Sunday, May 29, 2016

Garden Almanac for June in South Florida

Hi friends!  Hope everyone is doing well!  Well Spring here was very dry but somewhat "cool" (and I use that term loosely lol) but generally speaking we did experience a bit cooler temperatures this Spring.  Luckily the end of May brought some much needed rain.  Our summer months officially start with June since it's usually the month that brings the heat, so time to get ready South Florida.  If you haven't done so already, stock up on a good sunblock (we use one with zinc in it), wide-brimmed hats, uv sunglasses, long sleeve sports style shirts (some even have a uv blocker in them) and don't forget some great gardening gloves!

South Florida's flowering trees are still going strong with their spectacular displays lasting into late summer.   The yellow & pink tabebuia's are usually the first ones to bloom and are now done but be on the lookout for the beautiful bright gold flowers of the verawood and the desert cassia in bloom now, the intense oranges/reds/yellows of the poinciana are crazy full now too, the sweet light pink of the apple blossom cassia or rainbow cassia are just starting to peak out, the pink or red of the powderpuff are starting up too and of course the lovely purple/blue of the jacaranda.  Lets not forget many other beautiful blooming plants like the bougainvillea, begonia, jasmine varieties, thryallis, jatropha, Panama rose, hibiscus, ground orchids and gardenias just to name a few.

Unfortunately, as you know, with the rains come the bad with the good. South Florida not only grows great plants but it also grows all kinds of fungus, mildew and pests when it's wet that can pose problems to the plants and turf.  So remember to apply an herbicide, fungicide and/or pesticide (preferably an organic method) only when there is a sign of a problem and/or when pests are visible.  Please read the manufacturer's safety data sheets and application directions thoroughly.  These chemicals are not forgiving and are designed for specific applications on specific plants/insects.  If you are unsure, it's best to seek professional help of a reputable local pest control company and/or your county's local extension office with questions.

June is still a good time to do a walk through to see if there are any problem areas in your landscape.  Turf requires almost three times more water per year compared to plants and much more maintenance.  So you may want to consider turning a problem area into a new plant bed to minimize your turf, conserve water & reduce your water bill.  We are coming into our rainy season so usually you can turn off the irrigation system with the amount of rain we get but do keep an eye on dry areas if your system if off.

Continue planting your summer vegetable crops like beans, peas, sweet potatoes, peppers, squash, watermelons, eggplant, okra and tomatoes.  Try a few new tropical crops this season like boniato, calabaza, chayote, malanga, pigeon pea, callaloo and dasheen.  Remember to plant your companion herbs as well…everyone loves a good companion!

Our fruit trees are showing off their ripening bounty like the jack fruit and mango with the avocado's soon to follow.  Time to find your recipes for chutney's, salsa's, smoothies, quick breads, pie's and cake's.  Now that the weather is getting warmer, it's a good time to add a mandarin variety of citrus tree to your garden.  They even do great in a pot.  Don't be too worried if you start seeing premature fruit drop.  It's common in June with many fruiting trees as it's nature way of putting the energy into ripening a specific amount it can support based on the environmental conditions that season.  Some trees are known to skip fruiting a season or two to recoup the energy it put out to grow a large fruit bounty.
You can also visit my company's website for landscape ideas at

Happy Gardening & Many Best Wishes,


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