Gardening can reduce stress, provide exercise, and teach our children how to grow their own food. Everything tastes better when you grow it yourself. The flowers you grow can be used to lift your spirits, or are great to share with friends and neighbors. Prospective gardeners in Central and Northeast Florida are blessed with lots of sun a good bit of rain and a long growing season. Knowing your USDA zone is vital to know what plants will survive and thrive in your garden! Daytona Beach is zone 9a, 9b. Jacksonville is zone 8b, 9a. You also need to know your last frost dates. Some plants can be planted prior to the latest frost date, but others need to be planted after these dates:

Daytona Beach 2/29

Jacksonville 3/2

Locate your garden on a well-drained site close to a source of water. For vegetables, choose a place with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Before planting, develop a garden plan that includes the name, location and planting dates for what you want in your garden. Prepare your soil by adding organic matter (animal manure, rotted leaves, compost, commercial soil mixes and/or cover crops.) Commercial fertilizer is recommended unless very large quantities of organic matter has been applied. Put fertilizer over entire area prior to planting. During the growing season, you should apply a lighter amount 2-3 times just beyond the outer leaves, watering in well and working into the top 2 inches of soil around your plants.

Monthly Planting guide:


Plant cool-weather annuals to brighten your yard, such as petunias, snapdragon, viola, pansy and flowering kale. If the temperature gets below 32 degrees, you will need to cover these plants. Monitor moisture levels in soil. Water plants and lawns if there isn’t much rainfall this month.

Plant carrots, lettuce and broccoli – either from seed or by planting seedlings. Fertilize citrus seeds (oranges, kumquats, lemons, tangerines and limequats.) Follow package directions and do not overfeed.


You may sow lettuce, carrots, beans and radishes every 2 weeks for continuous harvest. Plant seed potato pieces in your garden or container and cover with 3 inches of soil.


Plant window boxes and containers with showy annual flowers such as Angelonia, dusty miller and viola.

Plant tomatoes, peppers, squash and corn.

Plant summer flowering bulbs such as cannas, dahlias and gloriosa lilies.


Add coleus, marigolds and petunias, caladiums and calla lilies to your garden. Perenial grasses such as pink muhly grass is perfect for sandy soil. Divide perennials and bulbs and replant. Plant flowering trees and tropical vines such as mandevilla.

Plant herbs, tomatoes and peppers.


Plant an herb garden. Basil, cilantro, dill and rosemary can be sown from seed or by planting seedlings.

Zinnea, Angelonia and salvia are heat resistant, so this is an ideal time to add them to your gardens.


Plant palms and sun-loving perennials, such as black-eyed susan and annuals like portulaca.


Kill weeds in your vegetable beds by solarizing your beds with clear plastic. 4 weeks will kill weeds, pests and diseases in time for your fall garden.

Plant azalea and gladiolus. Start pumpkins seeds.


Update your containers and window boxes with gaillardia, lantana, calibrachoa and pentas.

August is a good time to plant rosemary, ginger and bay laurel, as well as replanting tomatoes and adding lima beans, cucumbers and eggplants.


Plant strawberries and plants for hummingbirds, such as trumpet vine and bee balm.

Plant greens, carrots and radishes again.

Divide perennials and bulbs, as well as shade perennials into beds where your yard is shaded.


Help migrating butterflies by planting plumbago, pentas, lantana and salvia. Plant parsley and butterfly milkweed. 

Plant evergreen shrubs and herb seeds like basil and cilantro.


Add cool weather annuals to your landscape. Pansies and violas, mums and flowering kale look beautiful this time of year.

Plant bulbs for the holidays. Amaryllis is a beautiful trumpet shaped flower.

November is an ideal time to plant camelias, azaleas and citrus trees.


Clean up your garden beds, removing spent vegetables and annuals, clipping up perennials and readying the beds for the new year. This is a great time to add organic material and work in fertilizer if you need it.

Use Pesticides Wisely

  • Use only when a serious condition exists and there isn’t another solution. Things like bottom rot on tomatoes can be cured by mixing crushed eggshells around your plants. Many pests will not stay on leaves sprayed with dish soap. Dish Soap, baking soda and water can keep many types of fungus at bay.
  • Protect bees and other pollinators. Apply insecticides late in the day when they are less active.
  • Spray the plant thoroughly, covering both tops and bottoms of leaves.
  • Do not apply on windy days
  • Prevent spray burn by assuring that the plant is well watered, but the leaves are dry when you apply.
  • Read the label – not every off the shelf pesticide should be used on vegetables. Make sure the vegetable and the pest are on the label before purchasing.
  • Follow label directions, especially safety directions.
  • Pay close attention to waiting periods.

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