What to plant in FL?
Ok, it's official. I caught the gardening bug. I have mostly partial sun space, and would really like to plant something now that I've had a year of trying my hand at herbs and a month with a tomato. I had forgotten how much this all was and really want to plant something! Question is, what can I plant? I'd prefer seedlings that will produce food, but flowers are beautiful too.
Also, what can I do about the darn gnats that seem to hover? They have taken up residence in my small yard and I want to take it back!
I assume by your username that you're in Tampa. It's quite late for most vegetables. You can still plant heat loving veg like sweet potatoes, okra, possibly beans, southern peas, malabar spinach. Your garden center may well still be selling vegetable plants for transplant, but it's a crapshoot due to the heat and sun. Bear in mind that tomatoes won't set fruit if it is too hot. As far as flowers, it's not too late to put in coleus, or you could try transplanting whatever annuals are available at your favorite garden center. Seeding is better left for cooler fall temperatures or until late winter, depending on the crops you're interested in.
Here's a link to the Florida vegetable gardening guide at UF Extension, which gives planting dates as well as a host of other quite valuable information:
Have patience, fall will be here soon! In the meantime you could plant a cover crop like buckwheat in your beds to improve the soil until fall planting time.
And about those gnats: could they possibly be fruit flies? My next door neighbor has numerous citrus trees and often fails to clean up the fallen fruit. When the fruit is allowed to decay on the ground we are overwhelmed with fruit flies which love the rotting fruit and they lay their eggs there. This year the neighbor did better and so far no pests.
I also live in Fl and currently have tomatoes, snap beans, squash, eggplant, corn, watermelon and cucumbers growing. Most of these were planted in late March but most of my garden has direct sunlight for 6-7 hours per day. The partial sun may present a problem for a lot of plants and may also be the source of your gnats if they are the biting variety. Is the shade created from an oak tree or a magnolia?
Good luck with both of your bug problems.