It’s Spring in Florida! It’s actually quite late in our Spring season here in the Sunshine State. It’s not too late, however, to start your garden from seedling plants!
I’ve compiled a list of 5 easy and great seedling plants to get you well on your way to beautiful gardens today!
All of them are available here at Shell’s in our brand new Garden Center!
Florida Spring Seedling #5: Geraniums
Geraniums are an amazing annual plant. Here in Florida, they are often Perennial – meaning that they go a little dormant in the Winter and then re-bloom in the Spring.
I love them in containers and spaced out in-between my veggies too. Geraniums have Geraniol, which is an essential oil that is known to keep certain kinds of pests away. Plus they’re just really pretty!
There’s something about the smell of digging in the dirt and touching the leaves of the geranium when you’re dead-heading. It bring powerful and happy memories back in my mind to lovely times in my garden over the years of my life.
Florida Spring Seedling #4: Eggplants
Eggplants are often dismissed in people’s gardens as something that can be pretty AND tasty, but many species of Eggplant have BEAUTIFUL foliage and flowers.
The flowers are usually purple if the fruit is purple, and with all of the Anthocyanins (the phytochemical that makes it look purple) in Eggplant the foliage and stems are often colored purple when the plant is blooming and fruiting. They grow to about 4-5′ tall and love the sun.
Eggplants come in many shapes, sizes and two primary colors – purple and white, and green too. Some are striped and spotted, they’re so fun (and delicious)!
Florida Spring Seedling #3: Beans
Beans come in many shapes, sizes, colors, varieties, and generally there’s 2 types of plants that they grow on. From Green Beans to Black-Eyed Peas to Purple Wax Beans and so many more, you’ll find a wide spectrum of offerings in the legume category that are tasty to eat.
One of the more familiar varieties are the green beans, of which the Kentucky Wonder is a very popular choice. Also the Green Crop beans. The Bush varieties are easier to grow where space is limited, but the Pole bean varieties grow LONG vines that create more beans per season if you care for them well and keep the fungus at bay later in the summer and have a sunny place for them to climb.
Beans in things like Bean Soup are a wonderful protein source, consider having them replace your meat for protein once a week for a tasty treat that will really fill you up!
P.S. If you can find the seeds, I’m a huge fan of Yard Long Beans. Traditionally associated with Asian dishes, yard long beans often live up to their name – each bean being 3′ long or more! One bean can often be a whole serving of green bean, and they’re tender and delicious! Pretty sure we carry them if they haven’t sold out already! 🙂
Florida Spring Seedling #2: Marigolds
Marigolds pull double-duty in the garden: They are pretty with lots of colors and lacy foliage. They also provide some pest control, as they are a source of pyrethrins that are commonly found in insecticides. You’ll often see marigold borders or marigolds interspersed in garden beds for this purpose!
Also, a row of veggies just looks more sunny with marigolds planted around them.
Marigolds are very tolerant plants – they will take partial to full sun and the hottest weather. They don’t really get a lot of diseases that affect flowering. They re-seed themselves regularly so you can have multi-seasonal sprouting of the flowers (deadhead regularly to keep that from happening and keep them blooming). They’ll even tolerate dry spells pretty well once they’re established; they may not look awesome when in a drought, but once you start watering again they usually come right back.
They come in lots of colors from deep crimson red to white, and they have different kinds of flowers from single petal to double petal to the giant “puffball” style, and everything in between. They’re a wonderful border plant to give pops of bright color and they make awesome cut flowers too. You really can’t lose with Marigolds.
Florida Spring Seedlings #1: Tomatoes
A long-time favorite in the garden, tomatoes are the #1 sought-after crop in kitchen gardens throughout the world. There’s just something magical about tomatoes, with their sunny earthy-scented foliage and cute yellow flowers yielding a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors of yummy tomatoes. Tomatoes can be larger than a softball or as tiny as a fingernail, and all have a unique flavor too.
Tomatoes can be a little tricky from seed, which is why they are my #1 choice for Florida Spring Seedlings. Yes, you will find more variety of tomatoes in the seed packets, but you’ll find a more dependable growing experience when you start from a strong seedling like the ones in our garden center. I especially recommend tomato seedlings for new or less-experienced gardeners and for EarthBOX gardeners as well.
Florida Spring Seedlings Are Here At Shell’s!
We have expanded our Garden Center! We’ve moved it to the South Side of our building, which you can access through the store, just follow the signs! The expansion means that we have more space to stock MORE plants, MORE soil bags, and a few fun extras!
In the coming months we’ll be installing shade structures and more permanent plant racking, so stay tuned for those changes.
We also hope to be adding a wider variety of plants (and possibly trees!) in the future as well! Keep an eye on our social media and newsletter for announcements when all these new things happen.
Thanks for reading, and until next time…
P.S. If you want some more Spring garden articles from the past here in my blog, check out these:
and for you “transplants” to Florida, here’s one just for you: