As the temperatures warm and the rain starts, gardening changes in Florida. Here are a few April garden tips for keeping the landscape looking good.
Air is a good thing for plants; thin overcrowded plantings to prevent diseases, reduce insect infestation possibilities, and promote healthy growth. It is also easier to place mulch around plants, reducing weeds and conserving moisture if plant spacing is adequate. This Ixora has space to grow and for plenty of air circulation.
Aphids are showing up on the new growth of many plants. Roses often host these sap-sucking pests; if an infestation is spotted, keep an eye on it for few days; look for predacious insects such as ladybugs, aphid lions, and lacewings to bring the problem under control. If there are too many pests for the good guys to manage, choose the least toxic option such as insecticidal soap to do the job.
As temperatures rise, even with diminished water supply, the grass will grow and still require mowing. Be safe while operating a lawnmower. Avoid the Florida uniform of flip-flops, shorts, and no or minimal shirt. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts that are both close-fitting, close-toed shoes, and no jewelry. Add eye, hearing, and sun protection to ensure that your family and friends can enjoy you and your garden for a long time.
Good choices for flowering plants for summer beds include Dragon Wing Begonias, Ornamental Amaranthus, Periwinkle, Celosia, Wishbone flower, Spider Flowers (Cleome), and Dahlberg daisy. Here’s a tip for April and beyond. Be sure to mulch well and to take the time to enjoy the flowers with friends and family.
Amaranthus or Joseph’s Coat is grown as an ornamental and vegetable. There are many cultivated varieties for landscapes that provide interest and accent with their vibrantly colored leaves. Try this easy-to-grow annual in your summer garden, it loves heat and humidity and the hot color seems to be a perfect match for the hot summer days.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is a symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature–the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world…are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life.” – Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
These tips first appeared in the Treasure Coast Newspapers.
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