by Amanda Rose Newton
The “busy” season at Rockledge Gardens kicks off in February and runs through May. This is the time when Floridians get excited about planting. Start your engines, it’s officially grow time!
The past few weeks haven’t exactly been what I would call Florida weather. Granted, I could be just fine with August weather year-round, but most plants would much rather prefer what we have here in late February/early March. So, what can you do between now and then? A lot, actually!
Here are 5 tips to help get your garden off to a great start this growing season, no matter how big or small.
If you are hoping for spectacular flower beds this year, now is the time to whip them into shape!
If you already have a bed in place, get out there and remove any dying annuals and plant a few bulbs. If you are new to the bulb game, caladiums and daylilies are good places to start. Start dreaming up your perfect arrangement by drawing it out!
With so many great templates available on the internet (how did we live before printable templates were a thing?) you can create a stylish arrangement that reflects you best.
Bring in the Dirt
Soil might only be exciting to this lady, but getting on top of that will get you ahead of the game when it comes time to plant.
Our Rockledge Gardens soil blend comes premixed with all the good stuff your garden needs, with a little compost, mycorrhizae, and larger wood chips mixed in for good measure.
Using a raised bed model? Great! We make a blend for that, too! Be sure to pick up our special raised bed blend which is especially great for nutrient-heavy feeders like vegetables and small fruits.
I love starting seeds! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a new living organism spring to life that you planted! It’s such an accomplishment from minimal effort!
If you have little ones, this is a great way to introduce them to gardening. If you are new to seed starting, it’s simple! Seed packets usually tell you how to start them indoors and describe when to plant them outdoors. If you missed Rose’s seminar on Kitchen Gardening, be sure to check it out! Lots of great information on starting your own vegetable empire right out of your garden window!
Now is the time to show your shrubs and permanent plantings some love!
When is the last time you fertilized? If you’re like me and aren’t so much for fertilizing but would like to help your plantings, try adding a little mulch, which will help lock in moisture and prevent erosion of perennial beds.
Now is also a great time to plant new shrubs, such as gardenias! If you have been hankering for a fruit tree, it is also a great time to plant those, too. While you are at it, consider making a sustainable food forest, with now being the ultimate time to both plant and prepare a lot of your key species.
Prepare for the Worst
While we like to stay positive in these parts, the rainy season is just around the corner and with it comes hurricanes.
Why not get a jump on it and start assessing those trees you haven’t looked at for months for possible issues? Are there damaged branches, overhanging limbs, or questionable pest issues going on?
Now would be a great time to get a certified arborist out to your property to check out any potential red flags. Taking care of this now will give you peace of mind later, which is worth the cost! Remember that arborists and other professionals who work on trees are slammed when a hurricane’s a-comin’! Better to book them now so you don’t miss out!