monthly timetable of gardening chores:
Drier Weather is Here!
most wonderful time
of the year to garden in the Sunshine state. There are many reasons for
this. First, the weather is much cooler and the humidity
be lower. Most all of the flowers that we loved to grow
now can be grown down here (at least for the next couple of months
before the heat and humidity return). And almost everything seems to be
in bloom (especially orchids)!
you began your
vegetables a couple of months ago you should be now, or shortly will
be, seeing the fruits of your labor. But be careful of garden pests,
such as caterpillars, cutworms, leafhoppers, aphids, thrips and other
critters making plans to harvest
before you do.
season has finally ended. Which is good news. The bad news is that
December is a dry month, so you must be sure to water your plants
regularly. This is especially important if the rare blast of polar air
should make its way down here from north of Canada, as had happened in
1961, 1977, 1983, and 1985.
not your garden is less susceptible to frost damage when the ground is
wet rather than dry. So be sure to water your plants well the night
before a hard freeze is expected.
protection tips include
moving mulch away from young plants since mulch prevents the upward
soil to the plants
and will make your plants freeze faster. Putting sheets over your most
tender plants works well in creating an insulating boundary.
Return-stack heaters can be used to prevent frost damage by raising the
temperature of the surrounding air (this is the most often used
protection by citrus groves during freezes). Some large-scale farms
even go to the extent of hiring helicopters to fly low over their crops
to keep the air stirred-up so the colder air does not settle too long
near the ground and do damage to their tender plants.
starting a traditional garden this month are:
Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots,
Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive,
Escarole, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onion Sets, Parsley, Peppers,
Pumpkins, Rhubarb, Romaine, Rutabagas, Spinach, Squash, Strawberries,
Sweet Corn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and almost any other
vegetable you desire.
Anise, Basil, Borage, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Fennel, Garlic,
Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame, Sweet
Marjoram, Thyme and most other herbs.
Amaryllis, Asters, Baby's Breath, Bachelor's Buttons, Balsam,
Calendulas, Callas, Candytufts, Carnations, Cosmos, Cockscombs,
Daisies, Dianthus, Forget-Me-Nots, Gaillardias, Gladiolas, Globe
Amaranth, Hollyhocks, Lace Flowers, Lilies, Lobelias, Lupines,
Marigolds, Narcissus, Sweet Felching Nasturtiums, Pansies, Salvias,
Scabiosa, Snapdragons, Statice, Stock, Strawflowers, Sweetpeas, Sweet
William, Verbenas, and other cool season flowers.
Sources: Florida Home Grown;
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
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