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The Neighborhood Gardener – September 2013

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

kitchen gardenIncorporating an Edible Garden into the Landscape — Edible landscaping combines fruit and vegetable plants with ornamentals for a landscape that is both flavorful and attractive. Just as with traditional landscapes, an important element in designing your edible yard is appearance. After all, you won’t just be eating these plants–you’ll want them to accent your landscape’s appearance with texture, color, and variety.

Garden Sheds – A garden shed is a simple and valuable asset when extra storage is needed to store outdoor equipment. It needn’t be a plain box—a garden shed can serve as a focal point in your yard, around which you can design the rest of your landscape. In addition to hiding tools, recycling bins, and the lawn mower, design it to be used as a sitting area or greenhouse as well.

EspalierEspaliers — The ancient practice of training a plant or tree to grow in a flat, two-dimensional form is known as espalier. Espaliers are decorative and provide unique variation in your garden or yard. They are commonly grown against such surfaces as walls, fences, and trellises. This technique restricts growth of branches in only the desired direction.

Bamboo cycadPlant of the Month: Bamboo Cycad — While most cycads are often mistaken for palms, Ceratozamia hildae more closely resembles bamboo, giving the plant its common name. Easy to grow, bamboo cycad tolerates a wide range of climate and light conditions. Cycads are adapted to Florida’s sandy soil, so bamboo cycad should always be planted in a well-drained media. Another advantage is that this plant is virtually pest free and unaffected by the Asian Cycad Scale. Bamboo cycad grows best in partial shade, but can also be grown in moderate sun or deep shade.

September in Your Garden – Most vegetables in Central and North Florida already should have been planted last month. In South Florida, you can still plant tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and beans in September. This month is also the time to plant cool-season annuals. Apply a complete fertilizer to your lawn this month and continue mowing regularly. It is also time to do fall pruning on your shrubs.

Friend or Foe? Foe: White Grubs — Irregular brown patches in your lawn may indicate a presence of white grubs. White grubs are the larval stage of many different beetles. Lawns that are heavily infested with grubs have grass that pulls up easily. These grubs feed on the roots of grass in lawns and cause grass to yellow, thin, and die. One method for managing an infestation is introducing parasitic nematodes, which can be used with insecticides to control grubs more efficiently. Talk with your local county Extension agent or landscape professional for a correct diagnosis before applying pesticides.

Read the full September issue.

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