Actually we never have to stop gardening but at this time of the year it is a transition time between the end of the warm season gardens and a continuation of the cool season plantings. But hurry to get the crops that like a chill in the ground. Check out our list of vegetables that are best planted this month and start them growing as soon as possible.
If you have been grow crops you like for a while simply select a sunny site. Sandy soils are fine but most crops would like to have one enriched with organic matter and manure. Work in several inches of organic matter like compost, peat moss or similar with the exiting soil and then add a top dressing of composted manure to mix with the soil. Do have the soil acidity checked and adjust if needed. Now you are ready to plant.
Learn what to plant as seeds and what to set in the garden as transplants. Most crops can go into small gardens as transplants. Some like tomatoes and peppers are traditionally added this way. Others like cucumbers, squash and melons may be added using either method. Follow label instructions on seed packets for successful plantings. Use planting guides available from your local University of Florida Extension office for the proper spacing of transplants.
Next make sure the garden gets constant care. Keep the soil moist and add a light mulch of old hay, leaves or coarse compost. Then apply a garden fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks as instructed on the label. Slow release or even liquids can be used following label instructions as to proper timing. Stay alert for pests and control with natural products if needed. Many insects can be hand picked from your plants. Have unknowns identified as some may be beneficial.
Lastly learn when to harvest your crops. If in doubt use those in your grocery store as a guide when it is time to gather a vegetable and eat.