The Neighborhood Gardener – April

Light purple flowers, tubular and hanging down like light pendants

safesubscribe logo

Water Conservation

A lake's edge view with grasses and lilypads visible in the foreground, the water surrounded by trees and green plantsFlorida has 20 million residents and population growth that is double the national average. With every person using an average of 71 gallons of water per day, our springs, rivers, lakes, and beaches are being affected by excessive draws from the aquifer. Conserving water use in your landscape not only protects Florida's natural resources, but it will also lower your water bill and help ensure everyone will have safe, clean water for generations to come. Learn what steps you can take to save water and money in your landscape.

Water Gardens

A yellow water lily floating with lilypadsWant to incorporate a water feature into your garden? The materials you need are available at most garden centers and there are plenty of aquatic plants to choose from. A water garden provides many enjoyable sights and sounds, and it will be a water source for wildlife such as birds, frogs, and turtles. This article explains the difference types of aquatic plants, site considerations, and other features you might want to include in your water garden, like fish.


A tiny sprinkler head shoots out tiny streams of water in all directionsUsing microirrigation instead of sprinkler systems brings many benefits. It helps deprive weeds of water, reduces the risk of disease, and is far more efficient. Originally designed for commercial agriculture, microirrigation has become very popular in home gardens. This new article in Gardening Solutions lists the four types of microirrigation and offers tips on installation and maintenance.

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberIn North Central Florida the old timers say, "It isn't spring until the pecan tree says so." Meaning that although meteorological spring begins on March 20th, it isn't truly spring until the foliage of the pecan tree comes out. What does "spring" even mean in a state that ranges from sub-tropical USDA hardiness zone 11 (the Keys) to temperate USDA hardiness zone 8 (the Panhandle)? Read more about the plants that say "spring" to Wendy.

Plant of the Month: Pickerel Weed

A small spike of purple flowers with many green spear-shaped leaves in the backgroundPickerel weed is an aquatic native plant found throughout Florida. It helps to stabilize the banks of both natural water bodies and ponds, and adds texture, height, and long-lasting flowers to the home water garden. Plus, it provides a habitat and food source for wildlife. Learn more about this water garden winner.

April in Your Garden

Red leaves of a coleus plantBy April, Florida is starting to feel less like spring and more like summer. Plant heat-tolerant annuals like coleus, vinca, and portulaca in the flower beds, along with bulbs like canna. Gardeners can continue to plant some warm-season crops. This is a good time to divide up clumps of perennials and add fresh mulch to conserve water.

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.