The Neighborhood Gardener – March

Hot pink azaleas

Happy spring gardening!

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Spring Cleaning: Are these still cluttering up your yard?

A cluster of bright red coral ardisia berriesThis month we're encouraging gardeners to do some spring cleaning. Your garden should be a place of peace and quiet in a busy world. Unfortunately, there may be trouble in paradise. Hundreds of invasive species are hiding in our otherwise Florida-Friendly landscapes. We have a list of the most common landscape invaders for you, as well as a three-step plan to restoring your garden's natural tranquility. More
Photo: fruit of invasive coral ardisia, UF/IFAS


Five small clusters of even tinier flowers, mostly hot pink Lantana is one of the most popular landscape plants on the market. It's heat, salt, and drought tolerant. It's pollinator friendly. It's easy to grow and low maintenance. But did you know most varieties of Lantana camara are invasive throughout Florida? Thankfully, there are many sterile varieties and a couple of native species also on the market. In this article, learn about these alternatives to invasive lantana and follow Dr. Deng as he produces sterile varieties with UF/IFAS. More

Succession Planting in Your Vegetable Garden

lots of zucchini Have you ever visited a gardener during zucchini harvest? Aren't they just the most generous people? "Too many fresh veggies" is a good problem to have, but it's still a problem. If you're tired of trying to find a home for all your garden's extra vegetables, you may want to try succession planting. Instead of the tidal wave of harvesting, you'll enjoy a slow trickle of fresh produce. In this article, we outline three different ways to plant "successively" in your home garden. More

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberThe days are longer and the sun is shining here in the Sunshine State. For those gardeners with a sunny yard the grass is greening and the flowers are popping. But if you have a shady yard or a shady spot in the landscape you may feel a little green with envy. Covet not shade gardeners, your shade is a desirable condition in our Florida yards — remember what that August sun feels like. If your yard has shady spots you can still create a beautiful and Florida-Friendly landscape. More

Plant of the Month: Sweet Acacia

A yellow flower resembling a puffballSweet acacia is not a particularly common landscape plant, likely because of its sharp spines. But gardeners willing to give this plant a try will be rewarded with fragrant, bright, yellow blooms. This native tree is low maintenance, highly drought tolerant, and an excellent replacement for the invasive mimosa tree. For best results plant your tree in an area where it will receive full sun. Sweet acacia will grow well year-round in South and Central Florida. Gardeners in northern parts of the state should protect the tree from frost during the winter. More

March in Your Garden

Baby fig leaf practically glowing in sunlightMarch 19 is the first official day of spring! It's time to start planting that warm season garden. Edibles to plant include tomatoes, peppers, mustard greens, and sweet corn. March is also a good time to prune shrubs and trees, but be sure to prune before any new buds form. Check your sprinkler system for leaks or broken heads.

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.