Now that the weather is a bit cooler and we are in between jack-o'-lantern and turkey, it's time to give serious thought to fall gardening chores.
In the vegetable garden, thin root crops such as beets, carrots, turnips and radishes when they are overcrowded 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 should be 4 to 6 inches apart. It is not too late to plant some vegetables. Cool season crops such as broccoli, cabbage, greens and cauliflower still have plenty of 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, and many are available as plants. For more information, access "Herbs in the Florida Garden" on the Internet at edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH020.
Scout your garden regularly for insect pests. Also watch for beneficial insects such as lady bugs, green lacewings and minute pirate bugs. These will help control common pests such as aphids, whiteflies and mites.
Sources: Carol Suggs and Theresa Badurek, Pinellas County Extension Service. Learn more at askextension.org or pinellascountyextension.org.