Apples are almost as much a traditional part of American cold weather holidays as turkey and cranberries. Enjoyed out-of-hand, in pies, cobblers, crisps, cakes, savory dishes and dried, or as apple juice, cider or applejack, they indicate why Americans consume about 25 pounds of apples a year. Apples also feature in holiday décor. My mother piled bowls with beautiful apples including the rough skinned yellow-brown russets, which we sold to Purdy’s, a local cider mill. And she
A mulch layer around trees, shrubs, and planted beds provides many benefits. In areas that are difficult to mow, irrigate, or otherwise maintain, use mulch to replace turf or groundcovers. Also consider placing mulch in shady areas where many plants don’t grow well. Mulch is a wonderful addition to any landscape, because it:
• Buffers soil temperature; keeps soils and plant roots warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
• Helps maintain soil moisture. Mulch slows evaporation
Planter Idea: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/design/outdoor-living/fall-planter.html This lovely container has it all: crotons, lantana as a spiller, tall feathery ornamental grass, and peeking out from the back, deep purple ornamental pepper.
Start sprouting sweet potatoes: Toothpicks, a healthy tuber and a jar of water are all you need to get going. Stick three or four toothpicks into a sweet potato about 1/3 of the way down from the end with the little eyes. Position the potato in a glass or jar filled with water so at least half is submerged. In a few weeks, sprouts will appear. When they get 2-3” long, break them off and stick them into some soil. They’ll root and the potato will continue making new sprouts, s
Ornamental plants: Fertilize plants that show signs of deficiencies. Rapid growth and leaching rains may result in nutrient deficiencies in some plants. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110) Perennials and bulbs: Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to new planting areas and monitor water needs during establishment. See: Propagation of Land
Trees - all varieties Shrubs – most varieties Flowers – Refresh summer beds Bedding Plants - ageratum, coleus, celosia, zinnia, wax begonia, alyssum, calendula, cleome, cornflower, dianthus, gaillardia, hollyhock, periwinkle, phlox, salvia, snap- dragon & verbena. Wait until October to plant petunias and pansies. Give poinsettias their final pruning in September, pinching the tip of each shoot to encourage branching. Move potted poinsettias to a sunny location. Give Christma
Plenty of rain and an increase in butterfly friendly gardening have made this a banner year for butterfly sightings in our area. I’ve noted an unusual number of zebra longwings and been delighted by the aerial balletics of monarch couples. I’ve seen Gulf fritillaries, sulphurs, hairstreaks, a ruddy daggerwing and some I can’t identify. The most outstanding butterfly event of the summer has been an explosion of the imperiled atala butterfly population. They seem to be everywhe
Add variety and interest to the landscape and table with exotic fruits. This is a great time of year to plant fruit trees. The Brevard Rare Fruit Club will have its annual sale in April and nurseries are full of a variety of healthy young trees. A few of the more than 500 varieties of Mango cultivars Tropical Fruit for the Home Landscape – IFAS/UFL http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg216 Tropical and subtropical fruits: Tropical Fruit for the Home Landscape – IFAS/UFL http://edis.ifas
Last week I spotted a giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes), North America’s largest butterfly. The swallowtail was resting on an oak-shaded fern. It was missing a lower piece of the right wing. I emailed a picture to Florida butterfly researcher Sandy Koi, who said it appears a reptile had bitten the butterfly. Giant swallowtail caterpillars, known as orange dogs, have a reputation for being harmful to citrus trees, their major host plants. However, they are unlikely to de
BOTANICAL BROWSING “The Amazing World of Succulents” A spectacular presentation from a state Master Gardener Conference. https://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/gardener12/Onsite%20Presentations/Tuesday/Concurrent%20Session%204/C-4/Leymaster%20-%20Amazing%20World%20of%20Succulents.pdf