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The Neighborhood Gardener – November 2013

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

Potted plantHomemade Potting Mix — While a number of commercial pre-packaged potting mixtures are available at gardening centers, you may not know that you can make your own at home. Creating your own potting soil allows you to regulate the ingredients and control the proportions added to the mixture to meet your individual plants needs.

Meyer lemonsPlant of the Month: Myer Lemon — Rich orange-yellow Meyer lemon fruits provide a sweeter alternative to common lemons while bringing color and interest to your winter landscape. While able to handle cold weather better than other citrus plants, Meyer lemon plants do need to be protected from temperatures below 20°F. This plant can even be successfully grown in containers or inside as a houseplant, although it is unlikely to fruit when kept inside.

November in Your Garden – Continue planting cool weather vegetables like lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and kale this month. If you’re looking to plant flowers this month, pansies are a great cool weather bedding plant. Now that temperatures are lower, use dormant oil sprays to control scale insects in your garden. Cooler weather also means your plants will need less supplemental watering, so turn off automated systems and water only when needed.

Raccoon getting into bird feederFriend or Foe? Foe: Raccoons — Raccoons are a common and resourceful urban animal nuisance, well known for digging through trash cans and wreaking havoc in gardens. Adding cayenne pepper, mothballs, or wildlife repellent to the soil around new plantings will keeping raccoons away for a time, but when it comes to ripe fruits and vegetables, very little will deter these tenacious critters. Using a single strand electric fence with the wire 8 inches above the ground can provide an effective deterrent without physically harming the animals. Avoid contact; remember, raccoons are wild animals and the primary carrier of rabies in Florida.

Read the full November issue.

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