The Neighborhood Gardener – October
Christmas Cactus Prep
By Dan Culbert, Okeechobee County Horticulture Agent
The holidays are coming up on us and it's time to start getting your Christmas cactus ready to bloom. Many people have these plants for years, but it can be tricky getting them to bloom when you want.
Plant of the Month: Muhly Grass
In fall, muhly grass produces fluffy pink to purple flower stalks that can reach up to 5 feet tall and give the plant a distinctive and attractive appearance. This native ornamental grass can be grown throughout Florida and will perform best if it's planted in a sunny area.
October in Your Garden
Plant evergreen hollies now. Their bright berries add color to the landscape when other plants are dormant or have died back for the winter. Water well when planting and mulch to minimize weeds.
Pest Alert: Giant African Land Snails
The giant African land snail is considered one of the most damaging snails in the world. It's known to consume at least 500 different types of plants, and can pose a serious health risk to humans. These invasive pests have recently been found in Miami-Dade County. These snails could be devastating to Florida agriculture and natural areas. (Update 2021: The giant African land snail is considered eradicated from Florida.)
It's Time for ButterflyFest
Celebrate wings and backyard things at the Florida Museum of Natural History's sixth annual ButterflyFest, Oct. 22 and 23, 2011. ButterflyFest is dedicated to increasing awareness of Florida's butterflies as fun, fascinating ambassadors to the natural world. There will be speakers, fun activites, a plant sale, and musical performances.
Master Gardener Conference
<There's still time to register for the 2011 Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference. The conference will be held October 24-26 at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Lake Buena Vista. Don't miss out on tours, enlightening seminars, the plant ID competition, and so much more.
- We're looking for inspiring, Florida-Friendly success stories from your county. Submit yours today to Wendy Wilber.