The Neighborhood Gardener – July

Bird of paradise's showy bloom is actually a combination of blue petals and bright orange sepals

Happy summer gardening!

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Shade Landscaping

An old live oak's arching branches make deep shade Shade provides welcome relief from Florida's intense sun and heat, but gardening in low light can be challenging. We all know that even "shade tolerant" plants need light to survive, but how much shade is too much? In this article we'll help you understand your landscape's lighting and bring life and color to dark corners of your yard. We've also included a number of plant lists to help you get started. More

Florida MGV Book Club: The Triumph of Seeds

Very small photo of the Triumph of Seeds book cover What do a morning coffee, a garden flower, a PB&J sandwich, a kitchen table, and a chocolatey late-night snack all have in common? It's easy to forget how many items we take for granted begin as seeds. This July and August, the Florida MGV Book Club will be diving into the wonderful world of grains, nuts, kernels, pulses, and pips with "The Triumph of Seeds," by Thor Hanson. More

Leaffooted Insect Pests

A bug whose back legs have leaf-shaped flapsCan you tell the difference between the nymphs of leaffooted bugs and assassin bugs? Sometimes the good bugs and the bad bugs look too alike for their own good. Leaffooted bugs are found in Florida throughout the year, but are most active during the warmer months. If you're finding mysterious fruit damage, leaffooted bugs may be the culprit! We can help you identify and control this unique pest. More

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberIt seems this is no longer a drill. We are gardeners safe at home. The weeds are pulled, the hedges are trimmed, the beds are mulched, new plants are in, so now what? Learning the names of the insects in your yard can be especially helpful. When you can identify insects and know what their functions are in your landscape, you can appreciate the role they play in your backyard ecosystem. It is important to be able to differentiate between the helpful insects and the harmful pests so you don't kill off an insect that was just there to help. More

Plant of the Month: Caladiums

A caladium plant with greenish-white leaves with hot pink veins.Originally discovered in the Amazon River basin, caladiums are known for their unique patterns and vibrant colors. They are easy to grow in Florida's warm, humid climate and will provide beautiful color throughout spring, summer, and fall. Scientifically known as Caladium x hortulanum, the color combinations for this plant include white, pink, rose, red, burgundy, chartreuse, and green. The University of Florida has developed a number of new cultivars and this month we're excited to show them off. More

Not All Roundup is Glyphosate

Roundup 365 logo(Article by Dr. Brett Wells Bultemeier, Pesticide Information Office, UF/IFAS Extension) Roundup® has become synonymous with the chemical glyphosate, as this was the active ingredient in the first formulations of the product. Today this popular weed control is in the news and on the shelves, but in a variety of different formulas. Knowing exactly what you are buying and how to use it will greatly reduce risk of unintended consequences. We at the UF/IFAS Extension and the Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program do not endorse one particular product or brand over another. We strive to provide you with up-to-date, research-based information from a source you can trust. More

July in Your Garden

Red, white, and orange ornamental peppersPlant heat-tolerant annuals like celosia, coleus, torenia, and ornamental pepper. Butterfly lily and gladiolus are bulbs that can be planted during the middle of summer. Check shrubs and trees for pests. North and Central Florida can plant their Halloween pumpkins now, while South Florida can plant tropical vegetables like boniato, calabaza, and chayote.

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.