Vegetable gardening is a great way to use the land to your advantage. It is a great hobby, as you get to watch the garden grow and are able to eat the results of your labor. This is one of the nicest ways to save money and to make sure that your family is eating organically. In Florida, many vegetables are able to grow well in the various hardiness zones of the state.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is from the aster/daisy family and is a fast growing and easy to grow annual vegetable. Its hairless leaves grow loose or in a "head" of tightly woven leaves. Size and color vary according to the cultivar. The yellow flowers are like dandelions and ½ inch wide. It is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10 (zone 11 of Florida has trouble). Plant a lettuce in full sun or partial shade with regular watering. Propagate via seed.
Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is from the nightshade family and is a perennial that is grown like an annual. Its somewhat spiny leaves are 9 inches long. Purple flowers will become the eggplants (color, size and shape of eggplants vary). The plant will grow 2 to 4 feet tall. It is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 10 (zone 11 of Florida may have problems). Plant an eggplant in full sun with weekly watering amounts of 1 inch of water. Propagate from seeds.
Butterbean or lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) is from the bean family and is a perennial grown as an annual. It is easy to grow and is a vine. The leaves are groups of 2- to 5-inch-long leaflets. White or yellow flowers are small. The plant will grow 2 to 12 feet high. It is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 11. Plant a butterbean in full sun with regular watering. Propagate from seeds.
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is from the mallow family and is an annual. It will grow 3 to 8 feet tall with spiny leaves and yellow flowers that become the okra pods. Blooms are like hibiscus and showy. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 11. Plant an okra plant in a well watered area with full sun conditions. Propagation for the okra is done via seed.
Corn (Zea mays) is from the grass family and is an annual. It is easy to grow and will be 2 to 24 feet tall. Seed heads are the corn that is produced. Depending on cultivar it may be different colors, sizes and flavors. It is hardy in USDA zones of 3 through 11. Plant a corn plant in a large area with an inch of water a week and in full sun conditions. Propagate from corn kernels.