Seeds From the Urban Harvest

Growing seeds from the Urban Harvest has been a rewarding experience. My small backyard vegetable garden is off to a great start.

This is a quick review of my experience with the Urban Harvest. This company is located on the western coast of Florida. Elise is the woman who does videos about growing vegetables in this hot Florida climate. I have linked to one of her videos below. She also has a beautiful website with information and seeds for sale. I am so happy to have found her, and very much appreciate her good advice about gardening.

I’m just getting started with my backyard vegetable garden, but so far I’m impressed with the growth from the seeds I bought.

Growing From Seed

Whenever you use seeds to begin a garden, it’s a guess as to how many seeds will actually grow. I’ve had very good luck with my seeds from The Urban Harvest. Everything has grown really well.

If you live in the St. Pete area of Florida (west coast), this company also sells living plants. See more at the Urban Harvest website.

seed packets
Seeds from Urban Harvest

Seed packets cost around $3.00 and all the packets above came from The Urban Harvest even though only two packets contain their label. Shipping was fast. I received a thank you e-mail. In my opinion, customer service is great!

My seeds arrived in April, so I only planted what could handle the summer heat. (The carrots, broccoli and Brussels sprouts will wait until Fall.)

The watermelon and okra were put directly into the ground on April 8th. Of the 12 watermelon seeds I planted, 9 came up. I have thinned them to four plants. I simply don’t have a lot of space for them.

Watermelon plants day 34


Almost all of the okra seeds sprouted. I transplanted a few of the seeds when thinning the rows, and I don’t suggest doing that. Those transplanted okra plants are not growing as well as the ones I left alone!

okra plant

I’ve never grown, or eaten okra so I only planted three short rows.

Seminole Pumpkin

On April 8th I put the pumpkin seeds into pots.

Here are the pumpkin seedlings at growing day 10.

Seminole pumpkin seedlings
Pumpkin seedlings – day 10
Pumpkins into ground and doing well.

Now the pumpkins have been growing in the ground since about April 29th. Today is May 12th so these two pumpkin plants are a little over a month old (photo below) from the time I first planted the seeds.

Seminole pumpkin plants, 5/12
May 12th Seminole Pumpkin plants in the garden

Right now the pumpkin plants are growing upward and I hope they will trail off to the edge of the yard once they get going. I am very excited about these native Florida pumpkins! Search YouTube if you want to see how big the vines grow. They can even grow up through trees and produce hanging pumpkins!


I was totally unfamiliar with the Moringa tree. The Urban Harvest sells Moringa seeds and I have a three growing in the yard, and one in a small pot. All seeds that were begun in pots sprouted, whereas the ones I put directly into the ground did not.

I wish I had more space and knew more about their growth habits, height and so on. This will be an experiment. Right now I have three planted and growing, but they are small.

Elise of The Urban Harvest has a few videos where she mentions growing the Moringa tree. See one here: Three Tropical Survival Foods You Must Plant in Florida. She has loads of videos that cover all kinds of things to do with Florida gardening. I’ve already learned so much.


Garden Progress

Creating a garden from a grassy space in Florida takes some work. There are many vines and deep roots to remove from all the natural invasion from the lot next door. Then I am left with sand which must be amended for growing.

In the photo below, I have removed the grass, added compost, planted seeds and seedlings (and added more compost and fertilizer) and watered each morning. From here I will add mulch to conserve moisture and keep the ground cooler. Summer is nearly here and it is already too hot after 9:00am for me to do much gardening.

I ordered a second batch of seeds from The Urban Harvest and will definitely buy more at a later date. I highly recommend this helpful place if you are a Florida vegetable gardener.

backyard garden
My garden before the mulch

All plants are organic, and she promotes sustainable and eco friendly gardening practices. Again, how to find information:

Please keep reading the blog…


How to Begin Growing Vegetables in Florida

Some things I did and places I bought seeds to get my Florida vegetable garden going.

Although I have lived in Florida for most of my life, I have not done much growing of vegetables. Now, I am interested, and have begun to slowly add garden beds to the backyard. But how to know what will grow here and where to find the plants and seeds?

I always assumed that nothing would grow in a Florida summer. But, if you look around, the citrus and banana trees do just fine. Some vegetables are specifically known as being southern, such as collard greens and okra.

Bunch of bananas hanging from a tree in the yard
Bananas in my backyard

There is a definite advantage to having a very long growing season here in Florida. In New Hampshire my bell pepper plants would just be looking pretty good when suddenly it was cold again.

Peppers like it hot, and I’ve had good luck growing some types of peppers (jalapeño, Serano, and bell) in my southern location. If the winter is not too cold, they will come back and produce more peppers the following season.

green pepper
Green Bell Pepper

Begin the Search

It’s tough to know what to plant and when, but the University of Florida has a collection of excellent advice for the southern gardener. This page, for central Florida gardening, is filled with flower, herb, lawn and vegetable advice.

Narrow it down by viewing the vegetable planting guide, and you will be ready with a list to use when seed shopping. Decide which foods you and your family will eat and see how to go about making it happen.

When I view the lists of warm and cool weather crops for Florida, I do disagree with some of the vegetables listed. This means that maybe each gardener will have different degrees of luck with certain crops.

Maybe I have planted at the wrong time, and maybe I need to try again and take notes. But at least these vegetables have a chance of growing and are worth a try. I have not had luck with carrots or beets.

If broccoli is a favorite with southern gardeners, I will put that on my “cool weather crops” list. Now I have expanded to have a ground garden where I can rotate “warm” and “cool” crops. The only thing is… many vegetables continue to grow year round – the growing season does not really end. I have had eggplant plants and pepper plants grow for years! So one garden may not be enough space.

backyard Florida garden plot planted with seeds and seedlings
Peppers, dill and eggplant growing in the ground

Where to Buy the Seeds and Plants For This Climate

If you live near a nursery that sells plants that will grow locally, you are lucky! Big box stores like Home Depot don’t seem to specialize in selling local plants. I’d rather give my money to a small business but I can’t seem to find the plants and seeds I want at a location nearby.

The Farmer’s Market and flea market are places I plan to scour further. Sometimes local farmers will have plants for sale.

Shopping for Seeds Online

First, I bought seeds from The Urban Harvest, which is a central (west coast) based seed and plant seller – they also have many YouTube videos. I have had good luck with the seeds germinating, but they were sold out of many items I would have liked. If you live near them in St. Pete (I believe) they have a garden center where you can pick up live seedlings.

Some of the seeds I got will be planted in Fall, but I did plant the pumpkin, okra, and Moringa this Spring. I don’t know what to expect from okra, but the UF site has a whole page about okra.

seed packets from the Urban Harvest, a florida based company
Seeds from Urban Harvest

So, I continued to look online. Johnny’s Selected Seeds had a nice variety, including heirloom and organic vegetable varieties, but they wanted $11.50 for shipping just a few packets of seeds! I moved on.

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds has a good selection of beans especially, but the seed potatoes were sold out. I liked this site, but had already purchased some seeds from the Eden Brothers site.

I found mimosa seeds (a flowering ground cover) at the Eden Brothers, and it is something I had been looking for. Then I found more flower seeds and a few veggies and placed my order. This time shipping was only $3.98 which is much more reasonable.

Most seed sellers do not specify what does well in a sub-tropical climate, so have that list of specific, Florida friendly crops, ready before you shop.

If you are a Floridian and have a favorite online place to buy seeds, please let me know! I also appreciate any helpful advice when it comes to gardening in our climate.

In Closing…

Check for vegetables and herbs that will do well in our area / your area of Florida. Decide what you have room for, and plant what you want to eat! Search for a place that can supply the seeds. Local nurseries, farmer’s markets, or online. Maybe a neighbor is also a grower and would share some seeds with you!

Remember that most seed packets are packed for a specific year, so don’t load up on seeds that you can’t use within the year.

I’ll be updating this blog with my garden stories as I try to grow more vegetables. Currently my “in the ground” garden is planted and doing well.

backyard garden with vegetable seedlings
The new garden – Nearly full, end of April

Keep Reading ….

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