We are well into the wet part of our rainy season. With that, there is no better time than now to take a quick inventory of your landscaping and note any problems that may have resulted from these recent wet conditions. This month we are going to go take a deep dive into the necessary steps that need to be incorporated into your landscaping regime to push through these final rainy months and restore your landscaping.
1) We should monitor our lawn & landscape for signs of insect damage from chinch bugs, sod webworms, mole crickets, fall armyworms and fungus disease. It is important to know what is causing the damage and as well as how to treat only the effected area where damage has occurred and not your whole property. Treating the whole property will kill off beneficial insects which could present bigger long term problems to your landscape.
2) The current rains have most likely depleted the fertilizer in our landscapes. It is a good time to apply a quality controlled balanced time released fertilizer made specifically for lawns, plants, trees as well as citrus. Granular fertilizer comes in different blends as well as different time release amounts. (3, 6,9 & 12 month release). It is important to match your turf, plants, citrus and trees with the proper balanced blend of fertilizer.
3) Now is a good time to make sure that the irrigation system is working properly and providing good coverage. A rain sensor is attached to the timer and will prevent the water from coming on when it senses that it has rained. This is a proven water conservation tool. Adjust the irrigation time schedule based on the amount of rainfall that we receive.
4) Prepare your fall vegetable garden using transplants from local garden centers to get your garden off to a fast start but seeds will give you a greater variety of plants to chose from. The only down side to this is that they will take longer to grow. Cool-season crops such as collards, lettuce, broccoli and cabbage can be planted now. Herbs that can be planted in the early fall consist of Mexican tarragon, mint, basil & rosemary.
5) Our bedding plants have taken a beating with all the rain we’ve received so its a good time to prepare new flower beds with a draining potting soil and rejuvenate them with new wax begonias, scarlet sage, celosia for the beginning of our fall color.
6) Some plants may also have not fared well with all the rain so I would suggest sticking with native hedge plants such as dahoon holly, silver or green buttonwood, firebush, coco plum. For plants that attract hummingbirds & butterflies try planting red penta, lantana, salvia, porter-weed (butterfly weed), and buddleia (butterfly bush). You can also look up additional plants to see in: Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design & Planting Shrubs in Florida Landscapes.
I hope this months to do list will help you to transform your landscape into that little tropical island paradise we all love to enjoy.
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 comments or 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 again to UF/IFAS extension office for providing some information to this article. Until next month Happy Gardening!