University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener – July

Happy Gardening!

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Controlling Weeds in Landscape Beds

Dollar weedThere are four common approaches to controlling weeds in plant beds: hand pulling, shallow cultivation, mulching, and herbicides. But there's also a preventative method: exclusion.  Excluding weeds means not introducing a weedy new plant to the plant bed in the first place, or if they're already present, never allowing them to go to seed. More

Identifying Turfgrass Diseases

Turfgrass diseases can be difficult to identify because they often look like other problems such as drought, cold damage, insects, or even dog urine damage. Disease sometimes occurs in poorly maintained lawns. Lawns that are properly watered, mowed, and fertilized are less likely to become infected. You should first rule out other factors before concluding your lawn has a disease. More

Save Our Citrus

A grafted bud growingBudding originated in the 1830s as a way to increase commercial orange production, and was once a popular way for homeowners to propagate citrus. Due to the spread of citrus disease, the state of Florida is under a quarantine, and it is now unlawful for Florida homeowners to propagate citrus. Learn more about the Save Our Citrus campaign

Plant of the Month: Agave lophantha

Agave lophanthaAgave lophantha, also known as thorncrest century plant, is a succulent perennial that's winter-hardy and easy to care for. The foliage varies in color depending on the cultivar, but is often dark green with a lighter colored stripe pattern. Thorns of this plant are very sharp and should be avoided when tending to it. Agaves grow well without fertilizer, but can be fed a slow release fertilizer to promote a full, rich look. Requiring little attention, Agave lophantha will be a unique and strong accent to your garden or patio. More

July in Your Garden

July is the peak of rainy season, so you can turn off your automatic sprinklers this month and let nature water the landscape. This is also one of the strongest growing months, and plants may need fertilizer. Monitor your annuals for root rot problems; consistent rain can cause standing water which suffocates root systems. Using weed killers on your lawn during hot weather can damage your turf. To control weeds mow, dig, or spot-kill weeds during this time of year.

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: Antlion

An antlion larvaAntlions are best known for the funnel-shaped pits they dig while still in the larval stage; adults look similar to damselflies. Also known as doodlebugs, antlions feed on caterpillars, aphids, and ants. Antlion larvae are distinctively shaped, with large sickle-shaped piercing jaws. They create traps for insects by digging holes and waiting for their prey to fall in. The antlions then inject paralytic toxins with their jaws. Antlions are not a threat to your garden and should be considered beneficial bugs. More

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