The Neighborhood Gardener – August
Happy summer gardening!
Jacaranda, also known as black poui, is one of the botanical treasures of Central and South Florida. Its arching, feathery branches and purple blooms make it a show-stopping specimen plant and a perfect canopy for patios and streets. Pruning is an important part of the maintenance for this species, but otherwise this graceful tree is low maintenance and hardy. Like hibiscus and royal poinciana, jacaranda brings a lush, tropical flair to the landscape. More
This August we are continuing to read "The Triumph of Seeds" and enjoying a fresh look at this enigmatic stage of the plant life cycle. If you are looking for a summer read, it's not too late to join us! We are also excited to announce the next book title of the Florida MGV Book Club. In September we will be reading "Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants" by Douglas W. Tallamy. Whether you are hoping to dive deeper into home landscape ecology or just a lover of all things gardening, this book is for you! More
At the beginning of each growing season gardeners are faced with an important choice: sow seeds or use transplants? One good reason to sow is that it is almost always the more economical option. And of course there are the temptations of seed catalogs. Direct sowing does come with some uncertainty, though. Read on for a list of dos and don'ts that can help you start from seed successfully. More
Like so many Florida gardeners, I am in love with coontie, Zamia pumila. This Florida native cycad is a workhorse in the landscape. It grows easily in many different soil types and performs well in both sun and in shade. Recently I dropped my daughter back off at college in Deland. Stetson University has extensive native plantings and utilizes coontie in many of their landscape beds. I was admiring how well they were doing when I noticed that I was not the only one loving the coontie. More
Seagrape is a versatile landscape plant and a tasty treat, but it is also protected. If you are hoping to enjoy this Florida fruit, your best bet is to add it to your home landscape. And why not? Seagrape has a lot going for it! It is a Florida-native species, grows in full sun or partial shade, and is very drought tolerant. It also tolerates salt spray and salty soils, making it a Florida-Friendly choice for beachfront homes. More
For most of Florida, August is the time to begin planting cool-season vegetables. How about adding eggplant to your garden this year? This versatile vegetable makes a good meat substitute and comes in a kaleidoscope of colors. Depending on your preferences you can grow fruits that are purple, lavender, black, yellow, white, maroon, or even striped. More
The hottest days of summer limit annual planting now to vinca, gaillardia, bulbine, and other heat-tolerant plants. In the edible garden, many cool-season crops can be started now, as well as a final crop of warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and peppers. Pinch back poinsettias and mums before the end of the month to allow time for buds to form for winter bloom.
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.
What's Going On?
If your Master Gardener Volunteer program or Extension office is having an event, be sure to share it with us.