florida gardening tips + resources
this month’s gardening tips
Each month we remind you what to do, what to plant, and how to enjoy your central east coast Florida garden…
Spring is a great time to spruce up your patio or deck with container gardens.
Annuals and perennials to plant now include: bush daisy, caladium, coleus, cosmos, dahlia, dahlberg daisy, gaillardia, gazania, geraniums (above), gerbera daisy, kalanchoe, lantana, lobelia, milkweed, pentas, portulaca, purslane, salvia, torenia, verbena, vinca, wax begonias, and zinnias.
what to do in your garden in April
Check your irrigation system. Make sure that “all systems are go” as the sunny days get longer.
Clean sprinkler heads and adjust the range to make sure you are watering only your lawn and garden and not your driveway and street. If you water with well water, you might want to get your water tested (a free service at Rockledge Gardens), since salt content can change from time to time depending on rainfall.
Finally, be sure to set your system to run only twice per week and don’t forget to turn the system off when we get a good rainfall. Our water is a precious commodity.
Consider planting groundcovers as an alternative to grass. There are
many options available; many groundcovers require less care, chemicals,
and water than turfgrasses do.
Mulch flower and shrub beds to help conserve water and to help deter
weed growth. Apply mulch 2 to 3 inches deep, and be sure to keep it away
from the base of the plant or tree.
Prune azaleas when blooms have expired. After pruning, fertilize with Holly
Watch for thrips on your roses and gardenias. Thrips affect the buds of
these flowers in particular (and seem partial to light colors), causing
discoloration and bud drop. Thrips can be controlled with a natural pyrethrin
spray. Using insect trap cards can also be effective.
It’s a great time to plant tropical fruit trees and citrus.
Butterflies are very active in the warmer season. Consider planting a butterfly garden this month. Remember—no pesticides!
Vegetables and herbs to plant now include: basil, beans, cantaloupe,
chives, cilantro, collards, corn, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, Mexican tarragon,
mint, okra, oregano, peppers, rosemary, sage, sweet potatoes, tomatoes,
thyme, and watermelon.
Celebrate Earth Day! Florida Earth Day is April 22. Why not plant a tree or plan a
garden party to honor Mother Earth?
Join us every Saturday in April from 10-1 to celebrate Earth Day with live music, events, food and more!
plant care info sheets
Here’s a sampling of our free plant care info sheets. Stop by to pick up others! Please note that these are specifically geared to Brevard County growing conditions, zones 9 & 10.
New Planting Guide — Proper planting is essential for healthy plants and their survival! Follow these steps to ensure the success of your new plants.
Florida Gardening — Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association website developed with the homeowner in mind. Full of useful information for growing in Florida, with plant data and fun facts.
Florida-friendly Landscaping — website full of useful information about eco-friendly gardening in Florida, including landscaping with native plants and plants requiring little irrigation or fertilizer, and gardening to attract wildlife. And The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design.
Buglady Consulting — This popular consultant to nurseries has created a page especially for homeowners about “good guy” and “bad guy” bugs.
Espoma — The website of this supplier of natural gardening solutions has useful information about feeding and caring for plants.
University of Florida’s “Solutions for Your Life” — Practical information about lawns and gardens, the environment and sustainable living, and personal health and safety.
The American Orchid Society website is full of great info on growing orchids, including orchid basics and a large selection of culture sheets.Leu Gardens — One of the nicest botanical gardens in the country, right in our own backyard, in Orlando!
McKee Botanical Garden is a 18-acre subtropical jungle hammock in Vero Beach, with a dense and diverse plant collection and restored architectural treasures.
Blog the Beach is a fun and info-packed blog about Florida’s beautiful beaches.