Each season gives Central Floridians something new to add to their yard. For those who’ve recently moved from areas that have four distinct seasons, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that fall and winter are also growing seasons – although somewhat different from spring and summer! You can experience the joy of watching your garden come to life with an array of fresh colors, fragrances, and even produce.
The right choice of plants can ensure that your garden is blooming all year long. Thanks to our excellent climate, it is possible to grow a wide variety of perennials and flowering shrubs to enhance your landscape, and flavorful vegetables and herbs for your favorite recipes. If you are looking to get into Central Florida gardening, here are some handy tips for you!
Cool-weather Bedding Plants to Brighten Your Garden
Often, people tend to believe that winter is the season to completely stop gardening or planting. The cold weather conditions may lead many to believe that plants cannot thrive in such temperatures. However, this is an absolute myth. The right choice of plants and an expert lawn service provider can ensure that your garden is in full bloom even in winter. The following recommendations are provided courtesy of Costa Farms, Tree Care by Robert Miller, Inc., and University of Florida IFAS Extension. Our blog post – “Brighten Your Winter Garden with Colorful Annuals” – provides additional suggestions.
Bedding plants such as snapdragon, pansy, ornamental cabbage, cape daisy, and impatiens can thrive in your garden. If you want to spruce up your landscaping to look like a little slice of paradise this season, you can also add a cool-weather bedding plant like violas. These plants are sure to boom throughout the entire course of the winter. You may also go for planting bulbs during this time to add another dimension of beauty. In that case, you can opt for planting amaryllis, which resembles a quirky trumpet shape.
Alternatively, you can also choose to line your driveways and flower beds with crinums. Citrus trees and flowering azaleas are excellent planting options. A word of caution, however – some people are sensitive to the pollen that blooming azaleas produce from late February to early April. If you have seasonal allergies, you may want to rethink this choice, beautiful as it is! Additionally, you can add some extra interest and functionality to your garden by planting the following:
- Mums in containers: Mums are a convenient option for garden plating in November. They can be planted in containers and therefore, can be placed anywhere you want. They can add a pop of color to the greenery.
- Vegetables and herbs: Vitamin-rich plants like spinach, kale, and arugula can be a gem of an addition to your November garden. Plant carrots and lettuce for an optimum harvest. To enhance their flavor in recipes naturally, make some room for parsley, thyme and sage.
November Yard Care Tips
While other states are experiencing nearly freezing temperatures in November, Central Florida’s subtropical climate provides cool, dry weather that is great for many plants. As the weather cools, your plants will require less supplemental watering. For this reason, you must pay attention to adjusting your regular irrigation schedules.
The key to getting a healthy, flowering garden in Central Florida’s November is to understand the soil type in the region. Did you know that Florida has an official state soil? It’s called Myakka, and consists mainly of sand, which makes it low in nutrient quality. So, you can go for containers full of potting soil or add compost to the native soil to make it more viable for planting.
Do You Love Poinsettias? Here’s How to Grow Them Year ‘Round!
If you are going to be gardening to your heart’s content in November, you must not miss out on the beautiful poinsettia plant. It is an extremely versatile plant that can grow throughout the year with the proper care. Poinsettia is a plant synonymous with Christmas cheer. It is often used as a thoughtful gift to friends and family during the holiday season. It makes for an ideal plant for Central Florida gardening.
The history of poinsettias is as intriguing as the plant itself. It is a native plant of Mexico and was brought to America by the first U.S ambassador to that country, Joel Roberts Poinsett. The scientific name of the plant is Euphorbia pulcherrima, which translates to “very beautiful.” This is a rather fitting description of the plant itself. Poinsettias can take on hues ranging from a vibrant red to a soft pink, orange, white, or even purple.
If you, like many others, love the poinsettia and want to grow it in your garden, here are some tips to extend their life beyond the holiday season, courtesy of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS):
- Temperature and sunlight: Always remember to shelter your poinsettia plant from cold temperatures and chilly air. If they are to bloom and maintain their color until March, you must keep these plants away from any frosty conditions. A well-lit area patch in your garden will be the most suitable spot for this plant, provided it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Any hot light or the glare of direct sunlight can dry out a poinsettia easily.
- Watering: Poinsettias are delicate plants. So, be mindful of watering them just the right amount. Add water to their containers only when the soil surface appears to be dry to the touch. If the soil becomes too soggy, consider draining it out with the help of a saucer placed under the container. It is important to remember that over-watered soil can be deadly to fragile poinsettias. An occasional misting of the plants using a sprayer can help in their growth by making the air humid.
- Planting: With the right care techniques, poinsettias are ideal for planting in November, even though most poinsettia lovers tend to keep them potted for display until after December. You must only add fertilizer once you are ready to take them outdoors. When winter is over, you can prune the poinsettia and remove all worn-out bracts. When planted in well-drained, moist, and fertile soil, this holiday favorite can grow out beautifully. Trimming the plant regularly in the summer will help it to bloom better in winter. Always remember to keep it away from artificial light in the fall season for optimum bloom.
Your Central Florida Lawn and Garden Experts
If this is your first fall in Florida, welcome! We hope that living in the Sunshine State is everything that you’ve dreamed of! If you’ve been here a while – or are actually a Florida native – we hope we’ve given you some ideas and inspiration.
Our Central Florida lawn care experts at Daniel’s Lawn Service & Pressure Washing can keep your yard thriving and attractive during fall, as well as the winter months ahead! Our experienced team can work with you to achieve your goals and bring your vision to life every season of the year! Our full-service company provides landscape design, tree installation, tree trimming, yard maintenance, bush hogging, pressure washing and so much more. Contact us today so we can do the work, and you can do the enjoying!