University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener – June

Happy Gardening!

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Soil Solarization

Looking for a way to manage soil pests in your vegetable garden without using chemicals? Try soil solarization. With soil solarization, a sheet of plastic is used to cover the soil surface, trapping the heat and allowing the soil to reach temperatures that are lethal to many pests and weeds. When done effectively, soil solarization can reduce pest populations for three to four months, and in some cases even longer. More

Turning Sand into a Sacred Garden in Polk County

A crapemyrtle in the church gardenEven before she became a Master Gardener in Polk County, Molly Griner was working on gardens. Her church, Hope Presbyterian in Winter Haven was located on the site of a former orange grove, its "landscape" mostly sandy soil and grass. Through Molly's efforts, it has been turned into a Florida-Friendly garden for church-goers and community visitors to meditate or pray while surrounded by nature. More

Plant of the Month: Crinums

Pink crinum flowerCrinum lilies are a hallmark of Southern gardens and have been cherished and cultivated by Florida gardeners for years. They're known for their easygoing nature, growing for years on old home sites or cemeteries with little or no care. Plant your crinum bulbs up to their necks in partial shade for best results. They are equally at home in dry sandy soils and on moist pond banks. More

June in Your Garden

Summer flowering shrubs like hibiscus, oleander, and crapemyrtle bloom on new growth; lightly prune often during warmer months to keep them blooming and looking sharp.

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.

Friend or Foe? Friend: Air Potato Leaf Beetle

Air potato leaf beetle photo by Ted Center USDA/ARSWhile many people know about the invasive air potato vine, few are aware of air potato leaf beetles. Native to Asia, these beetles feed and develop only on air potato plants, posing no risk to other plant species. In 2012, air potato leaf beetles were released in Florida as a potential biological control of the aggressive air potato vine. Within three months of their release, extensive damage to air potato plants was observed at the initial release sites. More

Oakleaf hydrangea

Success Stories

  • We're looking for inspiring, Florida-Friendly success stories from your county. Submit yours today to Emily Eubanks.

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