The Neighborhood Gardener — January 2021

Friday, January 15 is Florida Arbor Day

Happy New Year! This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

Small purple flowers

Removing Problematic Vines — What are a gardener’s options when it’s too late for “right plant, right place?” In dealing with any hard-to-remove plant, it’s helpful to know a little about plant physiology, the study of the functions of a plant’s tissues and organs. This article examines a plant’s “sources and sinks” to help you remove the most obnoxious vines from your landscape.

Deep red roselle fruits next to a cup of red tea

Seed Sources – One of the most frequently posted questions on the Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Program’s social media pages is “where can I get the seeds?” Finding a particular seed can start to feel like treasure hunting, especially for rare and local varieties. To get you started on the hunt we have a list of sources for you, including catalogues, swaps, and even libraries! This article has all of our suggested resources.

State Master Gardener program coordinator Wendy Wilber

Wendy’s Wanderings — Welcome 2021, we have been waiting for you. With the new year comes new year’s resolutions. I like new year’s resolutions, but according to a recent study, only around 12% of people who make them felt that they were successful in achieving their goals. But there is good news too; those folks who do set new year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to really change their behavior compared to people who do not make these yearly goals. I’ve got a life hack for you — if your goals are gardening goals, it is a little easier to keep those resolutions.

Tan pumpkin cut in half

Plant of the Month: Plumbago — Longleaf pines once covered 30 to 60 million acres of the southeastern United States. A wide variety of native wildlife depends on the unique longleaf pine ecosystem, including gopher frogs and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. This stately pine has been reduced to about 10 percent of its original geographic coverage. Thankfully, recognition of the value of longleaf pine ecosystems is growing. Get to know this “pioneer species” in our article on longleaf pine.

Book cover

MGV Book Club — We’re excited for another year of reading and growing together with the Florida MGV Book Club. This winter we’re digging into the science of decomposition and learning all we can about soil health. Our first title of the new year is “Composting for a New Generation.” At the end of the season, author Michelle Balz and Florida MVG Coordinator Wendy Wilber will host a live book club meeting. It’s not too late to start reading!

Brussels sprouts

January in Your Garden — Celebrate Florida Arbor Day (the third Friday of January) by planting a tree in your yard or community. Consider a hurricane-resistant tree, such as live oak, bald cypress, cabbage palm, or crapemyrtle. Prune non-spring flowering shrubs and trees this month to improve form. Continue planting cool-season vegetables. Gardeners in North and Central Florida should be prepared to protect landscape plants from frost.


Read the full January issue.

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