Support local journalism: Find offers for new subscribers here: Special Offers — FLORIDA TODAY.
Want to read our e-Edition? Here are some tips for getting the best experience.
Though we have already begun receiving warm weather, this month is still ideal for gardening. After all, when the weather is nice, who wants to stay inside? Here are some ideas of things to do in the yard this month.
Liquid seaweed. Pamper your lawn by spraying it with liquid seaweed (i.e., Maxicrop, Liquid kelp, etc.) to supply more than 60 trace elements and growth hormones. The easiest way to spray the lawn is with a hose-end sprayer. If you are growing edible plants, spray them using a hand pump-up sprayer every week.
Time to mow. Mow the lawn weekly now so no more than ⅓ of the leaf blade is removed at each mowing and the weeds are cut before they can produce seeds. For St. Augustinegrass and Bahiagrass, mow the grass so it is 3 to 4 inches (4 inches is best for maximum photosynthesis) tall after it has been mowed.
Re-seed Bahiagrass. Bahiagrass typically thins out, so it’s a good practice to re-seed it by applying scarified Argentine Bahiagrass seed at a rate of 3 to 5 pounds per 1,000 scuare feet to create a thicker lawn.
Wait to prune, protect baby wildlife. Don’t prune your palms and trees this month, as wildlife are rearing their young now. If you must prune, be sure to check for baby wildlife first and only prune if none are present. Proper pruning for palms is just the removal of brown fronds. Green fronds are where photosynthesis occurs, so the best thing you can do for your palm is to leave all the green fronds alone. Fronds that have both yellow and green plant tissue are supplying nutrients to the new growth, so don’t remove them either.
Inoculate planting holes. When planting new plants, inoculate the planting hole with a variety of mycorrhizae. After the plants are established, inoculate them (and any established plants that have not been inoculated) with a liquid product containing a variety of beneficial bacteria, saprophytic fungi and mycorrhizae to help your plants grow. For more information on this topic, email me at [email protected].
Plant heat-tolerant flowers. Replace fading winter flowers with heat-loving ones. For locations that receive full sun, which is a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight a day, some possible choices include: celosia, coleus, lisianthus, marigolds, gomphrena, vinca, portulaca, purslane, salvia, sunflowers, gazania, melampodium, and zinnias. In shady areas, plant coleus, impatiens, wax begonias, anglewing begonias, dusty miller and crossandra.
Self-seeding flowers. If you would like to take advantage of self-seeding flowers that will provide you with new plants without any effort on your part, consider these native choices: coreopsis, tropical sage (Salvia coccinea), blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella. Non-native cosmos species are also options that will continue to brighten your landscape.
Plant a few bulbs. Bulbs that you can add to your garden this month include Amazon lily (Eucharis spp.), agapanthus, Aztec lily (Sprekelia formosissima), blood lily (Haemanthus multiflorus), caladium, crinum, shell lily (Alpinia zerumbet), gladiolus, gloriosa lily, rain lilies and spider lily (Hymenocallis spp.).
May herbs. Some herbs that can be planted this month include basil, chives, dill, sage, fennel, parsley, rosemary, mint, sweet marjoram and thyme.
Watering citrus. Don’t forget to give citrus trees one inch of water every 7 to 10 days if your yard doesn’t receive a storm that drops at least 1 inch of rain. Hopefully, you have a rain gauge in your yard, but if not, put that on your shopping list.
Summer vegetables. Replant spent vegetable plants with summer crops such as calabaza, chayote, jicama, Malabar spinach, New Zealand spinach, okra, Seminole pumpkin, and winged beans. Trellis climbing crops such as chayote, Malabar spinach and winged beans to keep the fruit off the ground.
Take a class. If you are having a difficult time growing vegetables, herbs and fruit, or maybe you’re interested in learning how, consider attending The Be Healthy: Grow Your Own Food four-week series. It’s scheduled to begin in July with two classes to choose from.
The day class is 10-11:30 a.m. Night class is from 6-7:30 p.m. Both run four consecutive Mondays beginning on July 18 and ending on Aug. 8.
Learn to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit crops in containers and the ground, so you can grow your own nutritious food at home, even if you only have a balcony or patio.
Each $45 ticket includes handouts and seeds for heirloom vegetables, culinary herbs and flowers. Couples or friends can share the handouts and seeds and only pay for one ticket. Participants can attend in person or via Zoom.
With two classes available each Monday, you can attend either, whichever time works best that day. For more information and to register, go to bhgyof2022morningclass.eventbrite.com, bhgyof2022nightclass.eventbrite.com or call Adrienne at 321-633-1702 ext. 52315.
Shop the farmers market. The Brevard County Farmers Market is from 3-6 p.m. every Thursday at the Wickham Park Pavilion in Melbourne, and from 3-6 p.m. the second and fourth Fridays of the month across from Titusville Welcome Center, 419 S. Hopkins Ave. Come check out all the vendors and the delicious food and products they have for sale. To find out more, check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/brevardcountyfarmersmarket.
Sally Scalera is an urban horticulture agent and master gardener coordinator for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences. Email [email protected]
Support local journalism: Find offers for new subscribers here: Special Offers — USATodayNetwork.