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Season By Season Florida Landscape Maintenance

Season By Season: Florida Landscape Maintenance

Landscaping in Florida can be tricky, but it’s much easier if you modify your lawn work checklist in accordance with the seasons. The climate allows you to grow something in every season, so you’ll stay busy and fulfilled all year. For the best landscaping luck in Florida, follow this season by season guide.

Seasonal Guide for Landscaping in Florida

Spring Landscape Maintenance

Although the four seasons may not be as distinct in Florida as in other states, spring is still an inspiring season to begin new projects.

Lawn Care

In warmer climates, spring is the season for the majority of your lawn work. Whether you hire professionals or go the DIY route, it’s the season to aerate, overseed, fertilize, and mow.

Now is the time to check your watering and irrigation system to be prepared for the long, hot summer.

Flower Beds

Remove and replace dead winter annuals with flowering plants that will grow well into the summer. Choices to consider include caladium, celosia, gazania daisy, and gaillardia. Pay attention to sun/shade needs when deciding where to plant your flower beds.

Shrubs and Ornamentals

Prune azaleas, camellias, and flowering shrubs and trees right after they finish blooming before any new buds appear. This practice will ensure well-shaped trees and shrubs. Fertilize as needed. Be sure to re-mulch to lock in nutrients and moisture during the dry season.

Vegetables and Herbs

If you are starting any of your garden plants from seeds, plant them in early spring. Late February is a good time. Plant vegetables like the following in March and April.

Plant hot weather tolerant vegetables like the following:

  • squash
  • cucumbers
  • peppers
  • beans
  • melons
  • okra
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • southern peas
  • rosemary
  • basil

Pest and Insect Control

Check new plant growth for aphids and mites on ornamental plants like gardenias and roses. These pests can cause blossom and leaf loss.

Try using natural or organic products first. They are more environmental-friendly and less likely to harm beneficial pollinating insects. Planting insect-repelling plants like basil and marigold You can also introduce natural predators like praying mantis and ladybugs.

When all else fails, you may have to get more aggressive professional pest control in Florida.

Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season can be brutal in Florida and has worsened in recent years. Now is the time to trim dead and damaged branches from trees.

Summer Landscape Maintenance

Summer is the rainy season, and heat and humidity are at their highest. This will be the most challenging time to maintain your landscaping.

Lawn Care

Apply two fertilizer applications to the lawn during summer. Mow high, at least every other week, preferably every week, especially if rain has been heavy. Continue practicing weed and pest control.

Flower Beds

Plan for flower bedding plants that tolerate high heat, such as coleus and ornamental peppers. Lilies, spider plants, and gladiolus can be planted up until mid-summer.

Shrubs and Ornamentals

The summer months are perfect for planting palms. They’ll have time to develop a root system before chilly weather.

Vegetables and Herbs

It’s too hot now to start vegetables and herbs from seeds. Young seedlings can’t tolerate the heat. However, you can transplant heat-tolerant ones. It’s okay to plant the following vegetables:

  • okra
  • southern peas
  • sweet potatoes
  • Malabar spinach
  • pumpkins for fall

Check irrigation systems and install a detector that will turn them off before, during, and after heavy rains. Continue monitoring trees for dead and weak branches to stay ready for storms.

Fall Landscape Maintenance

Fall and spring in Florida are essentially alike. Most anything you plant in the spring can be planted in the fall. You can transition from heat-tolerant plants to more delicate ones.

Lawn Care

Apply one more fertilizer application and mow less often. Continue monitoring your irrigation system. As the weather cools, you’ll need to water less.

Flower Beds

Clean up and prepare flower beds. Plant annuals and bulbs that like slightly cooler temps. By doing so, you’ll have a colorful landscape all year. Separate and replant perennials so they can reestablish roots before cold weather.

Shrubs and Ornamentals

Fall is not the time to prune, even though many Florida trees don’t lose all their leaves. As with anywhere, pruning is a spring and winter chore. Now is a good time to fertilize citrus trees.

Vegetables and Herbs

Vegetables and herbs will thrive this time of year. Put in the veggies and herbs you want in early fall.

Winter Landscape Maintenance

Although Florida winters aren’t extreme, cooler temps will put many plants into hibernation. They’ll appear dead but still need maintenance to stay healthy.

Lawn Maintenance

Winter and fertilizer is a bad mix for lawns, but it’s a good time to overseed. Some Floridians like to use colorant on their lawns during the winter.

Flower Beds

Cover plants in flower beds with about two inches of mulch. Use straw, wood chips, gravel, or grass clippings. Winter is a good time to plant flowering bulbs for spring color.

Shrubs and Ornamentals

Prune flowering trees and shrubs, deciduous fruit trees, citrus trees, and rose bushes in winter. After pruning, fertilize and re-mulch.

Vegetables and Herbs

Winter is a great time to have an herb garden outdoors. You can continue to grow veggies like cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes. Monitor for occasional freezing temperatures and cover them with an old sheet of plastic.

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