Saturday, June 20 is the summer solstice, marking the first official day of summer.
This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:
Hurricane Landscaping — Hurricane season began June 1 and will last until November 30, with August and September being the most active months. While the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season was expected to be near-normal, it was actually above average. The forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center believe 2020 will be an above-normal hurricane season. Most important during a hurricane is your family’s safety. One thing you can do to protect your family and home is to hurricane-proof your landscape. We have tips to get you started.
Florida MGV Book Club: Pollinator Friendly Gardening – This May, the book club dove in to pollinator-friendly gardening. We’ve learned so much that we’re going to need some time to apply it all! Join us this month for a month of hands-on activities, pollinator features, tutorials, and ways to apply the principles of “Pollinator Friendly Gardening.”
Tomato Insect Pest Management — Tomatoes are a staple in gardens across the county. In Florida, however, year-round high temperatures present a unique problem: year-round tomato pests. Even worse, there’s quite a number of insects pests bedeviling Florida garden tomatoes. While no garden will ever be pest free, with integrated pest management (IPM), you can enjoy your harvest and still protect the pollinators that service your garden.
Wendy’s Wanderings — The gyms may still be closed but your garden and landscape are open for exercise. You know the old saying, “Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes”? Well gardening is also like a gym membership and you get edibles and a good-looking yard. Many standard gardening chores are great for your physical fitness as well as your mental fitness.
Plant of the Month: Milkweed — Milkweed is the poster plant for pollinator gardens. Not only is it attractive, it’s also well known for attracting butterflies and serving as a host plant for their caterpillars. Perhaps most famously, milkweed species serve as the host plant for the monarch butterfly. Florida is home to more than twenty species of milkweed, almost all of which are native. Two milkweed species are commonly offered for sale as “butterfly garden plants.” Which should you choose for your garden?
Preserving Herbs — In vegetable gardening, harvest time can feel like a tidal wave. Herbs, on the other hand, can be harvested as needed during their growing season. It’s easy to enjoy their fresh flavor after their season is over, too. If you’re interested in preserving your herbs, drying is probably the first method that comes to mind, but there are other ways to preserve and enjoy your garden’s flavors throughout the year.
June in Your Garden — Working in the garden during the summer can put Florida gardeners at risk from the unforgiving heat. Be sure to take the necessary precautions. Plant heat-loving annuals like vinca and portulaca, and tropical vegetables, such as boniato, calabaza, and chayote. Summer’s warm, rainy weather is the perfect time to plant palms. Check the lawn frequently for damaged areas and keep insects in check with early treatment. Take time to determine the cause so your remedy is effective.
Read the full June issue.
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