What you should be doing to keep your garden green
There’s a meme floating around the Internet. It shows the state of Florida sitting closer to the sun than the rest of the planet. Such is summer in the Sunshine State.
Despite the white-hot heat and thick humidity that are just around the corner, summer is no time to automatically choose air conditioning over gardening. In fact, summer is an important time to get outside and to monitor and manage what nature is doing to your yard.
Hurricane season follows summer
First and foremost, summer is a good time to take stock of not only what’s growing – but how it’s growing. Check for weak or diseased limbs on shade trees, precarious palm fronds, and heavy fruit, such as coconuts.
Arrange to have these hurricane dangers trimmed or removed before that next season hits. If you’re doing the work yourself, pay attention to safety precautions, such as safety goggles and proper footwear on ladders.
Summer is a great time to plant
Don’t let the heat intimidate you from planting. Rainy season is a great time to plant palms and other large trees and shrubs. Let the rain help your plantings get established.
Speaking of planting, look for plants that can handle South Florida heat and sun:
- Annuals: salvia, portulaca, vinca, and celosia
- Herbs: rosemary, Mexican tarragon, and ginger
- Vegetables: sweet potatoes, boniato, and tropical spinach
As a Florida gardener, don’t be fooled by the “full sun” label on many plants that are for sale. Our summer sun is strong and our days are very long. After 8 hours of full sun, everything and everyone can use a break.
The rainy season and your soil
As much as rain can help newly-planted trees and shrubs get established, it can also easily leach out many of the nutrients you’ve used to amend your South Florida soil. Keep an eye out for nutritional deficiencies, such as discolored leaves and poor growth.
Learn to diagnose the problem
Warmer weather also means that fungus and pests are most active. It’s important to learn and understand the reason your lawn is turning brown – chinch bug or fungus? Armed with knowledge, your solution will be more effective.
Speaking of pests, examine plants for aphids, thrips, mites, and scale. Many of these pests love to nibble on tender new growth and delicate stems, and they hide on the underside of leaves. If ignored, a problem that can be solved with a strong spray of water from the hose can quickly become an infestation – and your plants will suffer for it.
The mosquito problem
When it comes to mosquitos, South Florida summer weather means several things. For starters, mosquitos are more numerous and more active, with females always looking for the next blood feast.
The rainy season also means greater opportunity for standing water to gather, ideal conditions for mosquitos to lay eggs and for larvae to develop. While examining your property for pests, fungus, and hurricane-damage risks, also look for objects that can hold water and take appropriate action.
Platinum Mosquito Protection has been actively helping South Florida homeowners fight mosquitos for more than a decade. Our automatic misting system is a crucial tool in reducing mosquito populations on residential, commercial, and agricultural properties.
For a free, onsite consultation, contact us today.