The Neighborhood Gardener – January

Pink camellia flower with dew on petals

Happy New Year!

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Removing Problematic Vines

Hand shown holding potato-like tubrils of invasive air potato What are a gardener's options when it's too late for "right plant, right place?" In dealing with any hard-to-remove plant, it's helpful to know a little about plant physiology, the study of the functions of a plant's tissues and organs. This article examines a plant's "sources and sinks" to help you remove the most obnoxious vines from your landscape.

Seed Sources

Cucumber seedsOne of the most frequently posted questions on the Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Program's social media pages is "where can I get the seeds?" Finding a particular seed can start to feel like treasure hunting, especially for rare and local varieties. To get you started on the hunt we have a list of sources for you, including catalogues, swaps, and even libraries! This article has all of our suggested resources.

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberWelcome 2021, we have been waiting for you. With the new year comes new year's resolutions. I like new year's resolutions, but according to a recent study, only around 12% of people who make them felt that they were successful in achieving their goals. But there is good news too; those folks who do set new year's resolutions are 10 times more likely to really change their behavior compared to people who do not make these yearly goals. I've got a life hack for you — if your goals are gardening goals, it is a little easier to keep those resolutions. Read on for Wendy's resolutions.

MGV Book Club

Cover of Composting for a New Generation bookWe're excited for another year of reading and growing together with the Florida MGV Book Club. This winter we're digging into the science of decomposition and learning all we can about soil health. Our first title of the new year is "Composting for a New Generation." At the end of the season, author Michelle Balz and Florida MVG Coordinator Wendy Wilber will host a live book club meeting. It's not too late to start reading! Learn more about the book club.

Plant of the Month: Plumbago

Cool blue flowers of plumbagoPlumbago is a low-maintenance shrub that brings interest to many Florida landscapes. Its clusters of cool blue or white flowers are unmatched and make it a favorite among traditional garden selections. Most are familiar with the classic blue plumbago, but there is a white-flowering native species as well, found in USDA Hardiness zones 9B to 11. As a bonus, native plumbago is a host for the larvae of the cassius blue butterfly. Both species of plumbago generally look best when planted in full sun and well-drained soil. Learn more about plumbago.

January in Your Garden

Woman planting treeCelebrate Florida Arbor Day (the third Friday of January) by planting a tree in your yard or community. Consider a hurricane-resistant tree, such as live oak, bald cypress, cabbage palm, or crapemyrtle. Prune non-spring flowering shrubs and trees this month to improve form. Continue planting cool-season vegetables. Gardeners in North and Central Florida should be prepared to protect landscape plants from frost.

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.