monthly timetable of gardening chores:
Now: Many plants are busy
now putting out new green growth, flowers or both. Now is the time to
plants so that nutrition may be put to use to form healthy new foliage,
abundant flowers and healthy fruit.
apply fertilizer at the rate recommended by the
manufacturer then water the fertilizer in to get it into the upper few
of soil where the plant's roots can absorb it. If
your plants are mulched, simply apply
the fertilizer on top of the
mulch and water it in.
not neglect to feed your potted plants. The
best fertilizers to use on potted plants
are either soluble fertilizers (such as Peters)
or a time-release type that
will continue to feed for several months.
be aware that different stages in a plant's growth will
require the use of different types of fertilizers.
Plants that are producing foliage will
benefit more from a fertilizer high in nitrogen -- the "N" value of the
product. Nitrogen is used by plants for
the normal healthy growth of green plant tissues such as leaves and
stems. Be careful though as too much
cause rapid growth of leaves and soft stems, which tend to be an open
invitation for attack by pests and diseases. Plants
in bloom will benefit from a high "P" value. "P" stands for Phosphorous. Phosphorus
is responsible for good
root development, disease resistance and flower and fruit production. The "K"
value--Potash--also helps to promote disease resistance in plants as
encouraging higher fruit production.
Shrubs: Two techniques are used
for pruning shrubs. These are called heading and thinning.
this method, branches
are cut back to healthy buds. This leaves a cut close to a bud from
this process, a shoot
or branch is completely removed either back to ground level or back to
main branch or trunk. No prominent stub remains.
heading back, always make the cut above a healthy bud. A
cut on a slight slant, 1/4 inch above the bud is the correct method.
bud should be located on the side of the branch that faces the
preferred for the new growth. Some plants will have two buds opposite
other on the stem. When such stems are cut, it is often desirable to
of the buds. If both are allowed to grow, a forked and often weak stem
Mulch, Mulch!: During
this terribly dry weather it cannot be stressed enough how valuable
is. Mulch preserves moisture in the
soil; protects the soil from the intense heat of the sun; provides a
supply of organic material; prevents the quick drying of the soil
and dry periods; gives some protection to plants against root knot
nematodes; and improves soil texture.
April in the Florida Garden is also the time for
(Plumeria) to begin blooming and Gardenias to begin budding and
blooming. You may have noticed that some
of your trees have been dropping leaves. This
is quite normal for Oak, Mahogany,
Black Olive, Poinciana and a few
other species of trees. Many are now or will be covered soon with
green foliage and some (such as the blue Jacaranda), with an explosion
Enjoy April, it is the last month of Florida's cool-season.
May's rains begin to usher in Florida's famously hot and humid
summer. As in March, if you insist on
traditional "Northern Garden"
the following plants are
recommended for planting this month:
Chayote, Cherry Tomato, Collard Greens, Cow Peas, Cucumbers, Dasheen,
Artichoke, Jicama, Lima Beans, Malabar Spinach, Malanga, Mustard, New
Spinach, Okra, Papayas, Peanuts, Pumpkins, Snap Beans, Squash, Sweet
Turnips, Watermelons and Yams.
Basil, Borage, Chives, Dill, Sweet
Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Thyme.
Flowers: Ageratum, Aster,
Begonia, Balsam (Impatiens),
Blue Daze, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos, Cockscomb, Gaillardias, Globe
Marigolds, Morning Glory, Pentas, Periwinkles, Petunias, Portulacas,
Strawflowers, Torenia, Vincas and Zinnias.
Agapanthus, Amaryllis, Asiatic
Lilies, Begonias, Blood Lily, Caladiums, Canna, Crinum, Dahlia,
Gloriosa Lily and Zephyranthes.
Florida Home Grown; Florida Gardening Month by Month
Garden in Sarasota
1825 4th Street N, St Pete.
County Extension Service calendar for lots more gardening
Beautiful Commission in St. Petersburg
Kopsick Palm Arboretum in St. Petersburg
Monthly meetings at Moccasin Lake
2750 Park Trail Ln., Clearwater:
1st Monday, October – May, 7:00-9:00pm.
Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
First Wednesday of month, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
3rd Thursday, 7:30-9:30pm