September Tips & Tricks for South Florida Landscapes

With fall right around the corner, now is the time to get started with our vegetable & herb gardens. There are many varieties of plants that we can use starting at this time of year in preparation of a fall harvest. Some of the herbs will include rosemary, thyme, and sage as well as our annual herbs that include parsley & cilantro. Cool-season crops such as broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale and lettuce can be planted now.

What to plant this month

Annuals: All new bedding areas should have additional composted soil added that may have been depleted from the summer rains. Some plants to add some color should include Dusty Miller, Portulaca, Snapdragon, Petunia, Geranium, Zinnia, Kalanchoe and Wax Begonia. These annuals also have a moderate to high salt tolerance so they can also be planted along the coast.

Bulbs: Plant gladiolus every two weeks to stagger blooms, staking them individually. Add color, texture and patterns with the many varieties of alocasia that are now available.

Herbs: Plant herbs that tolerate the warm weather temperatures of early fall such as basil, mint, Mexican tarragon and rosemary.

Vegetables: Now is the time to start to prepare for your vegetable garden. Using transplants from our local garden center will get your garden off to a fast start but seeds will provide you will a greater variety. Cool season crops such as broccoli,collards, cabbage, and lettuce can be planted now.

What to do this month

Citrus: Fertilize citrus with a granular well balanced fertilizer with controlled-released nitrogen that will not leach from the soil too quickly

Irrigation: Automatic timers should have there rain sensors turned on and activated to prevent excess watering which could result in a fungus or disease in your grass. Before summer rains taper off a wet check of your system should be performed to make sure that it has proper coverage and performing properly. Adjust irrigation systems based on rainfall.

Lawns: Continue to monitor your lawn for signs of insect damage. Fall armyworms, chinch bugs and sod webworms will be active in our turfs. Mow lawns at recommended heights:• St. Augustine & Bahia: 3-4”,• Centipede: 1.5-2.0”• Dwarf St. Augustine: 2.5”

Ornamentals: Consider placing native shrubs like beautyberry, marlberry, firebush, and dahoon holly where you can view birds that enjoy them. Deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms.

Newly planted herbs, vegetables, grass, trees, shrubs and perennials should be watered daily until their root system has been established.

Palms: Check older fronds of your palms for yellowing, this may indicate a magnesium or potassium deficiency. If they have a deficiency, apply a appropriate palm fertilizer with minor elements.

Poinsettias: Pinch back your poinsettias & chrysanthemums before the end of the month to allow time for buds to grow for a winter bloom.

Newly planted grass, trees, shrubs and perennials should be watered daily until their root system has been established.

If you need help regarding your landscaping, we at Garden Services are fully licensed & insured to handle all your irrigation, landscaping, lawn maintenance and tree service needs whether it’s a residential, commercial landscaping or homeowner association property. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email me and I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Special thanks to UF/IFAS extension for some helpful information provided in this post. Until next month, Happy Gardening!