The Best Vegetables to Grow in North Florida
North Florida enjoys both mild fall and winter weather and hot summer weather. Gardeners there can grow some of the cold-weather crops, such as lettuce, and all of the warm-weather crops that thrive on heat and sun. North Florida gardeners enjoy a long growing season and can plant successive crops of vegetables to enjoy a continuous harvest.
String beans, also called green beans or wax beans, grow well in Florida's climate. Beans are divided into two categories: pole beans, which require the support of a trellis, and bush beans, which do not. North Florida gardeners can plant beans from March to June; beans take 50 to 60 days to mature. Popular types of beans include Blue Lake, Kentucky Blue, Romano and Blue Hyacinth.
North Florida gardeners have a long tomato season and can plant them from February to August. Tomatoes are a summertime staple; Florida's hot weather is an ideal environment for tomatoes. Growers can plant heirloom varieties, cherry tomatoes and paste tomatoes. Several plantings spaced throughout the season will extend the tomato harvest. Tomatoes mature in 75 to 85 days in Florida.
Since northern Florida does experience cooler weather than southern Florida, lettuces do better in this environment. Lettuce matures in 60 to 80 days. North Florida growers can plant lettuce from February to March and again in September. Lettuce will not perform well in the hot summer months but will grow well in the cooler months.
Okra is a Southern staple, and Florida's hot, sunny climate makes okra a good summer garden crop. A member of the hibiscus family, okra plants have elegant blossoms. In North Florida, gardeners can plant okra from March to May or in August. Okra plants mature in 50 to 55 days and grow best in full sun.