University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener – March

Happy gardening!

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Worm Composting

A worm binVermicomposting, or composting with earthworms, is an easy and Florida-Friendly way to recycle food waste in your home. In one day, a pound of red worms can eat up to a half-pound of food scraps like citrus peels, vegetable trimmings, and coffee grounds. What's left behind are "worm castings," a high-quality soil amendment. More

Plant of the Month: Banana Shrub

Banana shrub flowerThis evergreen shrub is like a classic Southern lady—both sweet and tough. Its flowers are incredibly fragrant, and the plant itself is easy to take care of. Gardeners can think of it as a miniature Southern magnolia whose flowers smell like bananas instead of lemons. More
(Photo: J. Scheper,

March in Your Garden

If azaleas need hard pruning to shape or produce a fuller plant, do it just after plants finish blooming. Prune spring flowering trees and shrubs after blooming. To guard next season’s blooms, begin pruning after the last flowers fade but before new buds set. Prune shrubs and trees when new growth begins. The end of the dormant season is a good time to prune many trees and shrubs.

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? Friend: Earthworms

Earthworms are very important soil inhabitants. While not required for a soil to be healthy, they are an indicator of soil quality. The burrowing and ingestion of soil materials by earthworms helps to physically mix the soil, decompose plant materials, and cycle nutrients. The droppings of earthworms, known as "castings," can also improve soil structure. Earthworm activity is usually low in Florida's sandy soils. More

Master Gardener Specialist Update

Each month, we will be highlighting one of your UF/IFAS specialists to keep you up-to-date with the latest information and research findings.  This month, we are featuring Dr. Laurie Trenholm discussing handling of turf after the cold weather and information about turf fertilization. (Please note that this presentation requires the free Windows Media Player.) More

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