get these plants started, please be sure to prepare your soil well.  Add compost where needed.  If you have worm bins (and I really think you should have them!) add worm castings to your new beds.  That stuff is truly fabulous.  Work it all into your soil.  You may also want to take a soil sample up the the Escambia County extension office

Once all of your preparation is done, you’re ready to plant away.  Here is the list of vegetables we’re considering growing for a fall crop around here:

  • summer squash: zucchini tondo nizza,
  • pumpkins: seminole and kakai
  • tomatoes:
  • rattlesnake pole beans
  • cucumbers

Of course, we still have plenty of fresh herbs in the garden: basil, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, (even some parsley!)

What will you be growing this fall?  Feel free to leave your suggestions and questions in the comment section!

 

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3 comments

  1. Thank you for the great veggie garden advice! My indeterminate tomatoes have not produced very much, can I leave them in hopes they will produce as things cool down?

  2. NICE GARDEN. Since I moved back to Missouri, I will not be planting a fall garden this year… I have to get used to when the first frost is again.

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