The Neighborhood Gardener – April

White gardenia and glossy green leaves

April is National Volunteer Month, when we celebrate the work that volunteers do year-round. Volunteer Month recognizes and promotes the spirit of service, and raises awareness about how volunteering changes lives and strengthens communities. Read more about our volunteers.

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Foodscaping: Creating an Edible Landscape

Green edible kale and magenta-lime ornamental coleusMany gardeners live for blooming flowers and stately shrubs. Others prefer rows of juicy vegetables and fruit trees. Some gardeners bring both to their landscape. But how often do you see ornamentals and edibles growing in the same bed? Enter: foodscaping, the perfect marriage of form and function for your garden. It's a growing trend in gardening, an easy entry point for edibles, and a fresh challenge for veteran vegetable growers. More
Photo: Edible kale and ornamental coleus, courtesy of Brie Arthur.

Join Our New Book Club

Very small photo of the Foodscape Revolution book cover We are excited to announce the beginning of the Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Book Club! In these unprecedented times, many of us are faced with more free time and fewer diversions than we might like. Whether you're interested in home food production, or just looking for a new way to connect, you're invited to join us for a community reading of "The Foodscape Revolution" by Brie Arthur. We're looking forward to continuing in growing together, as communities and as a statewide program. More

Webinars to Keep You Growing

Blueberries on the plant For many volunteers and other friends of our program, continuing education is a high priority. In unprecedented seasons of life, a gardener may find themselves stuck inside and searching for a new source of engagement. Here at the Master Gardener Volunteer Program, we support lifelong learning. If a move, illness, or change in lifestyle leaves you with a new normal, don't let it stop you from expanding your horizons. Whether or not you're a volunteer, this spring we're inviting you to enjoy our archive of garden-related webinars. More

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberWhen I am stressed and can't shake the worries of the world, I head to the garden, or my landscape. The urge to work the soil, to plant and tend is not something I want to do, it is simply what I must do. Based on the requests of Floridians contacting their Extension offices for gardening advice, I am not the only one who is being drawn to garden. These isolating times have people thinking about a better way. The reality is you can grow food in your yard. More

Plant of the Month: Agapanthus

A cluster of small lavender trumpet shaped flowers at the top of an agapanthus stalkThis summer-flowering bulb is ideal for Southern gardens in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. Depending on the cultivar, the flowers may be blue, lavender, purple, or even white. Don't let its delicate flowers deceive you; it's a deceptively tough plant. Native to South Africa, agapanthus performs well in partial shade or full sun, drought, and even our sandy loam soil. For the best blooms, however, plant in full sun and moist, amended soil. These blooms are perfect for highly visible spaces in a landscape. More

April in Your Garden

Red tomatoes on the vine.Heat-loving annuals like colorful coleus are good plants for April, as are bulbs like cannas and daylily. Divide clumps of bulbs, ornamental grasses, or herbaceous perennials to expand or rejuvenate garden beds or to pass along to friends. In the vegetable garden, it's time for warm-season edibles like sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.

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