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Publication #ENH1191

South Florida Gardening Calendar1

Sydney Park Brown2

January

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Plants that can be added to the garden during the coolest months include begonia, browallia, lobelia, dianthus, dusty miller, and nicotiana. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Winter is a great time to plant bulbs that will bloom this spring. Some to try include Clivia lily, crinum, and agapanthus. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

Herbs: Many herbs will thrive now that temperatures are cooler, including tarragon, thyme, dill, fennel, and any of the mints. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

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

Landscape: After the danger of freezing temperatures, it's a good time to plant woody shrubs. Water frequently to get new plantings off to a good start. 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)

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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002901/00001)

Arbor Day: Celebrate Florida Arbor Day (the 3rd Friday of January) by planting a tree in your yard or community. 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)

Cold protection: Bring sensitive plants like orchids inside if a frost or freeze is predicted. Thoroughly water and cover sensitive plants in the landscape 12–24 hours before a freeze. See: Cold Protection of Ornamental Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg025) and Cold Damage on Palms (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg318)

Pests: Apply horticultural oil to citrus, shrubs, and deciduous fruit trees while plants are dormant to control scale. Apply copper spray to mangos after bloom. See: Insect Management in the Home Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh036)

Figure 1. 

Cattleya orchid


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

February

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Good performers in South Florida's mild winter include impatiens, verbena, dianthus, strawflower, and lobelia. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Many bulbs can be planted now. Divide large, crowded clumps. Provide adequate water for establishment. Some to try include Amazon lily, crinum, and agapanthus. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

Groundcovers: Consider replacing areas of grass with drought-tolerant, low-maintenance groundcovers. See: The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf)

Vegetables: Begin planting warm-season crops this month. Sweet potato, cantaloupe, eggplant, and squash can be started while temperatures are cool. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021)

Figure 2. 

Eggplant


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Lawns: Fertilize lawns this month now that growth has resumed. Choose a fertilizer (not a "weed and feed") with no or very little phosphorus unless a soil test indicates the need for it. A fertilizer with 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)

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)

Shrubs and palms: Fertilize shrubs and palms by spreading fertilizer evenly over the soil surface and watering it in. Follow with a fresh layer of mulch to conserve moisture and reduce weeds. Hold off pruning cold-damaged branches until new growth starts. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110) and Fertilization of Field-grown and Landscape Palms in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep261)

Weeds: Apply a preemergent weed killer (not a "weed and feed") to lawns late this month to prevent germination of warm-season weed seeds. Apply when temperatures rise to 65°F for 4–5 days. Timing is important for good control. See: Your Florida Lawn (http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/)

Avocados and mangos: Spray a copper fungicide to control anthracnose when avocados and mangos have lost two-thirds of their blossoms. See: Diseases of Avocado in Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002856/00001) and Some Common Diseases of Mango in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh048)

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 Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Crops for the Home Landscape: Alternatives to Citrus (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg373)

March

What to Plant

Annuals: Plant heat-tolerant annuals, such as crossandra, gazania, melampodium, and zinnia, that will last into fall. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Plant gladiola corms 6 inches apart and 4 inches deep; stake as they grow. Plant caladium for a showy tropical display all summer. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

Herbs: In addition to their culinary value, many herbs are ornamental and attract butterflies to the garden. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Warm-season crops, such as sweet corn, cucumber, watermelon, and pepper, should be planted now for late spring harvest. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021)

Figure 3. 

Caladium


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002901/00001)

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

Lawns: Fertilize lawns this month if not done in February. 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)

Pests: Monitor landscape plants for insects, especially for the presence of aphids on tender new growth. Insects become more active during warm weather. See: Ornamental Insects Sheet 2 (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002772/00001) and Landscape Integrated Pest Management (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002797/00001)

Fertilize: Fertilize palms and ornamental shrubs if not done last month. Choose a fertilizer based on each plant's needs. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110) and Ornamental Palms for South Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep009)

Lawn insects: Identify damaging insects and spot treat early to prevent widespread damage. See: Insect Management in Your Florida Lawn (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002848/00001)

Tropical and subtropical fruits: Add variety and interest to the landscape and table with exotic fruits. See: Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Crops for the Home Landscape: Alternatives to Citrus (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg373)

April

What to Plant

Annuals: Plant heat-tolerant annuals, such as coleus, vinca, and portulaca. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Cannas thrive in the heat of summer. New varieties have colorful leaves as well as flowers. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

Herbs: Some to start now include basil, coriander, cumin, and mint. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Continue planting warm-season crops, such as southern pea, bush bean, and sweet potato. Mulch beds well and monitor irrigation if the weather is dry. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021)

Figure 4. 

Lady beetle


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Marisol Amidor


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Pests: Monitor insect activity and learn which bugs damage plants and which do not. See: Ornamental Insects Sheet 1 (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002771/00001) and Ornamental Insects Sheet 2 (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002772/00001)

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)

Flowering plants: Check for thrips if leaves and/or flowers of gardenias and roses are damaged. See: Ornamental Insects Sheet 1 (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002771/00001)

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

Palms: Identify and treat environmental and nutritional disorders in palm trees. See: Palm Problems (http://flrec.ifas.ufl.edu/palm_prod/palm_problems.shtml)

Oleanders: Inspect chewed or ragged leaves for oleander caterpillars at work. See: Oleander Caterpillar, Syntomeida epilais Walker (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in135)

Fruits: Propagate fruit crops by air layering and grafting. See: Propagation of Landscape Plants (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003393/00001)

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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003393/00001) and Gardening with Perennials in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg035)

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)

May

What to Plant

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

Bulbs: Some lilies do better when their roots are crowded. Try planting Amazon, Aztec, and Clivia lilies in containers to increase blooming. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

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

Vegetables: Southern favorites to plant now include okra, southern pea, and sweet potato. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021)

Figure 5. 

Canna


Credit:

UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002771/00001), Ornamental Insects Sheet 2 (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002772/00001), and Lace Bugs on Ornamental Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg326)

Gardenias and ixora: 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) and Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms of Woody Ornamental Plants in South Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep362)

Oleanders: Inspect chewed or ragged leaves for oleander caterpillars at work. See: Oleander Caterpillar, Syntomeida epilais Walker (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) (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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002848/00001)

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

Trees: Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and prune 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)

Lawns: Prevent or minimize disease by following proper cultural practices when caring for lawns. If bahiagrass lawns are yellowing, iron may correct the problem. See: Bahiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh006) and Turfgrass Disease Management (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh040)

June

What to Plant

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

Palms: Summer's warm, rainy months are the perfect time to plant palms. Make sure not to cover the trunk with soil. See: Ornamental Palms for South Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep009) and Transplanting Palms in the Landscape (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep001)

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

Vegetables: Plant tropical vegetables, such as boniato and chayote this month. See: South Florida Tropicals (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_series_south_florida_tropicals) and Chayote – Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw. (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mv046)

Figure 6. 

Vinca


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Pests: Monitor the landscape and garden weekly for harmful insects. Knowing which insects attack a plant can aid in identification and treatment. See: Landscape Integrated Pest Management (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002797/00001)

Irrigation: Watch for drought stress and water as needed if rainfall has been spotty. Focus on new plantings and follow watering restrictions. When rains begin, shut down the irrigation system. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110)

Propagation: Produce more plants by air layering, grafting, division, or cuttings. See: Propagation of Landscape Plants (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003393/00001)

Palms and cycads: Watch for nutrient deficiencies or other problems and use an appropriate treatment. See: Physiological Disorders of Landscape Palms (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep263)

Pruning: Lightly prune summer-flowering shrubs, like hibiscus, oleander, and ixora, during the warmer months to increase blooming. See: Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002901/00001)

Lawns: Check frequently for damaged areas and keep insects in check with early treatment. 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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002848/00001) and The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf)

Soil solarization: Clean up your vegetable garden and solarize the soil for 4–6 weeks to kill pests and disease. See: Introduction to Soil Solarization (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in856)

Lightning safety: Be safe outdoors during storm season.

July

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Summer annuals to plant now include celosia, coleus, torenia, and ornamental pepper. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Butterfly lily and gladiolus are bulbs that can be planted during the middle of summer. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

Herbs: While summer is too hot to start herbs from seeds, many, such as oregano and mint, do well if started from small plants. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Start seeds now to transplant later into the fall vegetable garden. Some to try include tomato and eggplant. See: Starting the Garden with Transplants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh027)

Palms: Continue planting palms while the rainy season is in full swing. Support large palms with braces for 6–8 months after planting. Do not drive nails directly into a palm trunk. See: Ornamental Palms for South Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep009) and Transplanting Palms in the Landscape (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep001)

Figure 7. 

Oranges


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

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)

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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002848/00001)

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)

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)

Pests on ornamental plants: Inspect the leaves of ornamental plants for small white dots that may indicate lace bugs at work. Spray forcefully with water to help control this pest. See: Lace Bugs on Ornamental Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg326)

Tropical fruit trees: Check for damage to fruit or leaves and take action to minimize the effect of insects and/or disease on developing fruit or the overall health of the tree. See: Citrus Problems in the Home Landscape (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs141) and Pesticides Registered for Tropical Fruit Crops in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs177)

August

What to Plant

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

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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

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, such as okra and collards, can be started 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)

Figure 8. 

Mexican sage


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Lawns: Apply controlled-release nitrogen (not a "weed and feed") to St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass lawns this month. See: St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh010) and Zoysiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh011)

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) and Fertilization of Field-grown and Landscape Palms in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep261)

Vegetables: Solarize the vegetable garden for 4–6 weeks in preparation for fall planting if not done in July. 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)

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 those 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: If summer beds need refreshing, try scarlet sage, nasturtium, celosia, and wax begonia for color into fall. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Plant gladiolus every 2 weeks to stagger blooming, staking each plant. Add color, texture, and pattern to the garden with the many varieties of elephant's ear (Alocasia spp.) now available. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001) and Alocasia spp. Elephant's Ear (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp033)

Herbs: Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Plant cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, collards, and lettuce. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021

Shrubs: Consider placing native shrubs, like beautyberry, marlberry, firebush, and dahoon holly, where you can view the birds that enjoy them. See: The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf)

Figure 9. 

Cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Lawn problems: 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://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002848/00001)

Perennials and bulbs: Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to planting beds and monitor water needs during establishment. See: Propagation of Landscape Plants (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003393/00001)

Lawns: Fertilize bermudagrass with controlled-release nitrogen (not a "weed and feed") this month. Wait until next month to fertilize centipedegrass and bahiagrass lawns. See: Bahiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh006), Bermudagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh007), and Centipedegrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh009)

Irrigation: Check that irrigation systems are providing good coverage and operating properly before summer rains taper off. See: How to Calibrate Your Sprinkler System (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003389/00001)

Citrus: Fertilize citrus with a balanced fertilizer either this month or in October. Use controlled-release nitrogen because rain will not leach it from the soil too quickly. See: Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs132)

Vegetable gardens: 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: Even though temperatures are still warm, begin planting for the cooler months ahead. Impatiens, alyssum, and dianthus are good plants for the fall/winter garden. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Plant agapanthus, rain lily, and Clivia lily now for blooms next spring or summer. Add organic matter to the planting bed for best results. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

Herbs: A wide range of herbs can be planted from seed or transplants this month. Some to try include dill, fennel, parsley, and cilantro. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020)

Vegetables: Plant crops now that will grow and produce through the winter months. This includes beet, English pea, carrot, garlic, and onion. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021)

Figure 10. 

Strawberries


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

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

Ornamental trees and shrubs: Fertilize plants that aren't performing as desired. This is the last month of the year to fertilize shrubs and trees. Controlled-release fertilizer provides nutrients over a longer period of time. See: Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110)

Lawn fertilization: Fertilize bahiagrass and centipedegrass lawns. Choose a fertilizer (not a "weed and feed") with little or no phosphorus unless a soil test indicates a need for it. A fertilizer that contains controlled-release nitrogen will give longer-lasting results. This is the last lawn fertilization for these lawn types for the year. See: Bahiagrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh006) and Centipedegrass for Florida Lawns (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh009)

Strawberries: Prepare beds and set strawberry plants this month. Strawberries also make a colorful and tasty container planting. Either way, water daily until plants are established. See: Growing Strawberries in the Florida Home Garden (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002666/00001)

Palms: Fertilize palms this month with 8-2-12+4 Mg fertilizer. Select a formulation that has all of the nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium in slow-release form and the micronutrients in water-soluble form. See: Fertilization of Field-grown and Landscape Palms in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep261)

Oleanders: Control the oleander caterpillar, which is a year-round resident in South Florida, without harming beneficial insects by pruning off infested leaves or spraying with BT (Bacillus thuringiensis). See: Oleander Caterpillar, Syntomeida epilais Walker (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in135)

Twig girdlers: Control twig girdlers by cleaning up and destroying fallen branches that young twig girdlers can use for harborage. Small branches falling from oak and hickory trees may be the work of twig girdlers. See: Insect Borers of Trees and Shrubs (http://ufdc.ufl.edu//IR00004256/00001)

November

What to Plant

Bedding plants: Create a display of fall colors with cool-season plants. Some to try include impatiens, strawflower, cape daisy, and pansy. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Many bulbs like to get their start in cool weather. Bulbs to plant this month include amaryllis, crinum, and the many varieties of elephant's ear. See: Bulbs for Florida (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002886/00001)

Herbs: Continue planting herbs from seeds or plants. 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)

Figure 11. 

Hydroponic lettuce and herbs


Credit:

UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Perennials: Divide and replant overgrown perennials and bulbs now so that they establish before the coolest weather arrives. See: Propagation of Landscape Plants (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003393/00001)

Fungal disease: Watch for brown patch and large patch until May. These fungal diseases cause areas of grass to turn brown. Since treatment is difficult, prevention with proper cultural practices is key. See: Brown Patch (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh044)

Scale insects: Take advantage of lower temperatures to apply horticultural oil sprays to control scale insects. See: Scale Insects and Mealybugs on Ornamental Plants (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002883/00001)

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)

Poinsettias: Watch for hornworms on poinsettias planted in the landscape. This pest can quickly defoliate a plant. Handpick or treat only the infested area. See: Poinsettias at a Glance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep349)

Lawns: Plant ryegrass to cover bare patches in the lawn. See: Your Florida Lawn (http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/)

December

What to Plant

Bedding plants: To add color to the winter garden, plant masses of begonia, impatiens, and geranium. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319)

Bulbs: Amaryllis is a popular plant for the holiday season. It can be forced to bloom now or planted outdoors for spring blooms. See: Amaryllis (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep060)

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

Vegetables: Reliable cool-season vegetables to plant this month include celery, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, and carrot. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021)

Figure 12. 

Poinsettia


Credit:

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

What to Do

Poinsettias: Enjoy one of the most popular holiday plants. Protect it from cold until spring, and then plant it in the garden for next year. See: Poinsettias at a Glance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep349)

Irrigation: Irrigate if the weather has been warm and dry. Monitor plants for signs of stress and water only as needed. See: Water Efficiently (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/handbook/Water_Efficiently_vSept09.pdf)

Fungal disease: Continue monitoring for brown patch and large patch fungal disease until May. Proper cultural practices are key for control. See: Brown Patch (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh044)

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 and other plant debris 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)

Landscape and 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)

Holiday trees: Consider enjoying a live southern red cedar and then plant it in the landscape when the holidays are over. See: Christmas Tree Selection and Care (http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/potpourri/holiday/xmastree_care.html)

Protect: Protect tender orchid, impatiens, and tomato from falling temperatures. See: Cold Protection of Ornamental Plants (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg025)

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 South Florida Extension horticulture agents who reviewed this publication and contributed their expertise: Deborah Levulis, Dan Culbert, and Dee Dee Dilger. 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 ENH1191, 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.