How to Garden in South Florida

South Florida is blessed with an abundance of sunshine and warmth, making it the perfect place to enjoy a spot of gardening. 

Whether you’re looking to grow a few herbs on your windowsill, or you’re keen to start a full-blown vegetable patch, there are a few things to bear in mind when gardening in South Florida. 

One of the most important things to consider is the type of soil you’re working with. The sandy soil found in many parts of south Florida can be difficult to work with, so it’s important to add organic matter to it before you start planting. This will help to improve the soil’s drainage and make it more fertile. 

Try to find a source of local compost (or make your own), to add organic matter. To refresh a garden bed, we recommend adding worm castings.

Our general garden bed soil mix is going to be a mixture of local compost, perlite, vermiculite, peat moss / coconut coir, and organic soil amendments. Perlite is very important ingredient as it can help promote drainage.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the heat and humidity in South Florida can take its toll on your plants. Make sure you water them regularly, and choose varieties that are known to be heat- and drought-tolerant. 

Yes, even in South Florida they should be able to withstand a mini-drought. As 2-3 hot days in a row without rain can take a toll. 

Rob inspecting the crops in our South Florida home garden 
When it comes to choosing what to grow, there are plenty of options available. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are all popular choices, and there are also a number of native plants that do well in South Florida gardens. 

Our favorite plants to start with include arugula, kale, tomatoes, Thai peppers, and baby eggplants.

If you’re new to gardening, it’s always worth starting small and gradually expanding your patch as you become more confident. With a little care and attention, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards of a beautiful south Florida garden. 

The best time of year to garden in South Florida

The best time to garden in South Florida is during the fall and winter months. The weather is cooler and the rainfall is typically lower during this time of year, which helps to reduce stress on plants. 

If you’re looking to start a vegetable garden, fall is the perfect time to do it. Many vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, can be planted in September and October.

Mel potting some sprouted chives in our South Florida home garden

These crops will have a longer growing season in South Florida, and they’ll be less likely to succumb to pests and diseases. 

If you’re more interested in ornamental plants, there are still plenty of options available. Many flowers, such as impatiens, marigolds, and celosias can be planted in October and November.

These plants will add color to your garden during the cooler months, and they’ll be well-established by the time spring arrives. 

No matter what type of plants you’re interested in, the fall and winter months are the best time to start gardening in South Florida. With a little planning and care, you can enjoy a beautiful garden all year round. 

Summer crops for South Florida home gardening

The hot and humid summers in South Florida can be tough on plants, but there are still a number of crops that can thrive during this time of year. 

One of the best summer crops for South Florida gardens is okra. This heat-loving vegetable is easy to grow and produces an abundance of pods that can be used in soups, stews, and salads. 

Another great option is watermelon. This juicy fruit is a summertime staple, and it’s surprisingly easy to grow in South Florida. Just make sure you choose a variety that’s suited to the climate, such as Sugar Baby or Crimson Sweet. 

Our favorite summer crops are hot peppers, okra, and lemon grass. 

If you’re looking for a summer crop that’s both beautiful and edible, consider growing nasturtiums. These vibrant flowers can add a splash of color to your garden, and their leaves and blossoms can be used in salads. 

Finally, don’t forget about herbs. Many herbs, such as basil, oregano, and mint, do well in the heat and can add flavor to your summer dishes. 

With a little bit of planning and care, you can have a garden that’s full of life and able to provide you with edible items – even during the hottest months.

Interested in us consulting for or setting up your home garden? Contact us at with your request and we will follow up with you.