For Floridians sweating in 95-degree heat, it takes an act of faith to plant a fall vegetable garden now. However, early September is the time to plant your garden beds with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, peas, beans, cucumbers and corn. It is also time to refresh your herb garden and start cooler weather plants from seeds.
However, before planting I tend to my soil. My compost bins have been converting yard trash and kitchen scraps at an amazing clip this summer. If you don’t compost yet, here are 5 steps for getting started. Garden centers also sell it, but I prefer to make my own compost to reduce waste. Last week I worked a bin’s worth of compost into the soil, loosening my planting area to give roots an easy path.
I have been planting a few vegetables a week, slowly clearing out the summer crop of Malabar spinach that overtook my raised beds. Last week I direct sowed Texas cream peas. It is a Southern bush pea that my mother’s family grew. Although I had to hunt for the seeds, I found them online at victoryseeds.com, and bought enough to share with my mother and another Southerner who appreciates heirlooms. The plants are already showing in the garden. I had to water them almost every day for a week to make sure they germinated in the high heat.