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Old 02-19-2013, 06:10 AM
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
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I recently moved from Louisiana to central Florida and would like to start container gardening and would like to know some vegetables that will do well here. In New Orleans we grew tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, peppers and almost anything would grow. Here in Florida the weather is different and I do not want to assume anything and would appreciate any tips. Although not a vegetable the yard has several dragon fruit cacti growing up trees and I am curious if anyone has experience growing the fruit. I assume that the vines will not bear fruit because they are growing up two oak trees with a huge canopy and little sun get to the vine.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:15 PM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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The dragon fruit may surprise you and give you fruit anyway.

Several of the big differences between sub-tropical or tropical gardening and temperate gardening are:
1. If it involves fruits and vegetables that require chill time to set fruit.
2. The timing of the seasons themselves
3. Day length

If you are really specific about the variety of apple or peach tree you plant, you can grow them in Florida. There is a variety of peach tree called "Florida Prince" which does well in Hawaii so it would probably grow even better in Florida. Especially your area of Central Florida. Several varieties of apple, such as "Anna" will also grow. There is a nursery in California called "Bay Laurel" nursery as well as Dave Wilson nursery which sells "low chill" fruit trees. Dave Wilson is a wholesaler, mostly, but you can buy their trees through Bay Laurel. Learning about "chill hours" will help your Florida garden. Although, Central Florida does get some winter chill, just not a lot of it.

Isn't your area famous for citrus? Maybe a few dwarf citrus might be good in containers?

The timing of the seasons is probably much different than you are accustomed to. Hawaii (which one would think would be somewhat similar to your area) has three if not four planting seasons. In the fall we plant the winter garden which has the soft manoa type lettuces and peas and things that like a cooler growing season. In the winter when it is cooler and wetter, we plant the cooler weather plants that like water and don't need heat to set fruit. Greens, scallions, etc. In the spring we plant the more traditional plants that want a hotter climate as well as longer daylight for fruiting. Watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes, etc. Here is a link from the University of Florida which has a time table of what to do when in your garden: Florida Gardening Calendar - UF/IFAS Extension: Solutions for Your Life

When choosing vegetables to plant in the winter months, it is good to select varieties which don't need a long day length to set fruit. For some vegetables, such as bulbing onions, that is important.

The Florida University has a huge amount of information about growing things in Florida. You could search their website.
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