In Florida, gardening isn’t just a hobby— it’s a lifestyle.

But if you’re new to gardening, choosing the right vegetables can be daunting. 

What are the best vegetables to grow in Florida’s unique environment? Which green gems can withstand the heat and humidity and still flourish with gusto, promising a bountiful harvest for your table?

We’ve been in the yard biz for a while. Here are the ones we always see thriving (with minimal upkeep)!

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7 Best Vegetables To Grow in Florida

In the Sunshine State, we have the privilege to garden year-round without too much fuss (we said too much! Don’t come for us experienced gardeners!)

Florida offers a perfect playground for eager gardeners. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want vegetables that are not just delicious but also forgiving of any green thumb fumbles. 

Here are seven veggies that practically beg to be grown in Florida’s fertile soils.

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1. Cherry Tomatoes

farmer holds a bunch of cherry tomatoes in their hand in their garden- best vegetables to grow in Florida

Whether you need them for salad or salsa, these little gems always come in handy. 

  • Growth Time: About 50-85 days from planting to popping them in your mouth.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil with compost or organic matter. For pet and child-friendly gardens, opt for organic fertilizers like compost.
  • Sunlight: Full sun, at least 6-8 hours a day.
  • Watering: Provide consistent moisture, typically once every 2-3 days. 

2. Bell Peppers 

woman gardening peppers because it is an easy vegetables to grow in florida

In our house, bell peppers are our sneaky way to get the kids to eat their greens. Not only do they make your quesadillas or pasta colorful, but you can trick your kids into getting a healthy dose of vitamins (they’ll never know they’re eating something good for them!).

 Whether you’re stuffing them, slicing them for salads, or enjoying them fresh, they’re a delicious choice.

  • Growth Time: Approximately 60-90 days until you can start slicing and dicing them.
  • Soil: Well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. Consider using an organic vegetable garden soil mix.
  • Sunlight: Full sun, at least 6-8 hours a day.
  • Watering: Aim for consistent moisture, typically once every 2-3 days. Using a watering wand can help deliver water directly to the roots. 

3. Zucchini 

zucchini - easy vegetables to grow in florida

With plenty of sunshine and well-draining soil, zucchini plants take off in your Florida garden. 

From sautés to zoodles, it’s a versatile addition to your meals.

Plus, did you know they make excellent cheese stick alternatives? By coating zucchini slices in breadcrumbs and baking or frying them, you can create a crunchy and flavorful snack that resembles cheese sticks. 

It’s a great way to enjoy a healthier version of this popular treat!

  • Growth Time: Around 45-60 days from planting to harvest.
  • Soil: Fertile, well-draining soil with organic matter.
  • Sunlight: Full sun, at least 6-8 hours a day.
  • Watering: Ensure the soil remains consistently moist but not soggy. Water deeply once a week or as needed. 

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4. Herbs (Various)

man picking herbs from his Florida garden

Herbs make even the most novice cooks make meals taste like they were prepared by a seasoned chef. 

Growing herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme in your garden is like having a secret flavor arsenal at your fingertips.

Plus, they’re incredibly low-maintenance. 

  • Growth Time: Varies depending on the herb. About 7-21 days.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil enriched with organic matter. You can always create your own blend with garden soil, compost, and well-rotted manure.
  • Sunlight: Full sun, at least 6-8 hours a day.
  • Watering: Herbs prefer slightly drier conditions. Water when the soil is dry to the touch, typically every 3-4 days. Consider using a watering can with a fine spray nozzle for gentle watering.

5. Cucumbers 

cucumber growing in Florida garden

Cucumbers are like the sprinters of the garden – they grow fast and don’t require much attention. 

After about 2 months, they’ll be ready for you to toss them in salads, pickle them, or just munch on them fresh. Pop ’em in the fridge to keep that crunch. 

And if you take good care, you’ll likely be grabbing 10 to 15 cucumbers per plant in about a month, giving you plenty for all your kitchen experiments!

  • Growth Time: Approximately 50-70 days from planting to harvest.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil with organic matter.
  • Sunlight: Full sun, at least 6-8 hours a day.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, requiring water every 2-3 days. 

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6. Sweet Potatoes 

Sweet potatoes one of the best vegetables to grow in Florida

Sweet potatoes in Florida? With well-drained soil, they practically grow themselves. 

You can whip up classics like sweet potato fries or try something adventurous like a sweet potato casserole. 

On average, one sweet potato plant yields about 5-10 tubers, so a small plot can give you quite a few. They’re hardy and can last for months if stored properly in a cool, dry place.

  • Growth Time: Harvest sweet potatoes in the fall, typically around 90-170 days after planting. Gently dig them up to avoid damaging the tubers.
  • Soil: Well-drained soil is crucial for sweet potatoes. Consider creating raised beds or mounds to promote drainage. 
  • Sunlight: Full sun, at least 6-8 hours a day.
  • Watering: Water deeply during dry spells to keep the soil consistently moist. Be careful not to overwater, as sweet potatoes don’t tolerate waterlogged soil.

7. Lettuce

man pulling lettuce from his garden

Do you ever buy a bag of lettuce, put it in your crisper drawer, and then forget about it until it turns brown and soggy?

With lettuce in your Florida garden, you’ll never have to worry about wasting $5 on lettuce ever again!

One lettuce plant usually produces around 1-3 heads, giving you a steady supply. And the best part? They’re cool-season champs, lasting through various seasons in Florida. So, you’ll have fresh, crisp leaves ready for your favorite dishes all year round!

  • Growth Time: 30-60 days, depending on how much lettuce you want!
  • Soil: Use organic, well-draining soil for lettuce.
  • Sunlight: Partial shade is beneficial, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Watering: Every 2-3 days. 

These guidelines should help you get started on your gardening journey. Remember that organic gardening practices, such as using compost and mulch, can enhance soil health and benefit both your plants and the environment. 

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Vegetable Gardening FAQs

how long should i water my lawn in summer

Are any of these vegetables unable to grow in the shade?

Bell peppers and cherry tomatoes prefer full sun for optimal growth. While they can tolerate some shade, they thrive best with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. 

The other vegetables on the list can handle partial shade, making them more versatile for different garden setups.

Can you grow all these vegetables in the same garden bed?

Yes, you can, but proper spacing is crucial. For instance, tomatoes and bell peppers need 18 inches of space, while zucchinis require at least 3 feet.

Take note of varying sunlight preferences. Ensure well-draining soil and adjust watering schedules for each plant’s needs. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Cherry Tomatoes and Bell Peppers: Can be planted together. Both need full sun and similar watering schedules.
  • Zucchini: Needs more space but can share a bed with other veggies.
  • Herbs: Can be interplanted with other vegetables. They generally have similar requirements for sunlight and watering.
  • Cucumbers: Can be grown alongside other vegetables with equal sunlight and watering preferences.
  • Sweet Potatoes: These require well-drained soil, but if raised beds are used, they can coexist with other veggies.
  • Lettuce: Can be grown in partial shade and can share a bed with other plants that prefer less direct sunlight.

How can I remember to water all my vegetables? 

Remember, it’s better to underwater than overwater. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues.

Always prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to watering your vegetables!

Ready to be an expert farmer? You’ll need our Lawn Care Guide in your back pocket (and follow us on Facebook)!