By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley [email protected]!.?.! There is an
inevitability to the seasons, however
they are definitely less foreseeable these days. Throughout the nation we’ve had an unprecedented summer of appalling floods, scary wildfires, and some areas in the west are handling a mega-drought. In northeast Florida I am happy that, since the second week in September, we seem to have gotten away more severe climate conditions. As the summertime garden unwind, my patch of cardinal’s guard(Odontonema strictum )has been entering
its own. Its stunning red flower spikes are bring in hummingbirds, which chase after each other around intensely, as if there aren’t adequate flowers to feed them all. There are masses of firebush(Hamelia patens )flowers too, so they truly don’t require to fret. There are butterflies galore due to the fact that we likewise feed their larvae: exotic Dutchman’s pipevines(Aristolochia sp.) offer food for gold rim swallowtail caterpillars and maypop vines(Passiflora incarnata )feed the caterpillars of zebra longwings, our state butterfly, and gulf fritillaries. Add to the mix a range of useful pollinators like bees, syrphid flies, wasps, small skippers, larger swallowtail butterflies, and yellow sulphur butterflies, well, the garden is never dull. With the numbers of pollinators and pests in general falling, now is a great time to add suitable plants to the landscape to assist them. Shrubs and hardy perennials planted in autumn will
develop their root systems in the cooler winter months as well as provide shelter for overwintering bugs. For more concepts about what to grow, see https://tinyurl.com/2vcvzcdz. If you have a flower garden, check to see if there are any volunteers that could be transferred to better positions. Perennials that have actually ended up flowering can be moved now and if big enough they might be divided to make more
plants. Wait to move fall-flowering perennials till they have actually finished their program. This publication, https://tinyurl.com/mrxx8bhz, is a beneficial resource, specifically if you want to try propagating plants from your own lawn. The Florida Wildflower Foundation has some excellent information if you want to attempt your hand at growing your own wildflowers: https://www.flawildflowers.org/brochures/. You’ll discover how to collect and sow seed, and significantly when to do so for the very best results.
There’s a pamphlet on 20 Easy to Grow Wildflowers, info on how to select ideal plants for your specific site conditions, and a great deal more besides. The Florida Wildflower Cooperative has more details on growing wildflowers and sells seeds: https://www.floridawildflowers.com/. Growing vegetables in the cooler months can be extremely satisfying. After the hot, damp summer season, the gentler weather condition is something to really value. Choosing fresh leafy fruit and vegetables and bringing it straight to the kitchen area can’t be beat. I have actually found brassicas, like cabbages, kales, and broccoli, do well. Onion seedlings, purchased locally in packages of 50 or 100, work for me, rather than growing from seed. In October, fall-planted veggies consist of lettuce, Swiss chard, mustards, carrots, and spinach. To spread the harvest, plant smaller quantities of seed at intervals. For more details, see the Florida Vegetable Gardeners Guide(https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/VH021). In early November, it is still possible to plant strawberries. Refer to the monthly gardening calendar, another helpful resource: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/ep451#SECTION_10. Pleased cool season gardening! Image courtesy Lesley Arrandale Cardinal’s guard.