The Neighborhood Gardener – September

A round white flower with stamens sticking out, looking a lot like a pin cushion

Happy Florida fall gardening!

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Tropical Date Palms

Very tall date palm against a blue skyDate palms have been cultivated for their delicious fruit and elegant foliage for centuries. In fact, the oldest known seed to successfully germinate was a date palm. Nicknamed Methuselah for its longevity, this famous palm sprouted from a date after spending almost two thousand years buried in the fortress of Masada! While this ancient desert species can be cultivated in our humid climate, there are a few things to consider before adding a date palm to your landscape. More

MGV Book Club

Cover of Bringing Nature Home bookThis fall you’re invited to explore the world of backyard ecology with the Florida MGV Book Club! We’re reading “Bringing Nature Home,” an award-winning book about welcoming wildlife to our urban and suburban jungles. If you're passionate about gardening, interested in native insects and plants, or devoted to caring for the world around you, this is the book (and the book club) for you. More

Soaps, Detergents, and Pest Management

Ladybug with red shell and black spotsToday more people than ever recognize the importance of using pesticides wisely, protecting pollinators, and managing gardens with low-impact strategies. Soaps often come up in conversations about pest management, along with misconceptions about their use. This article unravels three common misunderstandings about soaps as homemade pesticides and provides insight into ingredients and concentrations. More

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberIt won't be long before our plant nurseries and garden centers will be filled with autumn-themed mums to let us know that fall is on the way. Mind you, the temperatures will still be in the 90s with humidity levels to match. You can get chrysanthemums in yellow, orange, and bronze and enjoy them in your landscape, but this fall I am considering a different way to bring that pop of autumn color into the garden. More

Plant of the Month: Tomatillos

Green round tomatillos in their papery husks Interested in adding something new to your garden? If you can grow a tomato, you can grow tomatillo and husk tomato! September 15th – October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and the perfect time of the year to add these versatile vegetables to your garden. From Latin American molés and salsas to ground cherry preserves, they could be great way to break out of your culinary comfort zone. More

Pole Beans

A mass of exceptionally long thin green beans Climbing beans like pole beans, winged beans, and yard-long beans are popular plants in Florida vegetable gardens. They're easy to grow, even in poor soil. And, as the name implies, these beans love to climb. You can trellis the vines in your vegetable garden or plant them along an existing fence to create a foodscape. And because they grow vertically, climbing bean yields per square foot are significantly higher than most bush bean varieties. More

September in Your Garden

Red strawberriesIt's finally vegetable gardening season, and for North and Central Florida gardeners, that includes strawberries. September is an excellent time to divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to planting beds and monitor water needs during establishment.

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.