University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener – June

Happy gardening!

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A Better Lawn on Less Water

Florida-friendly lawnDon't let water restrictions worry you. Proper use of an automatic irrigation system can keep your lawn beautiful without wasting water. More

Quick vs. Slow Release Fertilizer

It's tempting to pick a quick-release fertilizer; it's the "fast" way, since they make the nutrients, primarily the nitrogen, immediately available to the plant. They're often used for plants with high nutrient needs, like vegetables or annuals. But plants can only absorb so many nutrients at a time. If you apply too much quick-release fertilizer, the excess can leach into aquifers or run off into surface waters. For this reason, it's often better to choose the "slow" option. Slow- or controlled-release fertilizers make specific nutrients, again, usually the nitrogen, available to the plants over time. More

Competing in the Plant ID & Judging Contest?

Are you assisting a 4-H judging team for the plant ID competition in July? Or organizing an MG team for the competition in October? Check out the Florida Plant Identification Module to help you with your "plant ID" skills. The test-yourself quizzes were recently revised to calculate the percent of correct responses. Some counties allow MGs to use the modules for advanced training hours (1 hour per module with an 80% score out of a minimum of 50 tries). Check with your agent to see if this is something offered in your county. More

Plant of the Month: Cleome

Cleome These heat-loving annuals produce distinctive, spidery flowers in a variety of colors and can grow up to five feet tall. Cleome has long been popular in Southern gardens for its ability to bloom all summer long, and now gardeners have more options, as new varieties have come on the market. More

June in Your Garden

Annuals that can take full sun during the increasingly hot summer months include celosia, portulaca, vinca, melampodium, blue salvia, and some coleus. Summer's warm, rainy weather is the perfect time to plant palms. Plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary. Vegetables to plant now are okra, southern peas, lima beans, and sweet potatoes.

For more month-by-month gardening tips, check out the Florida Gardening Calendar. Three different editions of the calendar provide specific tips for each of Florida's gardening regions—North, Central, and South. More

Friend or Foe? Foe: Nematodes

These microscopic worms can wreak havoc on your plants. Learn how to identify and deal with them, as well as how to use nematodes to manage other pests. More

Master Gardener Specialist Update

This month, we are featuring an update from Dr. Eileen Buss on the why, what, and how of consumer insecticides. Her presentation will help you determine what insect problems you may see and how to manage them. (Please note that this presentation requires the free Windows Media Player.) More

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