Home & Garden: Fruitful Fall

 

Home & Garden: Fruitful Fall

 

Date: October 10, 2012
by: Rachel S. O'Hara | Staff Photographer

 
 

 

Now that fall has arrived, it’s a good time to prep gardens and begin planting, pruning and fertilizing old and new plants. Fall gardening could be considered similar to spring gardening up North. Plants and annuals will thrive during the Florida fall months because the weather is not hot enough to burn new buds and not cold enough to freeze new blossoms. Also, kitchen gardens thrive this time of year thanks to subtle breezes during the warm days and cool nights. 

Surrounded by palm trees and perennials, Florida residents don't get to experience a fall leaf change. A good way to make up for the lack of color in the landscape is to incorporate fall colors in your home garden and flower beds. Mike McLaughlin, the director of horticulture at Selby Gardens, noted that Selby is in the process of planting 5,000 annuals, which will change the look and feel of the gardens to reflect the fall season colors of reds, oranges and yellows. 

Gail Keiser, a member of the landscaping team at Your Farm & Garden, says fall-colored mums would make the perfect addition to anyone's seasonal garden. McLaughlin and Keiser offered their expertise on what to plant and how to care for those plants during prime gardening season in this week’s fall gardening preview.


WHAT TO PLANT...
Flowers
ageratum
alyssum
amaryllis
baby’s breath
bachelor’s button
calendula
calla
dusty miller
easter lily
geranium
gladiolus
impatiens
marigold
mums
nasturtium (edible flower)
nicotiana
ornamental cabbage and kale
periwinkle
petunia
phlox
pinks (dianthus)
roses
salvia
scabiosa
snapdragon
statice
stock
verbena
zephyr lily

Vegetables
eggplant
beans
beets
broccoli
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
Chinese cabbage
collards
endive
herbs
kohlrabi
lettuce
mustard
onions
peas
radish
spinach
turnips
tomatoes

Grasses
fountain grass
lemongrass
muhly grass

Fruit
avocado
banana
carambola (starfruit)
citrus
cocoplum
fig
mangos
papaya
Surinam cherry


... Tips for care
Companion planting — Some plants do better when they are planted near other plants. Tomatoes, basil and oregano thrive when planted near one another. “It’s like a little Italian herb garden,” said Gail Keiser. Keiser recommends planting marigolds around the grouping to detract insects.

Fertilization — The ban on fertilizing in Sarasota County was lifted Oct. 1. Fertilize all your plants, trees and lawn using a slow release fertilizer.

Irrigation — Make sure to change your irrigation settings when it comes to your garden. MIke McLaughlin warns that if irrigation is not adjusted there can be fungal issues and rot.

Pruning — For Keiser, pruning is key when it comes to fall gardening. “Now is the time to cut back things that are overgrown and new growths won’t get burnt or frozen, ” she said.

Transplanting — Plants that you want to move will do better and survive if they are transplanted during October and November when the weather is less harsh. 

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