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The Neighborhood Gardener – September

cigar flowerThis month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

  • Time for Figs — Of all the kinds of figs, the “common” fig is the best for Florida. Look for varieties adapted to the state, such as ‘Celeste’ or ‘Brown Turkey’. Florida-Friendly varieties ripens between July and October, and their size and taste vary.
  • Plant of the Month: Cigar Flower — This shrub has narrow, tubular flowers that range from deep orange to red, making them a favorite with hummingbirds. Because of their shape and color, the flowers are said to resemble lit cigars. Cigar flower grows as a perennial in South Florida, but gardeners in colder areas of Florida may wish to protect it from freezing temperatures in winter. Plant your cigar flower in full sun or even in part shade, preferably in a well-drained, enriched soil.
  • September in Your Garden – Start the fall planting season now. Plant cool-season vegetable crops such as celery, cabbage, lettuce, and collards. Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil.
  • Friend or Foe? Friend: Paper Wasps — These wasps wasps are considered beneficial by some gardeners because they feed on insects, including caterpillars. However, they will attack if their nest is disturbed and each can sting repeatedly, so take care when working around nests.
  • Master Gardener Conference: Registration Now Open – Registration for the 2011 Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference is now open. The conference will be held October 24-26 at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Lake Buena Vista. This year’s conference will feature Dr. Bob Stamps from the Mid-Florida Research & Extension Center and noted horticultural author Tom MacCubbin.

Read the full September issue.

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2 Responses

  1. I find the paper wasps to be very tolerant, as with most the more you are around them the less they will bother them. I even trying having places they will nest. They rid your garden of more than catapillers.
    In 65 yrs I have only been stung once, and its not all that bad.

    • That’s good to hear, JD! It’s one thing to read about paper wasps being beneficial, but it really helps to hear it from a fellow gardener. Thanks for reading!

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