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The Neighborhood Gardener – September

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

boy watering gardenA Therapy Garden for Veterans – Laura Sanagorski, a horticulture agent with Palm Beach County, shares a success story of Master Gardeners inspired to create a therapy garden at their local VA hospital. The results include a butterfly garden and an assortment of palms and blossoming flowers. Veterans not only enjoy the garden, but help maintain it as well.

Earthworms — Most gardeners recognize the importance earthworms play—decomposing organic matter which makes for a healthier soil. But earthworms also provide many other ecological benefits. Worm castings aid in nutrient cycling because the castings have more microbial activity. When earthworms tunnel, it helps to breakup soil compaction. Plus, they’re a food source for wildlife like birds, reptiles, and insects. 

rosemaryPlant of the Month: Rosemary — Rosemary is not only great for cooking and easy to grow, it’s also an attractive, drought-tolerant plant. It can reach up to 6 feet tall when planted in the ground but will remain smaller if pruned or planted in containers. It’s best to buy rosemary plants from a garden center, since it can be difficult to start them from seed. Rosemary demands a well-drained soil and at least six hours of sun.

September in Your Garden – Fertilize citrus with a balanced fertilizer either this month or in October. Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil.

Signs of whiteflyFriend or Foe? Foe: Rugose Spiraling Whitefly — The rugose spiraling whitefly was found in 2009 in South Florida. It likes a broad range of host plants, from palms to woody ornamentals to fruits. Their large numbers and honeydew can make a mess of cars, sidewalks, and open swimming pools. However, they do not cause leaf drop like the ficus whitefly does. If you suspect this whitefly in your landscape, check with your local Extension office for management recommendations.

Read the full September issue.

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