It is no secret that 2020 was hard for everyone. Why not secure a session with the cheapest therapist around? Mother Nature. Research has continuously proven that gardening has a positive effect on our mental health and overall wellbeing.
- It’s Easy. You don’t need to have a green thumb, a huge yard, or a plethora of plants to feel the effects of gardening. A few pots on your patio, plants in your window, or a small bed will do the trick. Try using low maintenance plants like Succulents, Pothos, Sanseveria, or ZZ Plant to get started.
- Release Anger & Frustration. Give your pillow a break from the beating and grab a shovel, machete, or clippers. There’s nothing like hacking away at that overgrown shrub or breaking the ground to plant something new. Ten minutes in and you are sure to feel better!
- Exercise. Those twenty minutes you just spent trimming or digging helped your body release feel good hormones which are great for both mental and physical health. Dopamine and Serotonin- the feel good hormones are realeased, and Cortisol – a hormone associated with stress is lowered with physical activity. Say adios to the gym membership!
- Relax. Working in the yard can be tiring, which leads to better sleep at night. It also helps calm those thoughts about your bills, work, drama, etc. Not to mention you can sit back and just enjoy being outside in the area that you have created and tend to. Studies show that nature doesn’t only assist in improving your state of mind, but improves blood pressure and heart rate.
- Create a space you love. Personalize your home with your favorite color flowers, add some fragrant plants to enjoy, plant herbs and vegetables that you can enjoy in your meals, add privacy shrubs to enclose your space and have privacy. There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to gardening – and if you have questions on what plants will do well – we can help!
- Increase the value of your home. Adding plants, trees, and palms can help increase your curb appeal and house worth!
As a previous northerner, it always makes me chuckle when talking about the cooler fall temperatures in Florida. (Really? 75 is now cool for me?) BUT you couldn’t ask for better weather to get outside and spruce up your yard before the holidays.
Now is a great time to plant some cool weather annuals like Snapdragons, Petunias, Coleus, and Dusty Miller. Purchase a pumpkin or two to add some Autumn vibes!
Adding mulch to your yard will create a fresh and clean look just in time for the holidays! It will also minimize weeds, help with water retention, and protect your root systems.
Begin thinking about any transplants you may want to make. Things like Crape Myrtles or Drake Elms will begin dropping their leaves and going dormant. This will be the best time to transplant items to a different spot in your yard.
Source: University of Florida IFAS Extention
What to do in July
Lawns: Determine the cause of any lawn problems before taking action. If an insect is the culprit, treat only the affected area. Rule out disease or sprinkler malfunction. See Your Florida Lawn: http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/
Fertilizer Bans: Certain municipalities in north Florida prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season (June–September). See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
Vegetable garden: Use summer heat to solarize garden soil for fall planting. It takes 4–6 weeks to kill weeds, disease, and nematodes, so start now. See Soil Solarization: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_soil_solarization
Azaleas: Flower beds have formed. Prune no later than mid-July to protect next spring’s bloom. See Azalea: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_azalea
Irrigation: Install an inexpensive rain shutoff device to conserve water and save money. If one is already installed, check that it is operating properly. See Landscape Irrigation: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_irrigation
Trees: Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and pruning if needed. Hire an ISA-certified arborist. See International Society of Arboriculture: http://isa-arbor.com/ and Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_tree_pruning
Pests on ornamental plants: Inspect for caterpillars on trees and shrubs. Large trees can normally withstand caterpillar feeding, but specimen shrubs may need treatment if damage is extensive. See Landscape Pest Management: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_pests
Peach and nectarine trees: Consider planting one of the many new peach and nectarine cultivars that grow well in North Florida. Newly planted trees should be fertilized now. Apply 1/2 lb. per tree of 8-8-8 fertilizer. See Temperate Fruit for the Home Landscape: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_home_temperate_fruit
Caladiums, Dipladenia, Hibiscus
Caladiums, Begonias, Pentas
Blue Daze, Blue Agave, Blue Pottery
Cut out fabric to be placed inside basket.
Glue bottom and sides of fabric to the container.
Cut off any extra fabric.
Place your chosen plants inside, and fill with dirt. (We used Euphorbia ‘Breathless’, assorted Dianthus, and Angelonia) Water in well.
Hang, or place on porch/ in garden. Enjoy!
What to Plant
-annuals, bulbs, shrubs, flowering trees, heat loving vegatables & herbs
What to Do
-monitor pests such as aphids, leaf miner, scale, etc
-identify and preserve beneficial insects
-divide clumps of bulbs, perennials, or grasses to clean out beds, redistribute, or share with friends
-rule out cultural issues like lack of water on lawns before applying pesticides
-apply lawn fertilizer
-add mulch to minimize weeds and conserve water
After a freeze, check the soil around your plants. Plants may not be getting the water they need if the soil has dried out or if the water in the soil is frozen.
Watering the area can help defrost the soil and provide your plants with an available source of moisture. Even injured plants need water.
While you may be tempted to add a little fertilizer to your plants to help speed their recovery hold off. If you fertilize too early you could encourage new growth before cold weather has gone. It’s best to wait until spring to begin fertilizer application. Once the danger of frost has passed, an application of fertilizer can help speed recovery.
Don’t prune cold-damaged plants right away. The dead foliage looks bad, but will help insulate plants from further injury. In the spring, assess the extent of the damage by scraping the bark with your fingernail. Cold-injured wood will be black or brown under the bark. To be certain where to prune, wait until plants begin to sprout new growth.
Herbaceous plants like impatiens and begonias that are damaged by the cold may collapse. If this happens, it’s best to cut them down and remove the plants to prevent fungal or bacterial problems from arising as they decay.
Anyone have the joy of owning a citrus tree? Now is the time where the majority of fruits are ripening and perfect for consumption! Have an over-abundance? Get creative with different recipes like a lemon pound cake or a salty dog cocktail. Sharing as always appreciated by your loved ones or neighbors! 🙂
During the month of December, its a good idea to treat your citrus trees with an all purpose horticulture oil. This will rid your tree of any pests and their eggs before they have a chance to do damage to your new growth come spring time. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Keep an eye on the temperatures during the cool season. Protect your citrus and tropicals with watering and covering.
4. PlantThe cool season is a great time to plant trees and shrubs as root production is at an all time high while foliage production is low. They require less watering and have a higher transplantation success rate!
If you haven’t already, mulch your planting beds. Not only will this help protect against the cool temperatures and water retention, it will have your home looking picture perfect for the holiday season.
1. Reduce irrigation. Continue irrigating (as needed) to prevent drought stress. A good way to tell water is needed is when turf turns blue-gray in color and/or footprinting occurs. Irrigate following onset of frost (browning of
foliage) if needed to prevent winter dehydration in cooler portions of Florida.
2. Make a small brush pile for birds. Attract wildlife by creating a small pile in your yard of supplies birds might need while creating their nest.
Do provide any combination of the following:
Dry grass (make sure the grass hadn’t been treated with pesticides)
Plant fluff or down (e.g. cattail fluff, cottonwood down)
3. Protect your citrus. While unlikely, its possible we get cool temperatures, especially towards the end of the month. Make sure you have sheets or frost cloth ready to use on citrus if we are expecting any freezes.
4. Transplant. Now is a great time to transplant larger plants such as shrubs and small trees. Trees like Crape Myrtles and Red Maples can be transplanted to a better area once the leaves have fallen and they go dormant for the winter. Make sure to water adequately!
October is a great time to plant some cool season vegetables such as broccoli, lettuces, carrots, beets, tomatoes, radishes, and brussel sprouts. Mend the soil with some mushroom compost (or some of your own if you have it!), and dig holes twice the size of the pot so the soil is loosened and roots have room to expand.
Update your annual bed with things such as Snapdragons, Petunias, Alyssum, or Dusty Miller for a fresh winter look!
Keep in mind plants that bloom in the fall/ winter season that can give you some color/ foliage while your tropicals or perennials may have died back. Things like Camellias, Muhly Grass, and Cassias all give you cool season color.