March in the Garden

WHAT TO PLANT Annuals: Replace declining winter annuals with varieties such as angelonia, gazania, and salvia that will provide color now and into the summer months. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida

Bulbs: Plant caladium for a showy tropical display all summer. See: Bulbs for Florida

Herbs: In addition to their culinary value, many herbs are ornamental and attract butterflies to the garden. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden

Vegetables: Plant warm-season crops, such as cucumber, eggplant, watermelon, summer squash, pumpkin (calabasa), watermelon, peanuts, and sweet potatoes. Southern peas such as purple hulls, crowders, cream peas and blackeye peas produce abundant crops during the summer. Bell peppers don’t do well in the summer but hot peppers and sweet peppers like Sweet Banana, Gypsy, and Pimento flourish in the heat. Seedlings of cherry tomatoes and a few heat-resistant varieties can still be set out but don’t expect great results. Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide:

WHAT TO DO Lawns: St- Augustine grass – Excellent information on the turf grass most of us have.

Shrubs and trees: Prune when new growth begins after the end of the dormant season. To guard next season’s blooms, begin pruning after the last flowers fade but before new buds set. See: Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs

Palms and shrubs: Fertilize palms and any other ornamentals not fertilized last month. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes , Soil Test Information Sheet and Fertilization of Field-grown and Landscape Palms in Florida

Irrigation: Check sprinkler systems for efficient water use. See: How to Calibrate Your Sprinkler System Citrus: Fertilize citrus trees starting this month. Use an 8-8-8 citrus fertilizer with minor elements. These days very few fertilizers contain the essential minor elements. Your best bet is to use a really good palm fertilizer such as a Lesco product. Mature trees can have up to about six pounds of fertilizer broadcast under the branches and out about ten feet or so. Remember, for citrus to produce excellent fruit, they must be regularly fertilized and deeply watered every 7-10 days (with one inch of water) in the event of no rain. See information on citrus for the home garden: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.

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