January’s Tips & Tricks for South Florida Landscapes

First, I would like wish you, ” Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year”!  Second, I would to thank my daughter Kara who got me started with my web and this blog a year ago and getting me into the 21st century. I hope that you continue to enjoy the helpful tips that are provided and will continue to bring you the latest & up to date  information concerning landscaping & its industry. So, with that being said, the following helpful check list of the things we can do in our gardens and enjoy doing it because the weather is simply beautiful.

Trees and Shrubs: Prune non-spring flowering shrubs and trees this month to improve there form. Dead wood branch removal of all hardwoods can also be done. While Crapemyrtles do not require pruning, removing seed pods, crossing branches, and small growth improves there appearance and form of the plant. If you are not sure how, hire a certified arborist.

Pests: To control scale on citrus, shrubs, and deciduous fruit trees, apply horticultural oil while plants are dormant. Apply copper spray to mangoes after there bloom, prevention with proper cultural practices is key.  If you are not sure, hire a Florida certified pest control operator.

Irrigation: Plants may need additional water if temperatures remain higher than normal and rainfall is scarce.  Most residential & commercial properties have automatic sprinkler systems and should be tested monthly. Rain sensors (automatically shut off during rain) to irrigation systems should be checked and adjusted to lowest setting. To much water will cause fungus & disease in our landscapes & turf. Plants need less supplemental watering in cooler weather.  Monitor for signs of stress and water only if needed.

Lawns :  To prevent cold weather weeds from growing set mowing heights at the highest recommended heights,  St. Augustine & Bahia turf @ 4″,  Dwarf St. Augustine @2.5″. Mulching the cut grass will add nutrients back to the roots and soil. To prevent or minimize disease in turf, proper cultural practices should be used.

Plants:  Major planting should be held off until March when warm weather returns and after the danger of freezing temperatures has past. If you must plant trees, shrubs or perennials water them until they are established.

Bedding plants: Plants that can be added to the garden areas during the coolest months include begonia, dusty miller, dianthus, lobelia and nicotiana.

Vegetables: Continue planting cool season crops that include lettuce, beets, cabbage, turnips and broccoli..

Herbs: Many herbs will thrive in temperatures that are cooler, including dill, fennel, thyme, tarragon and any of the many mints .

Plant Protection:  If a frost or freeze is predicted, bring in sensitive plants like orchids & patio plants inside. Water sensitive plants in the landscape thoroughly before a freeze and cover. Remove covering after freeze has past making sure covering does not touch plantings.

I hope the list we have prepared for you helps you with tips to improve your gardens & landscapes. If you need help regarding your landscape, we at Garden Services are fully licensed & insured to handle all of your irrigation, landscaping, lawn maintenance and tree service needs whether it’s a residential, commercial or homeowner association property  If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Special thanks to UF/IFAS extension offices for some helpful information provided to this post.