Florida is a tropical paradise; lush greenery, pristine beaches, and an abundance of tropical vegetation ensure that you are surrounded by beauty all year long.
While most of the year is tepid and pleasant, there are times when Florida reaches into the depth of the freezer; if you are a homeowner or a landscaper, you’ll likely want to know when your vegetation is at risk for suffering frostbite. How can you ensure that your landscaping weathers ALL the elements that Florida has to offer?
Not to worry – below are some simple landscaping tips and tricks you can employ to get the best-looking property on the block…..or beach. Get out your tools and start planning your next great scape:
While you may not see changing leaves as frequently as in colder climates, you have a marvelous opportunity in this season to transition from heat-hearty varieties of plants to more delicate ones that thrive in cooler temperatures. Fall is also a transition to drier weather; planting annuals and bulbs that flourish in colder weather will ensure that you have beautiful pops of color year-round. If you are devoting some space to edible plants, make sure you pull all summer plants down to the root before putting fall veggies like broccoli, kale, and lettuce.
Fall is also an excellent time to give your lawn a little extra TLC; fertilize when the weather is cooler, and you’ll see the benefits all throughout the year as plants soak up vital nutrients and grow strong.
You may not see snow, but you’ll see much cooler temperatures come winter. Most Floridians don jackets and hats into the season, but that doesn’t mean your landscape and garden have to suffer the same fate. Winter weather in Florida is not brutal, but you do need to prepare your plants for the additional cold. Prepare your plants for the winter season by:
- Pruning everything back that is not showing signs of life
- If it looks like temps may dip below freezing, water and possibly cover sensitive plants.
- Plant flowers that are cold tolerant like pansies, snapdragons, and petunias
- Add veggies to your garden that can weather the cold like cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and potatoes
Watch fruit and palm trees for signs of frost damage and disease. Cover seedlings and pick fruit that is already ripe to prevent additional loss. Watching temperatures and plants closely will ensure that you can get through the season without consequence.
When spring has sprung, it’s the perfect time to do some outdoor spring cleaning. Continue to prune plants where you see new growth, and take the opportunity to plant new vegetation in anticipation of the optimal growing conditions. Thinking ahead to warmer months, it’s best to consider each plant and its needs for water, sunlight, and shade, as the location will come into play when you plant for best results.
Adding a pollinator to your garden will help to attract insects that are garden-friendly. Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies not only add life to your landscape, but they also provide a valuable service of fertilizing growth and promoting additional blooming.
Now is the time to get in those fruits and veggies that you want to harvest in later months. Plants like squash, beans, tomatoes, sweet corn, and cucumbers are perfect transition plans from spring into summer, where you can take advantage of the increasing heat and warmth for producing robust crops. Keep an eye out for plants that are parched or burning in the sun, and do what you can to provide shade for more delicate varieties. Your tender care will pay for itself in dividends as you see your rich harvest in a few months.
Florida summers bring with them high heat and hard rains – but this doesn’t have to deter your efforts to grow a beautiful and varied garden. If you water and weed well, it is likely that most of your crops will survive even the blistering heat. Another option, f you don’t have time for daily care and maintenance is to practice soil solarization. Clearing out plants, tilling the soil, and placing solar conducting plastic over the top will help to clear out and purify the soil, eradicating harmful chemicals and pests that might cause damage to future crops. If you are spending time on your garden in the summer months, take care to stay hydrated and out of the sun during peak hours.
Summer is the time to enjoy tropical fruit trees and an explosion of lush greenery and flowers. Enjoy local favorites such as cocoplum, firebush, Beautyberry, Elephant Ears, milkweed, Blanket Flower, Beach Sunflower, and more as they seem to grow inches overnight.
You can have a beautiful garden and landscape year-round; following these simple tips for landscaping success will leave you with lush beauty in and around your home, no matter what the season. Grab your garden tools and start creating!