The Neighborhood Gardener – January

Hot pink camellia flower

Happy New Year from UF/IFAS, the Master Gardener Volunteer Program, and your friendly Neighborhood Gardener!

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Cole Crop Confusion

Small broccoli floretIn Florida, January is cole crop season. These cold-hearty plants are some of the most familiar in our gardens and grocery stores. But did you know that kale, collards, kohlrabi, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all considered one species? There is a lot more to these classic crops than meets the eye. More


A small white container with the word compost on it, sitting on a cutting board with chopped vegetablesThis year's gardening trends include sustainability, minimizing waste, and bringing together communities. Composting falls happily in the center of these three goals. But for gardeners with less time, energy, or yard than they'd like, backyard composting is impractical. Thankfully several alternatives to traditional composting exist. Whether you live on acres or in an apartment there is a composting method to fit your needs. Some approaches are so sanitary that they can even operate inside your home! More

Master Gardener Volunteer Legacy Award

People standing in a garden where the tops of onions are visible in the foreground The 2019 recipients of the Legacy Fund Award Grant are the UF/IFAS Broward County Master Gardener Volunteers, for their demonstration vegetable garden showing homeowners how to grow edibles in their yards and community spaces. They plan to use the award funds to expand the demonstration garden to include alternate growing methodologies for small or "difficult to plant" spaces, like patios or rocky soil. The Master Gardener Legacy Fund was created to provide financial support to Master Gardener programs throughout Florida. More

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberI have been thinking about that Benjamin Franklin quote, "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Nowadays, when I ask an expert about the name of a plant or other horticulture fact, if I don't write it down I forget. My plant brain used to be a vault of plant facts, now if it I don't jot it down on paper or put it in my phone it is gone. I am going to work on this for 2020. More

Plant of the Month: Kohlrabi

Small purple flowers clustered in tall conical spikesKohlrabi is a plant that is not just new to the U.S., it's new to the planet. This strange, sputnik-shaped vegetable has no historical record before 1554 AD. It was uncommon in this country until the 1880s and was rarely grown in the South. Recently, however, its popularity has skyrocketed. Once rare, this versatile vegetable is now stocked in most supermarkets. And with fewer than sixty days from sowing to harvest, you should stock your garden, too. More

January in Your Garden

Woman planting small treeWinter is a great time to plant bulbs like crinum and agapanthus. You can prune shrubs and trees, but not those that flower in the spring. Florida Arbor Day is the third Friday in January; celebrate by planting a tree. Contact your county Extension office for species recommended in your area.

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.