Are you new to gardening in planting zone 9 and looking for guidance on what to do? Look no further because I’ve got you covered. I’ve set up an easy to follow planting guide on exactly what to do from month to month.
Do you live in Zone 9 of the plant hardiness map? Lucky you! With its mild winters and long growing seasons, Zone 9 is ideal for growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Whether you’re an experienced homesteader or a newbie to gardening, this planting guide will provide all the information needed to get your garden off to the right start. Everything essential for successful gardening in Zone 9 is just a few clicks away! So dig in and let’s get planting!
[RELATED POST: USDA Plant Hardiness Zones & Microclimates]
Table of Contents
Zone 9 Planting Guide
Planting zone 9 has a long growing season because of its sunny and warm conditions. It has mild winters and rarely reaches below freezing. With its warmer climate, its growing season spans from February to December! Essentially you can grow all year round there. There are a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and other plants that you can grow there. It may be tough to grow cooler and colder weather crops during the hot summers. If frost occurs, the first frost would be in mid-December.
Planting zone 9 includes the following states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.
Zone 9 Fruits and Vegetables
There are so many different fruits and vegetables to grow in zone 9. Due to the warmer and hotter weather, there are some tropical fruits that can be planted. Here’s an example list of fruits and veggies you may find in a zone 9 garden: chives, hibiscus, kiwi, citrus fruit (like mandarin orange, clementines), avocado, starfruit, passionfruit, olives, and apricots.
[Jump to Herb Planting Guide Zone 9 to focus only on herbs]
Monthly Planting Guide Zone 9
As a new gardener (or maybe you have a bit more experience), there can be some confusion as to what to do from month to month. Maybe you’re not aware of what you can be doing before the growing season really starts bumping. Or maybe you just need a little bit of guidance as a sort of checklist.
Wherever you are in your journey I’ve put together a checklist for you so you know what to do throughout the year.
- If you’re getting started in the month of January, now’s the time to plant cool weather crops. It’s cool enough for crops that don’t like the heat of the summer.
- What vegetables to plant (not limited to only these crops)
*** The above vegetables can be started indoors or outdoors as seeds. Pay close attention to the seed packet instructions if you’re starting from seeds.
- Have your row covers ready to go in case it happens to get very cold. Row covers are important for any frost tender plants.
- If you’re not planning on planting this month and focusing on the main growing season, consider tackling the following:
- Check out seed companies if you’re growing from seeds. Download an online catalog or request one in the mail. Seed companies usually have free catalogs.
- Make plans for the upcoming months. What are you planning to grow this year?
- Are you planting any trees? Now may be the time to get those in the ground. For any existing trees, January is a good month to prune them.
- Have row covers ready to go if you plan on starting your garden next month, just in case.
- Get a gardening journal and document everything you do throughout this year. It’s a helpful tool to look back, reflect, and jot down your learning experiences. Write down what worked during the growing season and what didn’t. If something didn’t work out this year, do you understand why it didn’t? What are you going to do differently next year to have a successful crop?
*** Pro tip
I’ve talked about the Seed to Spoon app a couple of times on the blog. (No, I’m not sponsored or paid by them in any way.) It’s a very useful app to have at your fingertips. If you’re starting from seed, look up each plant in the app. Write down the date range for starting seeds on each seed packet. It was really helpful having the dates on the top of each package so as I was planning I knew which seeds to start.
- Are you planning to get started in February with your garden? If you didn’t get started in January, there’s still time to plant the above listed herbs and vegetables. However, you can add the following vegetables that are ready for planting this month:
- March is a good month to add a culinary and medicinal herb garden. Start planting a variety of herbs this month.
- Consider planting some ornamental herbs that attract beneficial insects, like butterflies, to the garden.
- It’s time to start planting some warm weather crops. These seeds can all be started outside.
- Southern peas
- Winter squash
- Summer squash
- Do you have an irrigation system set up? Check for efficiency in your system to be sure it’s working optimally.
- If you started any seed inside, this month it’s time to transplant them and get them outside.
- Don’t forget to harden off your transplants!
- Start the following seeds outside:
- Southern peas
- Summer squash
- Winter squash
- If you started an herb garden, continue adding with seeding.
- If you haven’t mulched your garden yet, start mulching. Adding mulch to the garden helps with weed suppression and helps retain soil. You don’t want all that soil you worked so hard on to wash away!
- Continue planting warm weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, okra, and squash. Add in sweet potatoes as well!
- Plant your heat loving herbs like basil, Mexican tarragon, rosemary, and lavender.
- Start preparing for hurricane season if it affects you.
- Did you plant your tomatoes in the previous months? If you didn’t already plant them, it’s now too late to do so. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to plant other vegetables and fruits.
- You can start seeds outside for lima beans, okra, chard, malabar spinach, peppers, and eggplant.
- Plant sweet potatoes.
- Plant more heat loving herbs.
- By now you should be in a good groove in the garden. Most of the work was done earlier in the year. Now it’s all about maintaining it all and monitoring. For daily tasks, check out the “What You Should be Doing Daily” section later in this post.
- There aren’t too many veggies and fruits to start now. It’s late in the season and your crops should really be coming along at this point. You still have time to plant eggplant, okra, watermelon, and Southern peas.
- It’s too late to start any herbs at this point of the season.
- Your cooler weather crops may be dying back at this point.
- Start thinking about your fall crops. Are you going to be planting anything during the fall? Next month it’ll be time to start planting.
- It’s already time to start planning for the fall. You can either start seeds indoors or outdoors.
- Possible fall crops: arugula, bush beans, broccoli, cauliflower, chives, collards, potatoes, corn, cucumbers, bunching onions, watermelon, tomatoes, summer and winter squashes, and turnips.
- Some of these crops are cooler weather crops, as well as warm weather crops.
- You won’t be able to seed for herbs but you can bring in transplants like bay laurel, ginger, rosemary, and tarragon.
- If you haven’t already prepped for your fall garden, September is the month to definitely get started. There is quite a list of fruits and vegetables that can be planted this month.
- The following crops can be planted this month: Arugula, Bush Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chives, Collards, Cucumber, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Parsley, Summer Squash, Radish and Turnips
- Bought some seedlings from a garden center for the fall or planning on it? Now’s the time to transplant and get them in the ground!
- Plant all your herb seeds outside.
- Think about what plants you want to plant during the winter months and start planning.
- So many herbs can be planted this month! Consider planting herbs like parsley, chives, cilantro, sage, basil, lavender, lemon, and oregano.
- It’s time to start planting vegetables for the winter months. The following goodies can be planted: Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Chives, Collards, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Parsley, Radish, Spinach and Turnips.
- Want to grow strawberries? Now’s the time to start prepping to plant them.
[RELATED POST: What You Need to Know About the Different Types of Strawberries]
- The year is quickly coming to an end and next month there could be frost. Prepare to protect the garden for any frost that may come.
- Herbs can still be planted this month so continue planting them.
- Continue planting cool weather crops like beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, kale, and lettuce.
- Since it’s cooler out, only water as needed.
- Hopefully you prepared last month in anticipation of any cold weather. Cover any tender crops that are growing. Without a cover for crops that are tender with cold weather, you may lose them.
- Mulch any leaves that have fallen and place them in the garden as a mulch.
- Plant any herbs that thrive in cool/cold weather.
- Plant cool weather loving crops. Consider planting Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Leek, Mustard, Onion, Parsley and Radish.
Herb Planting Guide Zone 9
- January: Plant cool weather loving herbs like arugula.
- February: Plant cool weather loving herbs like arugula, thyme, chives, and rosemary.
- March: March is a good month to add a culinary and medicinal herb garden. Start planting a variety of herbs this month.
- April: If you started an herb garden, continue adding with seeding.
- May: Plant your heat loving herbs like basil, Mexican tarragon, rosemary, and lavender.
- June: Plant more heat loving herbs, like basil.
- July: It’s too late to start any herbs at this point of the season.
- August: You won’t be able to seed for herbs but you can bring in transplants like bay laurel, ginger, rosemary, and tarragon.
- September: Plant all your herb seeds outside.
- October: So many herbs can be planted this month! Consider planting herbs like parsley, chives, cilantro, sage, basil, lavender, lemon, and oregano.
- November: Herbs can still be planted this month so continue planting them.
- December: Plant any herbs that thrive in cool/cold weather.
What You Should be Doing Daily
One thing I definitely do in the garden every single day is monitor for pests and disease. It’s best to try to catch both earlier than later for treatment. With pests like aphids, not paying attention to your plants could easily lead to an infestation. You’ve worked so hard getting your garden and plants set up! Pests and disease can quickly ruin your crops.
[RELATED POST: Organic Gardening: How to Control Earwigs in My Garden]
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As you enter into the summer, it’s going to get hot! Monitor for drought stress in your plants. Proper watering is key in the hotter months. Water in the early mornings. Watering in the afternoon is a sure way to burn your plants. I avoid watering in the evening. It reduces the chances of your plants developing issues like mildew and other problems.
Weed your garden every day. Weeding is my least favorite task in the garden, but you really need to keep up with it. Weeds can quickly take over your garden and then you’re left with a big clean up, which really isn’t fun. Some weeds are super stubborn to get out of the ground. Staying on top of this task is much more efficient and saves time in the long run. Doing a little bit each time will make it so much more manageable.
Prune plants that need pruning. For example, tomato plants require suckers to be removed. This may not be a daily task but keep an eye on them. Suckers can quickly grow into a whole brunch full of tomatoes before you know it.