Monthly Gardening Guide

A month to month listing what to plant and do in the Garden…

Growing Herbs in Florida

 

JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC

*Some tips shown below are excerpts form the IFAS Florida Gardening Calendar

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icon what to plant lrgJanuary: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: Cool-season annuals include Pansy, Viola, Petunia, and Snapdragon.

Vegetables: Continue planting cool-season crops, including Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard, Green Onions, Lettuce Peas, Radish, Turnips.

Herbs: Cilantro, Dill and Parsley.

What to Do…

Deciduous fruit: Plant deciduous fruit trees now to give their roots time to develop before the warm, dry spring months. Prune and fertilize existing trees.

Cold protection: Be ready to cover tender plants to minimize damage. Frost or freezes are likely this month and next.

Shrubs and trees: Prune non-spring flowering shrubs and trees this month to improve form.

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icon what to plant lrgFebruary: What to Plant…

Bedding plants:Bedding plants: Plants that can take a chill include Dianthus, Pansy, Viola, and Dusty Miller.

Flowering plants: Many trees and shrubs will be in bloom, including Red Maple and Star Magnolia

Vegetables: Plant potatoes, Carrots, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Peas, Peppers, Tomatoes, Green onions. Protect from frost.

What to Do…

Citrus: Avoid pruning until spring. Cold temperatures may still injure citrus.

Roses: Prune roses this month to remove damaged canes and improve the overall form. After pruning, fertilize and apply a fresh layer of mulch. Blooming will begin 8–9 weeks after pruning.

Shrubs: Make certain that you know the height and spread of any shrubs you plan to install. Not all shrubs are suitable for planting next to homes or under windows.

Citrus and other fruit trees: Fertilize now if not done in January. Frequency and amount of fertilization depend on the age of the tree.

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icon what to plant lrgMarch: What to Plant…

Bedding plants:Dianthus and other cool-season annuals continue to flourish. Consider planting warm-season annuals such as Angelonia, Wax Begonia, and Zinnia at the end of the month.

Vegetables: Plant Beans, Bush and Pole, Cantaloupe, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Okra, Green Onions, Southern Peas, Radish, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watermelon. Protect from frost.

What to Do…

Azaleas: Prune azaleas just after plants finish blooming to shape or produce a fuller plant.

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 the new buds set.

Palms and shrubs: Fertilize palms, azaleas, camellias, and other ornamental shrubs if needed. Choose a fertilizer in which at least 30% of its nitrogen is slow release.

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icon what to plant lrgApril: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: New varieties of Coleus do well in sun or shade and provide vivid colors and patterns for months. We continue to plant flowers…Cosmos, Zinnia.

Herbs: Plant herbs, including Basil, Catnip, Chives, Oregano, Sage, Mexican Tarragon, and Rosemary.

Vegetables: Continue planting warm-season crops. Plant Beans, Bush and Pole, Cantaloupe, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Okra, Peppers, Tomatoes, Watermelon. This is our month to get tomatoes in the ground, though it would be best if they were ready to go in at the beginning of the month, as well as the different varieties of peppers.

What to Do…

Shrubs: Choose from a wide variety of shrubs to add to the landscape now.

Trees: Consider planting a spring-blooming tree, such as fringetree, Dogwood, Carolina Silverbell, or redbud.

Mulch: Add mulch to minimize weeds and conserve moisture during dry weather. Organic mulches add nutrients to the soil. Also we are adding peat and black cow to our sandy soil to give some organic matter to the soil.

This is the month to keep up with cutting new smilax vines and grape vines before they have a chance to make their way up into the trees. New oak seedlings can also be a chore to remove from planted areas.

It is important to note that the sun is bright this month with not a lot of moisture in the air, and it is breezy, so soil can dry out quickly and plants will be wilting more often. You will be watering more…try to water thoroughly to draw the roots deeper into the soil. Watering quickly leaves the moisture near the surface, thus training the roots to stay near the surface, subjected to hot soil and drying effects. Also, more watering means more nutrient leaching, so adding additional compost and mulching all help to have less stressed plants this month.

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icon what to plant lrgMay: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: Plants that can take summer heat include Salvia, Angelonia, Wax Begonia, and Ornamental Pepper.

Vegetables: Plant Eggplant, Winter Squash, Okra, Southern Peas, Sweet Potatoes.

What to Do…

Gardenias: Distinguish between the normal yellowing of older leaves and the yellowing of new growth, which usually indicates a micronutrient deficiency.

Tomatoes: Watch for pests, disease, and nutritional disorders on tomato plants.

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icon what to plant lrgJune: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: Annuals that can take full sun during hot summer months include Celosia, Portulaca, Vinca, and some Coleus.

Bedding plants: Add bright color to the landscape with varieties of Salvia, including Blue Sage, ‘Hot Lips’ Salvia, Mexican Sage, and Rose Leaf Sage.

Herbs: Plant heat-loving herbs, including Basil, Mexican Tarragon, and Rosemary. Pinch back regularly to prevent flowering and enhance branching.

Vegetables: Plant Okra, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash.

What to Do…

Summer-flowering shrubs: Prune lightly during the warmer months to encourage further blooming. Azaleas can still be pruned in June without removing next spring’s flower buds.

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icon what to plant lrgJuly: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: As the heat continues, keep annuals evenly moist to help them stay healthy and blooming. Remember that plants with fuzzy leaves do not like to have consistently wet leaves.

Vegetables: Watermelon, Pepper, Okra, Southern Pea, and Eggplant.

What to Do…

Vegetable garden: Use summer heat to solarize the vegetable garden for fall planting. It takes 4–6 weeks to kill weeds, disease, and nematodes, so start now.

Azaleas: Prune no later than mid-July to protect developing buds for next spring’s bloom.

Peach and nectarine trees: Consider planting one of the many new peach and nectarine cultivars that grow well in North Florida. Newly planted trees should be fertilized now. Apply 1/2 lb. per tree of 8-8-8 fertilizer.

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icon what to plant lrgAugust: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: The hottest days of summer limit planting now to heat-tolerant Vinca, Gaillardia, Bulbine, and Coleus.

Herbs: Herbs that can be planted from plants (not seeds) include Bay Laurel, Ginger, Mexican Tarragon, and Rosemary.

Vegetables: Plant Beans, Bush and Pole, Cucumbers, Pumpkin, Winter Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watermelon.

What to Do…

Ornamental plants: Fertilize plants that show signs of deficiencies. Rapid growth and leaching rains may result in nutrient deficiencies in some plants.

Bedding plants: Remove spent blooms, cut back, and fertilize flowering annuals and perennials to extend the bloom season into the fall months.

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icon what to plant lrgSeptember: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: Try Ageratum, Celosia, Zinnia, and Wax Begonia for color into fall.

Herbs: Plant Mexican Tarragon, Mint, Rosemary, and Basil.

Vegetables: Plant Beans, Bush and Pole, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Onions, Shallots, Green Onions, Radish, Turnips.

What to Do…

Perennials and bulbs: Divide and replant those that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to new planting areas and monitor water needs during establishment.

Flowering perennials: Plant firebush, firespike, russelia, and other perennials to supply nectar for visiting hummingbirds.

Vegetable garden: Prepare the fall vegetable garden if not done in August. Using transplants from your local garden center will get the garden off to a fast start, but seeds provide a wider variety from which to choose.

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icon what to plant lrgOctober: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: Plant Digitalis (Foxglove), Petunia, and Shasta Daisy in the fall garden.

Herbs: Some to try from plants or seed include Dill, Fennel, Oregano, and Sage.

Vegetables: Plant Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard, Lettuce, Onions, Shallots, Green Onions, Radish, Spinach, Strawberry, Turnips.

What to Do…

Winter landscapes: Plant evergreen hollies; their bright berries add color to the landscape when other plants have died back for the winter. Water well when planting and mulch to minimize weeds.

Pine needles: Gather pine needles that are dropping and use them as natural mulch.

Strawberries: Prepare beds and set strawberry plants this month. If there isn’t room for a bed, try planting them in large containers. Either way, water daily until plants are established.

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icon what to plant lrgNovember: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: Pansy, Viola, and Chrysanthemum create great fall color.

Herbs: A wide variety of herbs like cooler, dryer weather, including Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Sage, and Thyme.

Vegetables: Plant Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard, Onions, Shallots, Green Onions, Radish, Spinach, Strawberry, Kale, and Lettuce.

What to Do…

Citrus: Protect small citrus trees if freezing temperatures are predicted by watering well at least a day before the freeze. You may also use covers that extend to the ground for protection.

Scale insects: Apply dormant oil sprays to control scale insects on trees and shrubs.

Flowering trees: Consider planting an ornamental Taiwan cherry. Late winter brings pink blooms.

Camellias: Add some of the new cultivars for bright spots of color in winter. Disbudding, or removing some buds now, ensures larger blooms later.

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icon what to plant lrgDecember: What to Plant…

Bedding plants: Masses of Petunia, Pansy, Snapdragon, Lobelia, Alyssum, and Viola add color in winter.

Herbs: Some cool-weather herbs to try include Parsley, Thyme, Sage, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Comfrey, and Cilantro.

Vegetables: Plant Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard, Onions, Peas, Shallots, Green Onions, Radish, Spinach, Kale, and Lettuce.

What to Do…

Cold damage: Wait until warm weather returns to cut back cold-damaged plants.

Vegetable garden: Make sure that seeds and transplants are properly spaced for good development of tubers and vegetables.

Soil test: Consider performing a soil test if plants do not perform as desired or if new plantings are planned.

Compost/mulch: Use fallen leaves to provide the carbon ingredient needed for successful composting and also to make a good mulch.

Garden pests: Continue monitoring and treat as needed. While cooler weather generally means fewer pests, some populations actually increase at this time of year.

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