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Northwest Florida Fall Gardening Guide

fennel_bronze

Bronze Fennel or Herb Fennel in bloom – Foeniculum vulgare
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see what likes to eat this fennel.

 

The summer is winding down at the beach. The kids are going back to school. The songs of the cicada carry on through the hot afternoons into the evening. Many traditional summer crops are waning, though southern staples are the shining stars right now; okra, sweet potatoes, southern peas, and figs, to name a few. The rhythmic cycles of the seasons signal new beginnings for the gardener. It’s that time of year to begin planning the fall garden and one of the best times to garden in the South. Below is a guide for what to start from seed over the next three months. Now is also the time to start planning where you may like to add fruit trees in your perennial garden.

COOL SEASON SEEDS TO START IN AUGUST – with protection from extreme heat and harsh afternoon sun:

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Collards
Turnips

COOL SEASON SEEDS TO START IN SEPTEMBER:

Arugula

Asparagus Beets
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Endive
Lettuce
Mustard
Onions (short day or bunching)
Radishes
Swiss Chard
Herbs

COOL SEASON SEEDS TO START IN OCTOBER:

Chinese cabbage
Kale
Kohlrabi
Spinach

Don’t forget the annual flowers that are great for pollinators, companion plants, and adding a pop of color to the garden. Sunflowers, zinnias, and marigolds are just a few options that can be started again. This list is meant to be used as a guideline for Zone 8-9. Your growing conditions may vary depending on your location, access to sun, and microclimate. Happy fall gardening!

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Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillar munching on the Bronze Fennel – shot with an iPhone and Olloclip macro lens.

 

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