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Publication #ENH1190

North Florida Gardening Calendar1

Sydney Park Brown2

January

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Cool-season annuals include pansy, viola, petunia, and snapdragon. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Crinum, agapanthus, and gloriosa lily can be planted now. Mulch to protect from cold temperatures. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Camellias: Select and plant camellia this month. Visit local nurseries now for the best selection of colors and forms. See: Camellias at a Glance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep002)

Figure 1. 

Camellia


Credit:

UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Vegetables: Continue planting cool-season crops, including beet, cabbage, turnip, lettuce, and broccoli. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

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. See: Deciduous Fruits for the Home Gardener in North Florida and North Central Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg211)

Cold protection: Be ready to cover tender plants to minimize damage. Frost or freezes are likely this month and next. See: Cold Protection of Ornamental Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg025)

Irrigation: Water plants if temperatures remain higher than normal and rainfall is scarce. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110)

Shrubs and trees: Prune non-spring flowering shrubs and trees this month to improve form. See: Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg087)

Arbor Day: Celebrate Florida Arbor Day (the third Friday of January) by planting a tree in your yard or community. Consider a hurricane-resistant tree, such as live oak (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st564), bald cypress (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr008), cabbage palm (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st575), or crapemyrtle (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg266). See: Arbor Day Foundation - Florida (http://www.arborday.org/states/index.cfm?state=FL)

Crapemyrtle: Remove seed pods, crossing branches and small twiggy growth to improve the appearance and form of the plant, if desired. Hard pruning is not required. See: Crapemyrtle in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg266)

Pests: Control scale on citrus, shrubs, camellias, and deciduous fruit trees; apply horticultural oil while plants are dormant. See: Landscape Integrated Pest Management (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in109)

February

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Plants that can take a chill include dianthus, pansy, viola, and dusty miller. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Try dahlia, crinum, and agapanthus. Provide adequate water for establishment and protect them from cold with mulch. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Flowering plants: Many trees and shrubs will be in bloom, including red maple (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st041) and star magnolia (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st382)

Vegetables: Plant potatoes now. Buy healthy seed pieces from a local nursery and plant 3 in. deep. Do not add lime to the potato planting bed. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

What to Do

Palms: Give cold-damaged palms proper care to encourage their recovery. See: Cold Damage on Palms (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg318)

Citrus: Avoid pruning until spring. Cold temperatures may still injure citrus. See: Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs132)

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. See: Growing Roses in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep339)

Figure 2. 

Rose


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Eric Zamora


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

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. See: The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf) and Planting Shrubs in Florida Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep390)

Lawn: Apply a preemergent weed killer (not a “weed and feed” fertilizer) when temperatures rise to 65°F for 4–5 days to prevent warm-season weeds. Timing is important for good control. See: Weed Management in Home Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep141)

Citrus and other fruit trees: Fertilize now if not done in January. Frequency and amount of fertilization depend on the age of the tree. See: Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs132) and Deciduous Fruits for the Home Gardener in North Florida and North Central Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg211)

March

What to Plant

Annuals: 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. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Plant dahlia, canna, and gloriosa bulbs for spring and summer flowering. Provide stakes as needed to support growth. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Herbs: Consider growing edible ginger (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mv067). Plant a rhizome in well-drained soil in full to part sun. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Plant warm-season crops, such as bean, tomato, squash, and corn, early in the month for late spring harvest. Protect from frost. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

Figure 3. 

Tomato


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Sally Lanigan


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Azaleas: Prune azaleas just after plants finish blooming to shape or produce a fuller plant. See: Azaleas at a Glance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg019)

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. See: Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg087)

Palms and shrubs: Fertilize palms (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep359), azaleas, camellias, and other ornamental shrubs if needed. Choose a fertilizer in which at least 30% of its nitrogen is slow release. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110) Planting Shrubs in Florida Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep390)

Irrigation: Check sprinkler systems for issues, such as broken heads or inefficient spray patterns. See: How to Calibrate Your Sprinkler System (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh026)

April

What to Plant

Annuals: New varieties of coleus do well in sun or shade and provide vivid colors and patterns for months. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: This is an ideal time to plant many bulbs. Consider blood lily, caladium, or canna. Louisiana iris (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp286) and others make beautiful cut flowers. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Figure 4. 

Yellow canna


Credit:

UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Herbs: Plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, oregano, sage, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Continue planting warm-season crops. Plant okra and cucumber. Mulch well to prevent weeds and provide irrigation if rainfall is lacking. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

What to Do

Pests: Monitor landscape plants weekly for aphids on tender new growth. See: Ornamental Insects Sheet 2 (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in024) and Landscape Integrated Pest Management (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in109)

Beneficials: Identify and conserve beneficial insects. Some insects should be encouraged in your yard! See: Beneficial Insects (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_beneficial_insects)

Perennials and bulbs: Divide clumps of bulbs, ornamental grasses, or herbaceous perennials to expand or rejuvenate garden beds or to pass along to friends. See: Propagation of Landscape Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg108) and Gardening with Perennials in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg035)

Lawn insects: Rule out cultural problems, such as lack of water, that mimic insect damage before applying a pesticide. See: Insect Pest Management on Turfgrass (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig001)

Lawns: Apply fertilizer no sooner than mid-April after new growth has started. Choose a fertilizer (not a "weed and feed") with little or no phosphorus unless a soil test indicates the need for it. A fertilizer with controlled-release nitrogen yields longer-lasting results. See:Your Florida Lawn (http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/), Bahiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh006), Bermudagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh007), Centipedegrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh009), St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh010), and Zoysiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh011)

Shrubs: Choose from a wide variety of shrubs to add to the landscape now. See: The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf) and Planting Shrubs in Florida Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep390)

Trees: Consider planting a spring-blooming tree, such as fringetree (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st161), Carolina Silverbell (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st288), or redbud (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st145)

Mulch: Add mulch to minimize weeds and conserve moisture during dry weather. Organic mulches add nutrients to the soil. See: Landscape Mulches: What Are the Choices in Florida? (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr079)

May

What to Plant

Annuals: Plants that can take summer heat include salvia, angelonia, wax begonia, and ornamental pepper. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Planting early-, mid-, and late-blooming varieties of daylily (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep006) ensures months of color from these low-maintenance plants. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Herbs: Continue to plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, oregano, sage, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Southern favorites to plant now are okra, southern pea, and sweet potato. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

What to Do

Pests: Watch for thrips, scale, and mites on ornamental plants because they become more active in warm weather. See: Ornamental Insects Sheet 1 (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in023) and Ornamental Insects Sheet 2 (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in024)

Gardenias: Distinguish between the normal yellowing of older leaves and the yellowing of new growth, which usually indicates a micronutrient deficiency. See: Growing Gardenias in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg336)

Oleanders: Inspect chewed or ragged leaves for oleander caterpillars at work. See: Oleander Caterpillar (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in135)

Lawn insects: Watch for damage from chinch bugs in St. Augustinegrass and begin scouting for newly hatched mole crickets in bahiagrass lawns. See: Insect Management in Your Florida Lawn (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh034)

Tomatoes: Watch for pests, disease, and nutritional disorders on tomato plants. See: Tomatoes in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh028)

Lawns: If not done last month, apply a fertilizer (not a “weed and feed”) without phosphorus unless a soil test indicates the need for it. A fertilizer containing controlled-release nitrogen yields longer-lasting results. See: Bahiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh006), Bermudagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh007), Centipedegrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh009), St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh010), and Zoysiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh011)

New plants: Produce more plants by air layering, grafting, division, or cuttings. See: Propagation of Landscape Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg108)

Figure 5. 

Hibiscus


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Marisol Amador


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Trees: Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and pruning if needed. Hire an ISA-certified arborist. See: International Society of Arboriculture (http://isa-arbor.com/), Developing a Preventative Pruning Program: Young Trees (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep315), and Developing a Preventative Pruning Program: Mature Trees (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep316)

Lawn pests: Discourage insects, weeds, and disease by mowing correctly. See: Mowing Your Florida Lawn (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh028)

June

What to Plant

Annuals: Annuals that can take full sun during hot summer months include celosia, portulaca, vinca, and some coleus. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Perennials: Add bright color to the landscape with varieties of salvia, including blue sage, ‘Hot Lips’ salvia, Mexican sage (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp527), and rose leaf sage. See: Gardening with Perennials in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg035)

Palms: Summer’s warm, rainy weather is the perfect time to plant palms. Make sure not to cover the trunk with soil. See: Palms for North Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep359) and Transplanting Palms in the Landscape (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep001)

Herbs: Plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary. Pinch back regularly to prevent flowering and enhance branching. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Plant okra, southern pea, lima bean, and sweet potato. It’s too late to plant tomatoes. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

Figure 6. 

Eggplant


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Pests: Monitor the landscape weekly for harmful insects. Knowing which insects commonly attack a plant can aid in identification and treatment. See: Landscape Integrated Pest Management (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in109)

Irrigation: Watch for drought stress and water as needed if rainfall has been spotty. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110)

Palms and cycads: Watch for nutrient deficiencies or environmental problems with palms and correct using an appropriate treatment. Keep lawn fertilizers away from the root zone. See: Physiological Disorders of Landscape Palms (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep263)

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. See: Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg087)

Lawns: Determine whether yellow and brown lawn patches are caused by chinch bugs, disease, or lack of water. Take time to determine the cause so your remedy is effective. Rejuvenate areas where grass doesn’t grow well by replacing it with versatile groundcovers. See: Insect Management in Your Florida Lawn (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh034), Turfgrass Disease Management (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh040), Your Florida Lawn (http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/), and The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf)

July

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. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Figure 7. 

Mexican sage


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Bulbs: Butterfly lily, gladiolus, and society garlic can be planted during the middle of summer. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Palms: Continue planting palms while the rainy season is in full swing. Support large palms with braces for 6–8 months after planting. Nails should not be driven directly into a palm trunk. See: Palms for North Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep359) and Transplanting Palms in the Landscape (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep001)

Vegetables: Watermelon, pepper, okra, southern pea, and eggplant can be planted now as long as water is provided during dry spells. Watch for caterpillars and aphids on leaves and fruit. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

What to Do

Lawns: Determine the cause of any lawn problems before taking action. If an insect is the culprit, treat only the affected area. Rule out disease or sprinkler malfunction. See: Insect Management in Your Florida Lawn (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh034), Turfgrass Disease Management (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh040), and Your Florida Lawn (http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/)

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. See: Introduction to Soil Solarization (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in856) and Managing Nematodes for the Non-Commercial Vegetable Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ng005)

Azaleas: Prune no later than mid-July to protect developing buds for next spring’s bloom. See: Azaleas at a Glance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg019)

Irrigation: Install an inexpensive rain shutoff device to save money by overriding an irrigation system when it rains. If one is already installed, check that it is operating properly. See: Residential Irrigation System Rainfall Irrigation Shutoff Devices (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae221)

Trees: Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and pruning if needed. Hire an ISA-certified arborist. See: International Society of Arboriculture (http://isa-arbor.com/), Developing a Preventative Pruning Program: Young Trees (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep315), and Developing a Preventative Pruning Program: Mature Trees (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep316)

Pests on ornamental plants: Inspect for caterpillars on trees and shrubs. Large trees can normally withstand caterpillar feeding, but specimen shrubs may need treatment if damage is extensive. See: Caterpillars that Defoliate Trees and Shrubs (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in628)

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. See: Deciduous Fruits for the Home Gardener in North Florida and North Central Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg211)

August

What to Plant

Bedding plants: The hottest days of summer limit planting now to heat-tolerant vinca, gaillardia, bulbine, and coleus. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Figure 8. 

Vinca


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Bulbs: Aztec lily, butterfly lily, walking iris, and spider lily can be planted any time of the year, even late summer. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Herbs: Herbs that can be planted from plants (not seeds) include bay laurel, ginger, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Many cool-season crops can be planted now, including a final crop of warm-season vegetables, such as pepper. Tomato can also be planted for the fall garden. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

What to Do

Lawns: Determine the cause of any damage to the lawn so the proper remedy is used. Damage from insects, disease, or irrigation failure can produce similar symptoms. Use a sharp mower blade and only remove a third of the grass blade to reduce stress on the lawn. See: Insect Management in Your Florida Lawn (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh034), Turfgrass Disease Management (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh040), and Your Florida Lawn (http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/)

Palms: Check older fronds for yellowing as it may indicate a magnesium or potassium deficiency. Apply an appropriate palm fertilizer. See: Nutrient Deficiencies of Landscape and Field-Grown Palms in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep273)

Poinsettias: Pinch back poinsettias and mums before the end of the month to allow time for buds to form for winter bloom. See: Poinsettias at a Glance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep349)

Ornamental plants: Fertilize plants that show signs of deficiencies. Rapid growth and leaching rains may result in nutrient deficiencies in some plants. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110)

Bedding plants: Remove spent blooms, cut back, and fertilize flowering annuals and perennials to extend the bloom season into the fall months. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319) and Gardening with Perennials in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg035)

September

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Try ageratum, celosia, zinnia, and wax begonia for color into fall. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Add color, texture, and pattern to the garden with the many varieties of elephant’s ear (Alocasia spp.), calla, narcissus, and zephyr lily. See: Alocasia spp. Elephant's Ear (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp033) and Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Herbs: Plant Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Plant cool-season vegetable crops, such as radish, carrot, cabbage, and lettuce. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

Figure 9. 

Hydroponic lettuce and herbs


Credit:

UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Lawn insects: Continue to monitor the lawn for signs of insect damage. Fall armyworms, chinch bugs, mole crickets, and sod webworms are still active this month. See: Insect Management in Your Florida Lawn (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh034)

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. See: Propagation of Landscape Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg108)

Lawns: Fertilize bahiagrass, bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass lawns this month. Choose a fertilizer with no or very little phosphorus unless a soil test indicates a need for it. A fertilizer containing controlled-release nitrogen yields longer-lasting results. See: Bahiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh006), Bermudagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh007), St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh010), and Zoysiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh011)

Lawn weeds: Maintain healthy grass because it is the best defense against weeds. Avoid "weed and feed" products; only apply herbicides to areas with weed infestations. See: Weed Management in Home Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep141)

Flowering perennials: Plant firebush, firespike, russelia, and other perennials to supply nectar for visiting hummingbirds. See: Gardening with Perennials in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg035)

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. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021)

October

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Plant digitalis (foxglove), petunia, and shasta daisy in the fall garden. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Fragrant daffodil varieties for North Florida include 'Carlton', 'Fortune', 'Silver Chimes', 'Thalia', and 'Sweetness'. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Herbs: Some to try from plants or seed include dill, fennel, oregano, and sage. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Plant cool crops, such as beet, Brussels sprout, carrot, and onion. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

What to Do

Lawn weeds: Control winter weeds in lawns before they appear. Preemergent herbicides must be applied at the right time to be effective. Apply when nighttime temps are 55°F –60°F for 4–5 days. Avoid "weed and feed" products. See: Weed Management in Home Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep141)

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. See: Planting Shrubs in Florida Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep390) and Hollies in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg021)

Pine needles: Gather pine needles that are dropping and use them as natural mulch. See: Landscape Mulches: What Are the Choices in Florida? (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr079)

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. See: Growing Strawberries in the Florida Home Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs403)

Figure 10. 

Strawberry


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Lawns: Overseed with annual ryegrass when daytime temps are in the low 70s for a green lawn all winter. Lawns start to lose color as the weather cools. See: Overseeding Florida Lawns for Winter Color (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep098)

Lawn disease: Watch for brown patch and large patch, fungal diseases that cause areas of grass to turn brown. Since treatment is difficult, prevention with proper cultural practices is key. The disease becomes active when the soil temperature, measured 2–4 in. deep, is between 65°F and 75°F and goes dormant when the weather warms in May. See: Brown Patch (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh044)

November

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Pansy, viola, and chrysanthemum create great fall color. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Bulbs to plant include amaryllis, crinum, and daylily. Plant spider lily in partial shade. Plants produce foliage in winter, and beautiful red flowers emerge in late summer. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029)

Figure 11. 

Crinum lily


Credit:

UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Herbs: A wide variety of herbs like cooler, dryer weather, including cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, sage, and thyme. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Continue planting cool-season crops, such as beet, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, kale, and lettuce. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

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. See: Cold Protection of Ornamental Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg025)

Scale insects: Apply dormant oil sprays to control scale insects on trees and shrubs. See: Scale Insects and Mealybugs on Ornamental Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg005)

Irrigation: Turn off systems and water only if needed. Plants need less supplemental watering in cooler weather. See: Water Efficiently (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/handbook/Water_Efficiently_vSept09.pdf)

Flowering trees: Consider planting an ornamental Taiwan cherry. Late winter brings pink blooms. See: The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf)

Birds: Make a small brush pile from plant debris in the back of the yard for birds. See: Landscaping Backyards for Wildlife: Top Ten Tips for Success (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw175)

Camellias: Add some of the new cultivars for bright spots of color in winter. Disbudding, or removing some buds now, ensures larger blooms later. See: Camellias at a Glance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep002)

December

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Masses of petunia, pansy, snapdragon, lobelia, alyssum, and viola add color in winter. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Amaryllis can be forced to bloom now or planted outdoors for spring blooms. See: Amaryllis (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep060)

Herbs: Some cool-weather herbs to try include parsley, thyme, sage, dill, fennel, garlic, comfrey, and cilantro. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Reliable cool-season vegetables include English pea, radish, cabbage, beet, and broccoli. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021)

What to Do

Poinsettias: Enjoy one of the most popular indoor holiday plants. With proper care, this colorful plant gives weeks of color. See: Poinsettias at a Glance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep349)

Figure 12. 

Poinsettia


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Cold damage: Wait until warm weather returns to cut back cold-damaged plants. See: Cold Protection of Ornamental Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg025)

Vegetable garden: Make sure that seeds and transplants are properly spaced for good development of tubers and vegetables. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021)

Houseplants: Inspect regularly for pests on indoor plants. Keep in mind that plant-specific temperature, light, and humidity are key to ensuring that indoor plants thrive. See: Managing Pests of Indoor Plantscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig110)

Soil test: Consider performing a soil test if plants do not perform as desired or if new plantings are planned. See: Soil Testing (http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/agriculture/soil_testing.html)

Compost/mulch: Use fallen leaves to provide the carbon ingredient needed for successful composting and also to make a good mulch. See: Compost Tips for the Home Gardener (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep323)

Garden pests: Continue monitoring and treat as needed. While cooler weather generally means fewer pests, some populations actually increase at this time of year. See: Insect Management in the Home Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh036)

What to Do Every Month

UF Resources for Gardeners

UF/IFAS Publications (EDIS) (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/)

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/)

Solutions For Your Life (http://solutionsforyourlife.com)

Gardening in a Minute Radio Program (http://gardeninginaminute.com)

Florida Master Gardener Program (http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/mastergardener/)

Living Green (http://livinggreen.ifas.ufl.edu/)

Acknowledgements

The author wishes to thank the North Florida Extension agents who reviewed this publication and contributed their expertise: Ray Zerba and Beth Bolles. Also, many thanks to Carolyn Wildes and Mary Derrick, Consumer Horticulture program assistants, for their time and dedication to the Florida Gardening Calendar project.

Footnotes

1.

This document is ENH1190, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date April 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Sydney Park Brown, associate professor and Extension specialist - consumer horticulture, Environmental Horticulture Department, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.