How to Plant Vegetables in May in Florida


Due to Florida's year-round tropical climate, gardeners there have the luxury of planting vegetables all year. Summer gardens, or those started in May, require warm-season crops for best results. Temperatures reach their peak at this time of year, and certain vegetables, like some types of greens, do not tolerate the heat.

Step 1

Plan your garden. Select which vegetable varieties you want to grow and whether you will be sowing seeds directly into the ground or transplanting plants already established. This will help you in planning how much space is required.

Step 2

Select a site that receives full sunlight for the majority of the day and is close to the house and a water source for your convenience.

Step 3

Choose vegetable varieties that can tolerate Florida's warm May temperatures. According to the University of Florida, varieties such as eggplant, okra, hot and sweet peppers, mustard greens, cantaloupes and watermelons flourish in hot temperatures.

Step 4

Prepare the planting site approximately two weeks before planting. Remove any grass or weeds from the area. Work 25 to 100 pounds of compost for every 100 square feet into the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Spread a 6-6-6 or 10-10-10 fertilizer over the area and work it into the soil to a depth of 1 to 2 inches.

Step 5

Create rows and mounds in the garden. Vegetables such as watermelon prefer to grow in singular mounds that are approximately 6 inches in height and 12 inches in diameter. Vegetables such as radishes and greens grow best in long rows mounded up approximately 6 inches in height and width.

Step 6

Plant seeds into the garden at the depth and width specified on the seed package. Plant transplants up to 1 to 2 inches deeper than the depth they are growing in their containers. This will allow more roots to develop on the main stalk, creating a stronger plant.

Step 7

Mark your garden rows by labeling which plants are growing where. Buy wooden garden markers at a gardening store.

Step 8

Water your garden well after planting, making sure the water drains down into the soil deep enough to reach the plant's roots or the area beneath the seeds. Water the garden at least once per day, unless conditions in your area are rainy.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Vegetable seeds
  • Vegetable plants
  • Plant markers
  • Water


  • University of Florida: Minigardening (Growing Vegetables in Containers)
  • University of Florida: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide
Keywords: Florida May gardens, Florida summer vegetables, Florida vegetable gardens

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a freelance writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawncare, gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.