The Neighborhood Gardener – June

Tropical looking hibiscus cultivar's flower bright red-magenta petals edged in yellow with a single red stamen tipped in bright yellow pollen

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Garden Gadgets

A robot lawn mowerOur homes are becoming increasingly filled with gadgets that make life easier, and luckily there are quite a few for the garden too. Technological advancements have made it possible for lawn mowing and irrigation to be fully automated. There are tools to measure rainfall, soil moisture, and weather conditions that will send data right to your phone. Many are affordable as well, so a high-tech garden is within reach for everyone! This new article on Gardening Solutions has more gadgets for your landscape.


Red nasturtium flower peeking out from its lilypad like foliageMany gardeners live for blooming flowers and stately shrubs. Others prefer rows of juicy vegetables and fruit trees. A few gardeners enjoy both in their landscape. But how often do you see ornamentals and edibles grown in the same bed? Foodscaping is a method of landscaping that marries edibles and ornamentals for a yard that is both productive and beautiful. Learn more about this trending design that's also practical.

Hurricane Landscaping

Palm trees blowing in high windsWith June being the start of hurricane season, it's a good idea to develop a plan for your landscape in the event of an approaching storm. We've established lists of tasks for hurricane-proofing your landscape, locking it down when a storm is imminent, and restoring your yard post-hurricane. Read this article on Gardening Solutions for more tips and the 2023 hurricane season forecast.

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberOn June 3, 2023, the UF/IFAS 4-H Horticulture Identification and Judging contest was held in Newberry Florida. This contest asks 4-H students to identify 140 plant specimens and judge eight classes of plants. The plants are divided into four categories: flowers and foliage, ornamentals, fruits, and vegetables. The kids learn 200 plants and our horticulture team prepares challenging samples for them to identify. Read on for the mystery that challenged the hort team.

Plant of the Month: Lychee

Small red bumpy fruits, one of which is peeled to reveal translucent-white fleshOriginally from southern China, lychee is a subtropical fruit tree. This attractive tree produces fruit that turn bright red when ripe and reveal translucent white flesh with a delicate flavor. New leaves emerge bronze red and eventually turn a glossy green. Best suited for zones 10A-11, lychee thrives in well-drained acidic soil. Learn more about lychee, a name that translates in Chinese as "gift for a joyful life."


White begonia flowers with yellow centersBegonias are a commonly used bedding plant that can provide striking color in the landscape throughout the year. The begonia family contains more than 1,800 species and hybrids, many of which are commonly grown as potted foliage plants. Begonias can vary quite a bit between types, so there is a perfect begonia for everyone! Read on to find the ideal begonia for you.

MGV Book Club

A close look at a lime swallowtail caterpillar rearing up and showing off its fake red hornsOur virtual MGV Book Club is starting next week! Join us as we dive into "Founding Gardeners." Written by design historian Andrea Wulf, this book tells the story of how gardening and farming shaped the thinking of our country's first leaders. Follow along for nine weeks to read and share your thoughts in our Facebook discussion group. Once finished, we'll meet on Zoom for a live wrap up! Learn more about the MGV Book Club.

June in Your Garden

Red leaves of a coleus plantWorking in the garden during the summer can put Florida gardeners at risk from the unforgiving heat. Be sure to take the necessary precautions. Flowering annuals that can take full sun during the hot summer include celosia, vinca, pentas, and portulaca (pictured). Plant tropical vegetables like boniato, calabaza, and chayote. Certain municipalities in Florida prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants June through September; see if such an ordinance exists in your area.

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.