The Neighborhood Gardener – March

A pretty blue wildflower most commonly thought of as a weed

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Cut Flower Gardens

Dusty purple zinnia flowerOne of the many joys of gardening is being able to enjoy beautiful flowers in your own backyard. Roses might come to mind, but there are many options, like zinnias, sunflowers, and much more. Bring that splash of color indoors by growing any of these flowering plants that look great in both the landscape and a vase.

Cold-Hardy Citrus

Bright orange oblong shaped kumquat fruits on the treeWhile North Florida gardeners can’t grow some tropical fruits that South Florida enjoys, luckily citrus is not one of them. Kumquats, calamondins, and two types of mandarins are hardy enough to withstand chilly winters. This new Gardening Solutions article has cultivar recommendations and planting advice that holds for all citrus.

Advanced Seed Starting

A tiny seedlingMost of the time, we think of seed starting as nursing seedlings in greenhouse trays. However, some seeds need a bit more effort than simply planting and watering for the best germination rate. Scarification, imbibition, and stratification are three advanced methods you can add to your trove of gardening knowledge. Learn more about these seed treatements.

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberThere's a growing movement called “No Mow May,” when homeowners don’t mow their yard during the month of May to support biodiversity and pollinators. If we waited until May to do this in Florida, we would need a machete and a bush hog to get through our yards. So UF/IFAS Extension agents in North Florida have been promoting the concept of "No Mow March." Learn more about No Mow March, including the benefits and drawbacks.

Plant of the Month: Phlox

Starbrite phlox have simple petals that are candy striped pink and whiteA favorite of both pollinators and gardeners, phlox are no longer common in nurseries, but still worth adding to your garden. There are three main varieties: annual phlox, garden phlox, and creeping phlox. Annual and creeping phlox are native to North America, while garden phlox is native to the Eastern US. Phlox thrives in North Florida and can grow as far south as zone 10. Read more about the different phlox types and how to use them in your landscape.

2023 Legacy Awards

Boy crouching in a lettuce bed with a spadeEvery year, counties apply to the Florida Master Gardener Legacy Fund in hopes that they will win funding. This year, two counties received grants. UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County MGVs will restore and improve an afterschool program's youth garden where they volunteer, and the Walton County Master Gardener Volunteers will complete a new Florida-Friendly Landscape at their coastal branch office in Santa Rosa Beach. Learn more about the winning projects.

March in Your Garden

watermelon Spring is here, and it's time to plant warm season flowers like angelonia, gazania, and salvia. Prune azaleas only when they have finished blooming, to reduce their size and improve their form. There's much to be planted in the vegetable garden: beans, corn, 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.