Start preparing your warm season vegetable garden
There is still time to grow some of your own vegetables. Have your soil pH tested and make any necessary adjustments. The pH range for growing vegetables in sandy soil is from 5.8 to 6.8. Now is the time to prepare your spring vegetable garden. Warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and beans can be planted in just a couple of weeks after the middle of February.
You will want to spade up your garden area and incorporate organic matter. Add about 25 pounds of some type of organic material per 100 square feet of garden. Cow manure (already composted), compost, peat moss, or any combination of materials are great organic amendments. Some nurseries have starter plants for tender crops now. Vegetable Gardening in Florida by James Stephens is a great reference book for growing vegetables and the UF/IFAS Extension publication, Florida Gardening Guide, is available online at edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021.
Compiled by Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For additional landscape and garden information, visit pinellascountyextension.org. For regular tips and information about what's growing in Pinellas, go to facebook.com/PinellasExtension.