Thursday, April 19, 2018
Home and Garden

Timely tendings: Time to thin crops of beets, carrots, turnips and radishes

Thin root crops such as beets, carrots, turnips and radishes by removing the smallest plants to give the remaining plants room to mature. Radishes and carrots should be about 3 inches apart and turnips and beets 4 to 6 inches apart.

It is not too late to plant some vegetables. Cool season crops like broccoli, cabbage, greens and cauliflower still have time to mature before warmer weather returns.

Consider planting culinary herbs from seeds or plants now. A wide variety of herbs thrive in our cooler, drier fall weather. Favorites such as basil, cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, sage and thyme can all be planted as seeds or as plants. For more information, access Herbs in the Florida Garden on the Internet:

Scout your garden regularly for insect pests. Also watch for beneficial insects like lady bugs, green lacewings and minute pirate bugs. These will help control common pests like aphids, whiteflies and mites.

Many pests can be controlled by removing the insect or an infested branch. If you find that you need to treat with a pesticide, always try the least toxic method first. Pesticides like neem oil, fish oil and insecticidal soaps will control many insects and not contaminate your harvest. Use chemical pesticides with caution; read and follow the label carefully; and pay close attention to the number of days you must wait after spraying before you can harvest. Also, be certain that the product label lists the crop you are going treat.

Source: Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. Learn more at or