The Neighborhood Gardener – March

Pale pink azaleas

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Walter's Viburnum and Other Viburnum Species

Cluster of tiny creamy white flowersViburnum species can do it all! These versatile plants attract pollinators, provide nesting for birds, and produce beautiful fruits and flowers. Most can be trained into a shrub or a small tree to fit your landscape needs, too. This article covers a selection of native and non-native species of the genus Viburnum.

Planting and Establishing Shrubs

Small version of graphic showing how to plant a shrubThere are so many reasons to add more shrubs to your landscape this spring. We love the textures, flowers, and wildlife habitat they provide for our little slice of the ecosystem. But how you plant and initially care for a shrub can make all the difference to its long-term health. Before you start digging, take a look at our article on planting and establishing shrubs.

Spring Cleaning: Fertilizer and Pesticides

Garage cabinet full of plastic bottlesDo you have unused fertilizer or pesticide in your garage or garden shed? Even those of us who practice integrated pest management have a few chemicals lying around. This article answers questions like, "Do fertilizers and pesticides go bad?" and "What do I do with the empty container?"

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberSpring is the time of year when the aisles of garden centers are packed with excited gardeners. Young and old, those with experience and first-timers, are loading their shopping carts with dreams of creating beauty in their home landscape. I know that they have all done their homework to follow the first principle of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ — putting the right plant in the right place. But what about buying the right plant? Read on for some springtime plant-shopping advice.

Plant of the Month: Coral Honeysuckle

Orange-red tubular flowersOur native coral honeysuckle features scarlet flowers that bloom for months. And Florida's wildlife love it, too! The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies and then mature into berries that feed songbirds. This low-maintenance vine is a Florida-Friendly alternative to invasive Japanese honeysuckle. Coral honeysuckle grows all over Florida and further north, USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 10. Learn more about Lonicera sempervirens.

March in Your Garden

Purple and green okra vegetablesSpring is here, and it's time to remove declining winter annuals and replace them with warm season bloomers like angelonia, gazania, and salvia. Prune trees and shrubs when new growth begins, after the end of the dormant season. To guard next season's blooms, begin pruning after the last flowers fade but before the new buds set. There's much to be planted in the vegetable garden: okra, beans, watermelon, and more.

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.