The Neighborhood Gardener – September
While careful planning and planting are best done in the months before the hurricane season starts, there's still time to prepare the trees in your landscape for a storm. When done correctly, pruning can make trees more resistant to wind damage. A certified arborist can prune issues like dead branches or decay out of a tree — allowing you to protect your property from storm damage. This article on Gardening Solutions has information on the 2022 hurricane season and what actions you can take.
Just like the rest of the country, Florida has signs that fall is approaching. But instead of red and yellow leaves falling from trees, we have a new season of color, like the jewel-like fruit of native beautyberry. By September, this small, sprawling shrub will have traded its inconspicuous lavender flowers for bright purple fruits, clustered along its branches and attracting hungry birds. Beautyberry is practically maintenance free and grows easily in full sun or light shade in most soils. Learn more about Callicarpa americana.
Early fall is a good time to do a status check on your garden beds. Are your perennials looking a bit raggedy, producing smaller or fewer flowers, or even have a hole appearing in the middle of a clump? It's probably time to divide these clumps into new plants. Dividing is one form of propagation — making new plants from existing plants. There are different ways to create new plants, and the best method depends on the plant you are propagating. Learn more about division and other ways to multiply your plant wealth.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes certain plants fall out of fashion? But, much like high-waisted jeans or corky platform shoes, those plant styles seem to roll back around. I read in a fashion magazine that if you wore a miniskirt the first go-round, you might be too old for that look again. This is why I prefer gardening magazines to Vogue any day. In the plant world everything old can be new again too. Wendy shares some of her favorite "new" old-fashioned plants.
An Invitation to Our Readers
The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Advanced Training Conference is an opportunity for our MGVs to come together to learn and connect. This year, the Florida Master Gardener Volunteer program invites you, our Neighborhood Gardener readers, to attend the conference! In 2020, the pandemic prompted the conference to be held virtually, and much was learned. One interesting aspect is that virtual learning allows us to open the opportunity to more people. Learn more about the conference.
The classic orange carrot of today is actually a relative newcomer to the vegetable world. Cultivated for centuries, carrots were originally purple, white, red, yellow, and black. This healthy vegetable is pretty easy to grow and doesn't require a lot of room. Carrots thrive during the cool season here in Florida and will do best when grown in deep, well-drained, and fertile soil. Gardeners throughout Florida can plant carrots this month; learn more.
For color into fall, refresh your annual beds with coleus, celosia, or wax begonia. Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Continue to monitor the lawn; pests such as fall armyworms, chinch bugs, and sod webworms are still active. Hold off on fertilizer, however — most municipalities have a ban in place through September.
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.