October is the best time of year for many home vegetable gardeners in North Florida! It’s the beginning of our cool weather planting season for much of the state, and the time we get to plant some of our favorite vegetables. We think it’s safe to say that a vegetable hand-picked from your own garden tastes better than anything you can buy in a store.  Home gardens are convenient and may encourage you and your family to eat more fresh vegetables. The choices are endless, with vegetables of all sizes, colors, and shapes.

In our area of Jacksonville, the best, most common vegetables to plant are collards, mustard, kale, lettuce, arugula, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, tomatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, strawberries, cucumbers, bell peppers, and hot peppers: Carolina reaper, ghost, habanero, cayenne, and jalapeno.

Culinary herbs are also a great crop to plant during the fall, including basil, mint, parsley, oregano, dill, fennel, rosemary, onions, chives, and cilantro.

Before gardening, be sure to remove any vegetation that is currently growing in your garden because the vegetation can harvest pests. Pests have had all summer to multiply and mature and we want to start with as few in the garden as possible! Cleaning the area around your garden will help to keep the pests at bay.

Growing your own vegetables will save you a ton of money at the grocery store and you’ll know exactly when they’ve been picked and how fresh they are. It’s also a great way to engage the whole family in some outdoor physical activity! A vegetable garden will also add visual appeal to your landscape that can increase the value of your home.

No matter what your fall gardening project entails, we’re here to help! Stop by Trad’s Garden Center today to talk to one of our friendly, knowledgeable experts.