Gardening Calendar

January

Fact Sheet # FS 6027 HORT

With the winter here it is a lot more enjoyable to get out in the yard and work. With cool temperatures you can work all day long if you want. Though I will not be able to list everything that could be done in the yard, I will try to list some of the main items.

  • Remember, the cooler temperatures means that turf (and other plants too) doesn’t need as much water. Usually, during this time of year, St. Augustine only needs to be watered deeply (about 3/4 of an inch of water) once a week.
  • An easy way to keep winter annual weeds from spreading is to mow often enough so that the flowers don’t set seed.
  • Flowers that need the cooler temperatures and may survive a freeze include: alyssum, dianthus, pansy, viola, petunia, phlox, stock, flowering kale, and snapdragons.
  • To protect tender plants from a freeze, simply cover them with some hay, a blanket or a quilt. If using a plastic tarp to cover the plants, don’t let the plastic touch the foliage or damage could occur!
  • Bulbs to plant: Agapanthus, amaryllis, Aztec lily (Sprekelia formosissima), calla lily, crinum, kaffir lily, walking iris (Neomarica gracilis), African iris (Morea spp.), day lily, gloriosa lily, hurricane lily (Lycoris spp.), society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), spider lily (Hymenocallis spp.), Tritonia (Tritonia crocata var. miniata), Tuberose (Polianthus tuberose), Watsonia (Watsonia spp.) and rain lily (Zephyranthes spp.).
  • Herbs for January planting: Chives, chervil, comfrey, catnip, coriander, fennel, mint, parsley, lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme.
  • Watch out for tiny caterpillars on your vegetable plants and control when needed. Remember, the easiest method of control for large caterpillars is to pick them off and destroy them. For the smaller caterpillars (the young ones) Thuricide is an environmentally friendly choice.
  • For vegetable plants that are flowering and producing fruit, spray the foliage with fish emulsion and seaweed weekly. Spray both sides of the foliage until it drips.
  • Delay fertilizing trees, shrubs and the lawn until at least the end of February.
  • If needed, prune apple, grape, peach, pear and fig plants to shape, and remove any dead or diseased wood.
  • Plant deciduous fruit trees, shrubs and vines now while they are dormant.
  • If you want to relocate a deciduous tree or shrub, now is the time. You don’t need to prune prior to transplanting. Water the plant well, dig up as large of a root ball as possible and then plant in it’s new location. In well-draining soil, water it daily if we have sunny, warm weather and/or no rain.
  • Sow cucumber, eggplant, pepper, squash, watermelon, pumpkin, peas, okra, beans, cantaloupe, sweet corn and tomatoes seeds by mid-January for transplanting in March.
  • Vegetables that can be planted in January: Beets, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, endive/escarole, egg plant, sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, mustard, onion sets, English peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips.
  • To save space in the garden when seeding carrots and radishes sow them in the same row because carrots are slower to germinate. The radishes will be harvested before the carrots need the space. Also, cover the seeds with some vermiculite to help mark the row.

Any trade names mentioned in this article are provided solely for informational purposes. Mention of product names does not constitute endorsement.

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February

Fact Sheet # FS 6014 HORT

Now that February is almost here, you may be wondering what there is to do out in the yard. January has been dry and both cold and warm so hopefully the temperatures will stay in at least the 70's for the majority of the days this month. So, if you would like an excuse to be outside, here are some ideas of things to do.

  • Now is the time to prune grape vines. Pruning can be done any time before the vines begin to sprout new buds.
  • Check your lawn mower blades to see if they need to be sharpened because spring is just around the corner.
  • Check the vegetable garden for any diseased, insect infested, or old and non-producing plants and remove them. Add organic matter like compost or aged manure to enrich the soil for new plantings.
  • Vegetables that can be planted in February include; beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, celery, collards, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, endive/escarole, English peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions-both bunching and multiplier, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, radishes, tomatoes, turnips, and watermelons.
  • Vegetable seeds that can be sown in February for planting in March include; beans, beets, cantaloupes, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, English peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, okra, onions - bunching & multipliers, peppers, pumpkins, Southern peas, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon.
  • Add new mulch to the areas where the mulch is less than 2 inches deep. Be sure to keep the mulch away from the stems or trunks of the plants.
  • Mid-month is a good time to prune rose bushes. Choose 4-5 main canes to form the new shrub and prune off the others. Then, cut the main canes back a third of the way. Also, remove any dead, damaged or twiggy growth back to the main cane. New blooms should appear in about 45 days.
  • Prune poinsettias back when their blooms begin to fade. Cut the stems to about two feet from the ground and fertilize with ½ to 1 cup of 6-6-6. Also, apply one to two teaspoons of Epsom salts to supply magnesium.
  • Flowers to plant include; alyssum, dianthus, pansy, petunia, Johnny-jump-up, nasturtium, phlox, stock, flowering kale, and snapdragons.
  • Some of the herbs that can be planted now include; basil, comfrey,chervil,chives,dill, fennel, parsley, sweet marjoram, mint, sage, and thyme.
  • Bulbs that can be planted this month include; Agapanthus, Amazon lily (Eucharis grandiflora), Aztec lily (Sprekelia formosissima), caladium, canna, dahlia, gladiolus, gloriosa lily, kaffir lily (Clivia minata), walking iris (Neomarica gracilis), rainlily (Zepheranthus spp.), lily, African iris (Moraea spp.), society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), Tritonia (T. crocata), tuberose (Policanthes tuberose), Watsonia (W. spp.) and spider lily (Hymenocallis spp.)
  • Fertilize palms, shrubs, vines and young trees.
  • Divide and transplant perennials if they are crowded.
  • Fertilize citrus this month.

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March

Fact Sheet # FS 6028 HORT

March is almost here and hopefully it will bring some nice gardening weather. Our average daytime temperatures should be in the upper 70s with nighttime temperatures in the mid-50s. If you are looking for some gardening projects, just read on.

  • Fertilize your lawn now with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). Apply only one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet if it slow release and ½ pound of nitrogen if it is quick release.
  • Sod, plug or seed new lawns now or any bare spots before weeds take over.
  • When mowing just let the clippings fall so that they add organic matter and some nutrients back to the soil.
  • Prune out all of the dead or diseased wood from your trees and shrubs.
  • Rake up fallen leaves and add them to your compost pile or use them as mulch around trees or shrubs.
  • Annuals that you can plant or sow this month include; ageratum, amaranth, celosia, coleus, cosmos, Dahlberg daisy, gaillardia, gomphrena, impatiens, lisianthus, marigolds, melampodium, ornamental peppers, portulaca, red salvia, sunflower, vinca, wax begonia and zinnia.
  • Some ideas for perennials to plant include; bush daisy, blue porterweed, gazania, crossandra, geranium (remember, partial shade through the summer and full sun in the winter), blue salvia, Salvia coccinea, Salvia leucantha, gerber daisy, kalanchoe, yarrow and African iris.
  • Bulbs to plant in shady areas; achimenes, Amazon lilies, caladiums, eucharis lily and walking iris. For moist areas try canna, Louisiana iris and walking iris. If you have dry areas plant amaryllis, blackberry lily, crinum, day lily, lapeirousia, rain lilies, and society garlic.
  • Some herbs that can be planted now include; basil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, sweet marjoram, mint, sage and thyme.
  • Fertilize rose plants with a bloom booster (ex. 15-30-15.)
  • Trim your fig tree if needed. Removing some of the older wood will increase new growth. Only choose three to five main trunks. Remove all small competing stems from the base. Thin out any limbs that are crisscrossing. Prune out up to one-third of last years growth during this spring pruning.
  • Add new mulch to maintain a four inch layer.
  • Fertilize your citrus trees starting this month. Use an 8-8-8 citrus fertilizer. Mature trees can have up to eight pounds of fertilizer broadcast under the branches. Remember, for citrus to produce excellent fruit, they must be regularly fertilized and deeply watered every 7-10 days (with one inch of water) in the event of no rain.
  • Remove declining winter vegetables and replace them with new plants. Vegetables that can be planted in March include; beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, peppers, Southern peas, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon, beets, carrots, collards, English peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions (both bunching and multipliers,) radishes and turnips.
  • Vegetable seeds that can be started now for planting in April include; beans, okra and Southern peas.
  • Now is a good time to establish new banana plantings.

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April

Fact Sheet # FS 6029 Hort

So far this spring, we have had some cold temperatures but, the warm weather should be here to stay now. Just incase you are looking for an excuse to be outdoors here are some ideas for things to do.

  • If you fertilized your lawn last month great but, if not, fertilize now.
  • Let your St. Augustine lawn tell you when it’s time to water. When a section of the lawn has folded leaf blades and a bluish-green color then, its time to apply ¾ of an inch of water.
  • Seed, plug, or sod to fill in the bare areas of the lawn.
  • Sharpen your mower blades because you’re going to be using them a lot in the months ahead.
  • Remember, start mowing weekly again once the grass starts growing fast.
  • Prune azaleas and gardenias (if needed) after they have stopped blooming. Do not prune after June or this will result in the removal of flower buds for next spring.
  • If you are growing hybrid roses and have to battle black spot try something different this year. Instead of spraying a fungicide every week why not try a foliar spray of fish emulsion and seaweed. Fungicides only suppress the fungus whereas fish emulsion and seaweed provides all of the nutrients plus growth hormones and the emulsion is an oil which can have fungicidal properties.
  • The continual removal of the faded blooms of annual plants, called dead heading, will improve their appearance, encourage more blooms, and lengthen the life of the plant. Examples of annuals which benefit from deadheading include; red salvia, zinnias, coleus, gallardia, lisianthus, marigolds, dahlia, celosia and gomphrena.
  • Go buy a rain gauge for your yard (if you don’t already have one!) The larger the opening the better. With your own rain gauge you will know how much rain your yard really gets each and every storm!
  • Finish your spring fertilization of fruit trees.
  • Vegetables that can be planted in April include; beans (snap, pole, shell, or lima), cherry tomatoes, cantaloupes, collards, okra, sweet potatoes, Southern peas, calabazas, chayotes, yard-long beans and other tropical crops.
  • If you’re interested in adding some flowers to your landscape here are some plants that can handle full sun through the summer; floss flower (Ageratum), amaranth, asters, wax begonia, vinca (or periwinkle), celosia, coleus, cosmos, dahlia, dahlberg daisy, lisianthus, gallardia, gazania, gerber daisy, kalanchoe, sunflowers, gomphrena, melampodium, torenia, lobelia, portulaca, blue salvia, red salvia, dusty miller, marigolds, and zinnias.
  • If you want to plant some flowers in shady areas here are some to choose from; non-stop and tuberous begonias, caladium, coleus, firecracker flower (Crossandra), impatiens, and geraniums.
  • Spring is a wonderful time to plant new trees and shrubs. Just remember a few pointers; don’t dig the hole deeper then the root ball, plant so that the top of the root ball is at the same level as the surrounding soil, do not add fertilizer to the planting hole and water the newly planted tree or shrub daily (if the soil is well-draining) until the plant begins new growth.
  • In the herb garden you can plant basil, chives, dill, borage, oregano, mint, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram and thyme.
  • Add new mulch to areas where it has thinned out. Aim for it to be three to four inches thick around all plants - including citrus! Just make sure to keep the mulch at least six inches away from the trunk of citrus trees.

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May

Fact Sheet # FS 6030 Hort

The warm and sunny weather of May makes it ideal for gardening and after the cool, short days of winter it is a pleasure to work out in the yard now. After all, when the weather is nice, who wants to stay inside!

  • Keep an eye out for chinch bug damage. If you see areas of the lawn that go to a tan or brown color and continue to grow larger start looking for chinch bugs.
  • Check for chinch bugs where the green grass borders the brown area. Just part the grass and look for them on the soil or grass. If you find them, then apply a spot treatment to the infested area and a border three to four feet wide around it.
  • Re-seed established bahia lawns with three to five pounds of Argentine bahia seed per 1,000 square feet to create a thicker lawn. Be sure to buy scarified seed for better germination.
  • Replace winter flowers with heat loving flowers.
  • Some flowers for full sun include: wax begonias, celosia, coleus, gaillardia, lisianthus, marigolds and gomphrena.
  • In other sunny areas consider planting vinca, portulaca, purslane, salvia, sunflowers, gazania, melampodium or zinnias.
  • In shady areas plant; coleus, impatiens, rex begonias, angle wing begonias or crossandra.
  • Complete the pruning of azaleas, gardenias and camellias this month.
  • Remove dead and diseased wood and sucker growth from trees and shrubs.
  • Herbs that can be planted this month include; basil, chives, dill, sage, rosemary, mint, sweet marjoram and thyme.
  • Don’t forget to give citrus trees one inch of water every 7-10 days if your yard doesn’t receive one inch of rain.
  • Go out and buy a rain gauge if you don’t already own one. The wider the opening at the top the better!
  • Protect young papaya fruits from fruit flies by placing a brown paper bag over each fruit immediately after the faded flower falls off.
  • Add compost and/or manures to the garden and plant beds.
  • Harvest maturing vegetables to keep the plants producing.
  • Replant spent vegetable plants with summer crops such as; calabaza, cherry tomatoes, chayote, jicama, malabar spinach, collards, okra, Seminole pumpkin, Southern peas, sweet potatoes, purple hyacinth bean and winged beans.
  • Trellis climbing crops, such as chayote, malabar spinach, purple hyacinth bean and winged beans, to keep the fruit off the ground.
  • Pinch several inches of tip growth off each branch of poinsettias to encourage a dense, compact plant.
  • Bulbs that you can add to your garden this month include; Amazon lily (Eucharis spp.), agapanthus, Aztec lily (Sprekelia formosissima), blood lily (Haemanthus multiflorus), caladium, crinum, shell lily (Alpinia zerumbet), gladiolus, gloriosa lily, rain lilies, society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) and spider lily (Hymenocallis spp.).
  • Start a compost pile.

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June

Fact Sheet # FS 6031 Hort

June is just one day away and even though the high June temperatures can make working in the yard very hot and steamy, there are still plenty of things to do. Just remember to work in the yard early in the morning or evening hours. Here are some suggestions of things to do.

Ideas for Your Lawn:

If your lawn is a pale green add iron to green it up. Don’t use nitrogen unless mowing your lawn is a hobby! You can look for a granular or liquid iron product or, mix two ounces of ferrous sulfate in three to five gallons of water and sprinkle the solution over 1,000 square feet of turf. Keep a look out for brown spots in your yard.

If some appear, first make sure that its not a lack of water due to a broken sprinkler head or maybe one that is mis-directed. If the problem is not a lack of water, than you can simply look for chinch bugs by seperating the grass near the boarder between the brown and green sections. Chinch bugs are small black insects with white wings that will be walking around the soil or leaf blades. Immature chinch bugs are reddish with white band across their backs. If the chinch bugs are present you can spray the brown spot plus an area 5 feet around it with a Neem insecticide.

Some flowers that you can plant this month include; begonias, celosia, coleus, gaillardia, impatiens, marigolds, vinca, portulaca, purslane, salvia, gomphrena, lisianthus and zinnias. Herbs that do well now include; basil, chives, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, sage and thyme.

Bulbs to plant include; African iris, caladiums, canna, crinum, daylily, eucharis lily, society garlic, and rain lily. Mole crickets are hatching so use a bait to control them. In mid to late June you can use Oftanol for two to three months of control. Apply the pesticide as late in the day as possible. Follow the label instructions when applying.

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July

July is only a few days away and with it should come more heat and rain (not that we really need anymore of either of those.) If you have a lot of grass you may be feeling like a slave to your lawn mower but, just in case you have the time and desire to do other projects, here are some ideas of things to do.

If you don’t already have a rain gauge in your yard, go buy one today! It is very helpful to know how much your rain your yard receives. Hint, the lar ger the opening for the rain gauge the better. Let the clippings fall! This returns nutrients and organic matter back to the soil.

For automated irrigation systems hook up a rain shut off device or turn your system on and off manually so that your irrigation doesn’t come on while its raining or too soon after it has rained. To green up your lawn without encouraging growth, apply supplemental iron, two ounces of iron sulfate per three to five gallons of water per 100 square feet or a chelated iron source. This effect will only be temporary, approximately two to four weeks, therefore, repeat applications are necessary for summer-long color.

Continue pruning the new growth of poinsettias to produce bushy plants. Do not prune azaleas or camellias any more this year. The flower buds are forming now so

if you do prune, you will be pruning off next year’s flowers.

Continue to prune out any diseased or dead wood from trees and shrubs. You can continue to transplant palms and sagos.

If a flower bed is looking bad or you want to add a new one be sure to amend the soil of the entire bed with organic matter like compost or manure before planting your flowers.

Flowers for full sun locations include: wax begonia, coleus, amaranthus, gaillardia, marigolds,coreopsis, lisianthus, portulaca, salvia, comos, gomphrena, melampodium, torenia, and zinnia.

For your shady areas plant coleus, impatiens, angelwing begonias or crossandra. Herbs that can be planted now include; basil, chives, dill, ginger, mint, oregano, sage, sweet marjoram, rosemary and thyme. Bulb type plants that can be planted include; lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus), Aztec lily (Sprekelia formosissima), white butterfly ginger (Hedychium spp.), gladiolus, spider lily (Hymenocallis spp.), Louisiana iris (German and Japanese iris usually don’t grow well in Florida), Walking iris (Neomarica gracilis), African iris (Morea spp.), kaffir lily (Clivia minata), crinum lily, and society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea). Root six to eight inch tip cuttings of poinsettias to use for Christmas gifts. Root the cuttings in a light weight fast draining potting mix and set them in a shady location and keep them moist.

Sow eggplant, pumpkin, sweet corn, summer squash, watermelon, peppers, okra, Southern peas, pole beans, collards, celery and broccoli seeds so that you will have transplants ready for planting in the garden in August.

Continue to fertilize banana plants monthly.

Vegetables that can be planted in July include: okra, Southern peas, calabaza, cherry tomatoes, Seminole pumpkin, sweet cassava, malabar spinach and winged beans.

Cut back your blackberry bushes if you didn't do it last month.

Though we have been getting a lot of rain remember, water citrus trees with an inch of water every 7-10 days if your yard doesn’t get an inch of rain.

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August

Fact Sheet # FS 6033 Hort

Since August brings us such hot temperatures try to spread the work out so that you can work outside in the early morning and/or evening hours. If you are planning to grow a vegetable garden this fall, now is the time to start preparing for it. Here are some ideas of things to do this month.

  • To prepare for the prime vegetable gardening season that is just around the corner remove any spent vegetable plants. Then add a 4 inch layer of compost or aged manure over the entire garden area to enrich the soil.
  • This month you can plant the following vegetables; pole beans; broccoli; celery; collards; sweet corn; eggplant; onion - bunching and multiplier; sweet potatoes; peppers; pumpkin; summer squash; okra; Southern peas and watermelons.
  • Fertilize your peaches, apples, and grapes.
  • The following vegetable seeds can be sown now for a September planting; lima, pole, snap and shell beans; sweet corn; cucumbers; eggplant; peppers; Southern and English peas; summer squash; tomatoes; broccoli; cabbage; celery; collards; endive/escarole; lettuce; turnips and mustard.
  • Immediately after fruiting, both blueberries and blackberries need pruning. All the pruning should be done fast - by early August! Thin out the blueberries and trim the plants back to around 4-6 feet (depending upon the variety.) Trim blackberries all the way down to the ground. The new shoots that grow will become next years fruiting canes.
  • Check the mower blades and sharpen them if necessary. While you’re at it, you may want to change the oil and air filter too.
  • Prune back overgrown pentas. Root the clippings in water to start new plants.
  • Prune off seed heads from crape myrtles to encourage more blooms.
  • Transplant your rooted poinsettia cuttings into a six inch pot. Begin fertilizing weekly with a half strength houseplant fertilizer.
  • Remember – DO NOT prune your gardenias, camellias, or azaleas this late - you will be cutting off the flower buds that will bloom next spring.
  • Want to add some flowers to a sunny spot then try; wax begonias, coleus, impatiens, marigolds, celosia, gazania, gallardia, cosmos, purslane, sunflower and salvia.
  • Some herbs that can be planted this month include; chives, mints, oregano, cardamom, ginger (Zingiber officinale), Mexican tarragon and rosemary.
  • Bulbs, for sunny areas, that you can plant now include; African iris (Morea spp.), Aztec lily (Sprekelia formosissima), Snowflake (Leucojum spp.), Spider lily (Hymenocallis sp.) and Watsonia.
  • Bulbs for full sun to partially shady areas include; amaryllis, white butterfly ginger (Hedychium coronarium), Calla (Zantedeschia spp.), Narcissus, Shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) and rain lily (Zephyranthes spp.)
  • Finish up the pruning of Wisteria by the end of this month.
  • This is the last month to prune poinsettias this year. Make sure the leaves are a deep green so they can produce beautiful winter color.
  • If your bougainvillea is too large then, now is a good time to prune them.
  • Want colorful plants for a shady area then try impatiens, crossandra, coleus, angelwing begonias or caladiums.

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September

Fact Sheet # FS 6034 Hort

With the hot weather continuing through September it is still a good idea to do your yard work in the early morning or evening hours (if it’s not raining!) Here are some ideas of things to do around the yard this month.

  • Fertilize your lawn using a complete fertilizer, like 16-4-8, with micronutrients. Only apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of a complete fertilizer (one that has N-P-K) that has 30-50% of the nitrogen as water insoluble nitrogen. Just divide the first number in the analysis (the percentage of nitrogen) into 100 to get the number of pounds to spread on 1,000 square feet. As an example, you would apply about 6.25 pounds of a 16-4-8 fertilizer per 1000 square feet.
  • Sod or plugs can still be laid to establish a new St. Augustine lawn.
  • Finish seeding bahiagrass in early September. Remember to buy scarified seed so that you have a higher germination rate.
  • Stop throwing your coffee grounds and tea bags in the garbage and instead, start scattering them around the base of your landscape plants (or even your vegetable garden!)
  • Fertilize shrubs and perennials if their leaves are yellowish-green (needs nitrogen) or bright yellow around the margins with deep green in the center (minor elements.)
  • Some flowers that can be planted this month are begonias, coleus, cosmos, gaillardia, impatiens, marigold, vinca, sunflower, salvia and zinnia.
  • Move your poinsettia cuttings to a location that receives full sun. After mid month, pinch off the very tip of each shoot to encourage branching.
  • Give poinsettias in the landscape or containers their final pruning in the first week of September.
  • Herbs that can be planted in September include; sweet basil, chives, garlic chives, sage, sweet marjoram, thyme, mint, and rosemary.
  • Bulbs to plant in September include; African lily (Morea sp.), amaryllis, crinum lily, society garlic, Aztec lily, calla lily, narcissus, shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet), gladiolus, spider lily (Hymenocallis), and rain lily.
  • Vegetables that can be planted this month include; lima, shell, pole and snap beans; sweet corn; cucumbers; eggplant; peppers; English & southern peas; summer squash; tomatoes; broccoli; cabbage; celery; collards; endive/escarole; lettuce; mustard; onions - bulbing, bunching or multipliers; and sow radish seeds.
  • Prepare planting areas for strawberries by adding organic matter and then plant. Strawberries are only planted in Central Florida during September and October so, don’t delay!
  • Water your citrus trees (1 inch of water each time,) every 7-10 days, during dry periods, to help prevent the fruit from splitting.
  • Vegetable seeds that can be sown in September for transplanting in October include; beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collards, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, English peas, and kohlrabi.

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October

Fact Sheet # FS 6035 Hort

Now that October is almost here I can’t help but think of fall. Of course, in Florida, fall doesn't quite feel or look the same as it does up north but, at least summer is officially over and the weather will hopefully be getting cooler in the near future. If you want to get outside there are plenty of things to do in the yard so, read on if you need any suggestions.

  • As the temperatures cool down a little and the days become shorter the turf won’t require as much water. Let your lawn tell you when it’s time to water. Don’t turn on your irrigation again until an area of the lawn folds up its leaf blades. Remember, water deeply but infrequently!
  • Replant spent flower beds with cool-season annuals such as; alyssum, calendula, chrysanthemum, dianthus, geranium, petunia, snapdragon, pansy, flowering tobacco, stock, and flowering kale.
  • If you have poinsettias, do not prune them now if you want the colorful bracts for Christmas.
  • Now is a good time to plant container-grown trees and shrubs.
  • Give your hedges their final trimming before winter sets in.
  • Remove all dead or diseased wood from your shrubs and trees. To keep from spreading any diseases when pruning, wipe the blades clean and then spray a mild bleach solution on all pruning equipment and then let it air dry.
  • A few of the herbs that can be planted this month include; borage, chives, coriander, lavender, mint, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram, lemon grass and thyme.
  • Bulbs that can be added to the landscape include; Lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus), amaryllis, calla, crinum, Aztec lily (Sprekelia), Anemone, Society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), Snowflake (Leucojum), Kaffir lily (Clivia), Walking iris (Neomarica), Narcissus, Iris (not German or Japanese), Watsonia (Watsonia spp.), Spider lily (Hymenocallis sp.) Elephant ears (Alocasia, Colocasia, Xanthosoma) African iris (Moraea spp.), Tritonia crocata var. miniata and rain lily (Zephyranthes spp.).
  • If you didn’t plant strawberries in September then this is your last month to do so.
  • If you haven't done it yet - add a fresh layer of compost to your garden now before you plant your cool-season crops.
  • Delay all of your pruning of vines and fruit trees until mid-winter.
  • Vegetables that can be planted in October include; beets, broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots (sow the seeds directly in the garden), cauliflower, celery, collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions- bulbing, bunching and multipliers, English peas, radishes (sow the seeds directly in the garden), spinach, and turnips.
  • Vegetable seeds that can be sown in October for planting in November are; beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, English peas, spinach and turnips.
  • To ensure that your poinsettia and Christmas cactus bloom during the holidays make sure that they get at least 14 hours of total and uninterrupted darkness through the night. Only if there are flood lights, street lights or house lights nearby will you need to start covering the plants now with a box or dark cloth during the night, starting in the late afternoon and uncovering it in the morning. Continue to do this until the middle of December or blooming begins, whichever comes first.

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November

Fact Sheet # FS 6036 Hort

Now that November’s cooler weather is almost you may feel like making some changes in your yard. If some of your annuals or vegetables are doing poorly then replant with some of the cool-season choices listed here. For other suggestions on gardening activities just read on.

  • (Would it be possible to put this item on Tuesday, Nov. 1st?) Space Coast State Fair is accepting fair entries in horticulture, crafts, photography, food, etc. from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. at the Cocoa Expo.
  • As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler you may only need to mow every two weeks. Just make sure that you don’t wait too long and remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade when you mow
  • Water only as needed - usually only once maybe twice a week.
  • If you want to over-seed with rye wait until the end of the month. This is a great way to add organic matter to the soil.
  • Try to check your vegetable plants daily to make sure they are healthy. Keep an eye out for caterpillars and pick them off as needed.
  • Give vegetable plants some granular fertilizer monthly. Another helpful hint, once your vegetable plants are flowering and producing fruit begin spraying fish emulsion & seaweed on the foliage (both sides until it drips) every week.
  • Do not prune deciduous fruit trees until winter.
  • Vegetables that can be planted in November include; beets, broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions - short-day bulbing varieties, bunching & multipliers, English peas, radish, spinach, and turnips.
  • Remember - no nighttime light for poinsettias, Christmas cactus, and kalanchoe.
  • Collect sago seeds in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for three to four months before sowing. A word of warning, these seeds are very poisonous to dogs!
  • Check for dead or diseased branches in trees and shrubs and remove.
  • Hose out your bromeliads with fresh water once a week to keep the mosquitoes from breeding.
  • Some flowers that can be planted this month include; alyssum, calendula, dianthus, flowering tobacco, pansy, petunia, phlox, snapdragon, stock, viola, verbena, nasturtium and flowering kale.
  • Bulbs that can be planted include; Agapanthus, African iris, amaryllis (these make great Christmas gifts), Aztec lily (Sprekelia formosissima), calla, crinum, Kaffir lily (Clivia), day lily (Hemerocallis spp.), narcissus, Elephant ears (Alocasia, Colocasia, Xanthosoma), hurricane lily (Lycoris), society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), snowflake (Leucojum spp.), shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet), Marcia - walking iris (Neomarcia gracilis), Watsonia, Iris (Iris spp.) grow native iris or Louisiana iris and their hybrids (German or Japanese iris usually do not grow well here), rain lily (Zephyranthes) and spider lily (Hymenocallis spp.).
  • Herbs for the November garden include; chives, garlic chives, fennel, rosemary, sage, lemon grass, salad burnet, lavender, dill, Greek oregano, lemon balm, lavender, Mexican tarragon, chervil, cilantro and thyme.
  • Vegetables that can be sown now for transplanting in December include; beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, collards, and English peas.

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December

Fact Sheet # FS 6037 Hort

December can be a busy month due to the holidays but, considering the average day-time temperature should be 73 degrees, it is a great time to work outside. If you are looking for an excuse to get outside and enjoy the weather here are some ideas of things to do around the yard.

  • Bring orchids inside if the temperatures are forecasted to get down to 50 degrees or lower.
  • Since winter is just starting, make your plan now for what plants will need protection if a freeze is forecasted. Figure out what blankets and quilts will be used over which plants!
  • You can still plant new trees and shrubs.
  • If you have any leaves in your yard, rake them up and put them in your compost pile or use them as mulch under your trees and shrubs.
  • Flowers which can be planted in December include; alyssum, dianthus, pansy, snapdragon, viola, stock, petunia, sweet peas and flowering kale.
  • Some herbs that can be planted are; garlic chives, chives, lemon grass (plant this in a large pot), parsley, rosemary, Mexican tarragon, fennel, mint, thyme, lemon balm, Greek oregano, salad burnet, lavenders, chervil and sage.
  • Plant some bulbs like African iris (Morea), amaryllis, anemones, crinum, day lily (Hemerocallis), society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), spider lilies, rain lilies (Zephyranthes), Agapanthus, Astec lily (Sprekelia), kaffir lily (Clivia), calla (Zantedeschia), hurricane lily (Lycoris), Tritonia, Watsonia, Elephant ears (Alocasia, Colocasia, Xanthosoma) and narcissus.
  • The shorter days and cooler temperatures of December will allow the grass to get by with less water now. One good deep watering (3/4 of an inch) a week may be all your lawn will need.
  • Now that the grass isn’t growing as fast, you may be able to get by with only mowing every other week.
  • Mow high enough to maintain proper turf height. (3-4 inches for St. Augustine & Bahia and 3/4 - 1 ½ inches for Bermuda.)
  • Plant new fruit trees and shrubs (if you have the room!)
  • Fertilize the vegetable garden every three to four weeks. For vegetables that produce a fruit such as tomatoes, cucumbers, egg plant, etc. use a fertilizer with lower Nitrogen (the first of the three numbers on the bag) then Phosphorous (the second number.)
  • Remove banana plants that have fruited to make room for new plants.
  • Don’t forget to give your citrus trees an inch of water every 7-10 days if we don’t get any rain.
  • Vegetables that can be planted in December include; beets; broccoli; cabbage; carrots; cauliflower; celery; Chinese cabbage; collards; lettuce; mustard; onions - short-day bulbing varieties, bunching & multipliers; English peas; radishes.
  • Vegetable seeds that can be sown in December for transplanting in January are: beets; broccoli; cabbage; cauliflower; celery; Chinese cabbage; collards eggplant; endive/escarole; lettuce; mustard; onions - bunching & multipliers; English peas; turnips; peppers - sweet & hot; tomatoes; watermelon.

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