The Neighborhood Gardener – October

Muhly grass in bloom with delicate sprays of pink

Happy gardening!

safesubscribe logo

Master Gardener Professorship

Jim DavisThe Master Gardener Professorship is a faculty-recognition program named in honor of Florida Master Gardeners. The winner has been selected for 2016 and we would like to congratulate Jim Davis! As Horticulture Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator for Sumter County, Jim oversees the residential horticulture program, teaching county residents about the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles with a particular focus on irrigation. Learn more about the good work Jim's doing.


Seminole Pumpkins

Seminole pumpkinPumpkins get top billing this time of year, but did you know there is one particular pumpkin that does quite well in Florida? Seminole pumpkins can hold up through Florida's relentless summer heat and come out the other side producing delicious fruits for harvest. More

Photo courtesy of Miranda Castro, Edible Plant Project


Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberIs ignorance bliss? Sometimes I think so when it comes to spotting horticultural horrors. When we go through Master Gardener training, we learn so much about good horticultural practices. Sometimes, we learn that things we once thought were just fine are actually terribly wrong. More


Toxic Plants

Crotalaria spectabilis, showy rattleboxThe spooky and the sinister come out to play this time of year—even in the garden. Some popular landscape plants and pasture flowers have a dark side, too. UF/IFAS Extension provides an infographic that gives a bit of information on the toxic elements of some common plants like azaleas, lantana, the currently blooming crotalaria (pictured), and other dangerous beauties. More

Photo by John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org


Plant of the Month: Flame Vine

Orange flame vine flowersFlame vine is quite the show-stopper with its numerous, fiery orange blooms. This fast-growing plant can be a dazzling sight to behold, but take care to control its aggressive growth. Flame vine will climb anything that offers decent support, so while it's great for fences, trellises, and archways, it's best to avoid planting near trees that could be strangled. The work is worth the effort; hummingbirds love the tubular flowers for their nectar. Hardy in USDA Zones 9–11, flame vine can sometimes be found flowering as far north as Zone 8b. More


October in Your Garden

strawberriesOctober is a great time to prepare and start planting strawberries. If you're worried you don't have enough space in the garden, strawberries do quite well when planted in containers. All parts of the state can plant these colorful, tasty berries this month.

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.


Snakes

Eastern diamondback rattlesnakeSnakes may send some gardeners running scared, but they're actually an important part of a Florida-Friendly landscape. Snakes play an important ecological role and will generally keep to themselves. Of the many species found in Florida, only six are venomous. It's best to never approach any snake, but approaching a venomous snake can be dangerous. If you think a snake may be venomous, call a professional. More


Survey Update

Our survey has been delayed just a bit. We are still looking forward to hearing from our readers. Be on the lookout for the survey coming to your inbox early next week.

What's Going On?

If your Master Gardener program or Extension office is having an event, be sure to share it with us.