Posted in Foxys Tips.
With the promise of cooler temperatures on the horizon, it’s time to start planning our fall garden designs. Dust off your tools and gather your veggie seeds for your edible garden! Make sure you plant the right veggies at the appropriate time by consulting this gardening calendar (thanks UF IFAS!) If you’re looking for something besides edible plants, the garden nurseries will soon be stocked with seasonal flowers like snapdragons and petunias. It’s tempting to buy pansies and mums but we recommend waiting till Thanksgiving when the temperatures are better suited.
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Late Summer/ Fall 2017
Now is the time to fertilize with a complete fertilizer. Choose one with slow or timed-released nitrogen for longer lasting results. Fertilization of Turfgrass on Florida soils Bahia, Bermudagrass, Zoysia and St. Augustine lawns is a must during this season. Check your irrigation system to make sure they are providing good coverage and operating properly. We test ours by setting out empty tuna cans before watering and noting how much water collects in the cans after the system has run a full cycle.
Spring is here so let’s get busy! Stay ahead of the weeds this season and spread some mulch in your flower beds. It’s amazing what a little bit of mulch can do to your garden! Just cleaning up the bed lines does wonders for not only the design of your landscape but also the maintenance level. By spreading 1 1/2 -2 ” of mulch you’ll block out any weed seeds that may try to germinate on the top of the soil. Lastly, what kind of mulch do you choose? We prefer pine straw mulch, but as long as it’s a natural material (not dyed with red or black colorants) you should be fine. Happy gardening!
Once the last cold snap has passed, it’s time to sharpen your pruning shears! Cut back any tender plants that may have gotten frost burn and get rid of the extra leaves left behind by the oak trees. Lay fresh mulch and plant new seasonal color. If you’d like to spruce up your outdoor living space with a new garden, consider these different types and see what fits best with your lifestyle and budget.
Here comes the cold weather! It’s time to plant new color for the winter. We love dianthus, pansies, petunias, and violas. If you’re looking for a plant that will spill out of your container pot, search no further. Our absolute favorite ‘spiller’ is alyssum Snow Princess (PW). It’s white cluster flowers look like snow from a distance and it has a soft, sweet fragrance. We’ll post a picture of it on our facebook page. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our garden to yours!
Happy new year! We’re staying optimistic around here despite the way our yard looks. The recent freezing temperatures really took a toll on our lush tropical plants. After cutting back the dead foliage with frost damage, we are happy to report a number of ‘tried and true’ evergreens that didn’t mind the 20 degree temps at all. Camellias seem to love the cold snap and their over-sized blooms are a sight for sore eyes. Nandinas’ foliage continues to deepen as the cold weather pushes on. We love all varieties of nandina, especially for their berry clusters that appear this time of year. Let’s face it, we have some extreme weather in this part of Florida. It’s refreshing to know there’s some tough plants out there that look good while enduring the elements. Check out our pictures on the “Recent Work” page to see more of these cold weather warriors.
Can you feel that?! There’s a nip in the air indicating the holidays are right around the corner. With the colder temperatures upon us, it’s time to bring out the dormant horticultural oils. Start controlling those garden pests by spraying ornamental plants so you’re ahead of the game in springtime. Along with the dropping temperatures, we should be lowering our water bills by reducing irrigation time and frequency. One of our favorite sources for gardening tips is the Extension Service gardening calendar and newsletter. Contact us today to help get your yard in shape for the holiday parties! New mulch and flowers are the ‘icing on the cake’ when welcoming house guests this season.
Fall is in the air! But living in Florida means the temperatures won’t drop for another month or so. Resist the temptation to buy pansies and petunias! They may look nice on the store shelves, but they will not survive these warm temperatures. We always say to wait till Thanksgiving to plant pansies (along with all other cold-season annuals). Wondering what to do in the meantime? Prep your flower beds by pulling weeds and raking out any old mulch/leaves that have accumulated. Then, spread new mulch and wait for the right time to plant. Need color? Plant pentas but make sure to protect them in a few months when it gets cold.
This is your last chance to cut back plants and shrubs. Make sure your tools are sharp – it makes the job way easier. We selectively prune crape myrtles and hydrangea blooms as they fade to encourage new blooms all summer long. Oakleaf hydrangeas make wonderful cut flowers that can then be dried and enjoyed year-round. Plant summer crops (okra, cherry tomato, lima bean, and sweet potato) and herbs (basil, garlic chive, and rosemary) to make your landscape not only enjoyable, but rewarding as well. Provide regular fertilizer and irrigation for edible crops to ensure they make it during a dry spell.
When shopping for new annual color this summer, make sure the flowers can take the heat. Our favorite succulent bloomer for summer is portulaca (aka: primrose). Others that make the hot list are penta, vinca, and (some) coleus. Pentas come in many different color ‘series’ so keep an eye out for our favorite called ‘graffiti’. We recently installed a butterfly/hummingbird garden with perennial salvia. With names like ‘Windy’s Wish’, ‘Black & Blue’, and ‘Pinapple Sage’, you know you’ll be seeing lots of vibrant colors. These wildlife attractors will flower all summer long and come back year after year.
Nothing like a little plant recycling and transplanting! Now is the time to divide clumps of herbaceous perennials and bulbs to rejuvenate garden beds or pass-along to friends. Potted Easter Lilies can be planted in a sunny garden to be enjoyed year after year. It is now safe to fertilize your lawns if needed (some soils are rich already and fertilizing is not needed). Check out this IFAS newsletter for more info on what to plant this time of year and where you can get your soil pH tested.
Get ahead of weeding and you’ll thank yourself all summer long. Dedicate a few hours to weeding your flower beds this weekend and finish it off with a fresh layer of mulch. Our favorite mulches are the kinds that break down and nourish the soil (ie: pine straw and oak leaves). Use mulch sparingly around stems and trunks to ensure a healthy plant. With the hotter temperatures always comes pesky mosquitoes. Consider planting some aromatic herbs/shrubs that the annoying insects don’t like. Read about lemongrass, rosemary, and other ‘skeeter-free plants here.
We definitely live in the ‘Sunshine State’ because it seems like we’re going to have another mild winter this year. With azaleas and citrus in full bloom, the plants think it’s already spring. If history is to repeat itself, watch out for the random hard freeze that can occur in March and take every precaution to protect your ornamental plants. For now though, it’s time to prune any rose bushes back at least 1/3 to 1/2 their size keeping the overall shape of the shrub in mind. Use sharp clippers and long sleeved gloves to prevent getting snagged. You can then apply fertilizer and mulch which will ensure lots of blooms in 8-9 weeks. Happy gardening 🙂
Fall is in the air! With the holidays fast-approaching, some may get excited about starting a fire in the fireplace or gorging on delicious turkey till their heart’s content. Over at Foxy Foliage however, we’re so ecstatic that the camellias are finally blooming! With so many sizes and colors to choose from, camellias might be our favorite ornamental plant out there. We enjoying arranging them into a beautiful centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table. This gardening calendar from the IFAS Extension Office has some tips on how to get larger camellia blooms later in the season. Sometimes they get scale bugs under the leaves which could become a serious problem if left untreated. We’ve found that using a systemic root-drench in early spring will keep things in check. Fertilome is probably the most common brand, so look for that at your local garden center. Happy gardening- from our yard to yours.
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to enjoy your landscape on a daily basis is from inside your home. Think of some windows you peer through regularly- in the living room or kitchen for example. What do you see? We have a bird feeder and fountain placed strategically in the landscape so we can watch yellow finches and blackbirds without scaring them away. Flowers and colorful foliage make for a nice focal point as well. Our banana trees are heavy with fruit right now (which is a spectacle in itself, really) and the broad leaves have an interesting way of moving about in the breeze. We believe the landscape is an outdoor living space that should be enhanced and enjoyed to it’s full potential. What do you enjoy most about your landscaping? Let us know how we can help – we know what grows!
We weren’t the only ones that thought the summer temperatures would never end and that we might possibly sweat to death in the unforgiving Florida heat. But Mother Nature finally seems to be taking pity on us and our garden plants with the refreshing sense of Autumn in the air. It’s time to start planning your fall vegetable garden and seasonal color palette. Now it’s much easier to keep new plants watered if you’ve been waiting to plant some new shrubs or trees. If your citrus trees are weighed down with fruit like ours are, consider staking or tying the branches to help redistribute the weight until they ripen in winter. Trust us, we know what grows! If you have any other landscape questions, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or find us on Facebook (/foxyfoliage.inc).
If you’re like us, you’re already missing the crape myrtle blooms as they fade in the summer heat. One of our favorite tips is to trim the suspended blooms to encourage a second bloom to emerge before the season’s over. Use a pole trimmer or loppers and a ladder to help you reach those higher branches. Don’t have crape myrtles? Some fall-blooming perennials like salvia could be trimmed back this time of year. Many types of salvia get ‘leggy’ this time of year anyway, so cutting them back will remove that from the equation and open up some space for annual color like angelonia or moss rose. Find out more by reading this IFAS newsletter: Gardening in August .
We are big believers in putting the ‘right plant in the right place.’ Beware of plants at the big box stores because they might not be described correctly on the tag. Lots of times these stores get shipments of plants that don’t grow here. Jacksonville is overlapping 2 different plant zones based on your proximity to the beach. When you find a plant you like, do a little extra research and see if it thrives in zone 8 or 9. If you’re right on the beach, make sure the plant can tolerate salt spray. This insures you are spending your money wisely, and not buring it in the ground (literally).
Where did the cool temperatures go?! Spring has sprung in a major way this year. Lots of plants are blooming early, like the agapanthus lilies for example. We’re not complaining, but it just means we have to speed up our fertilizing calendar a bit. Check the label before you buy your plant food and make sure it’s got some rich, organic ingredients. By using ‘real’ nutrients you will generate a strong, healthy growth habit in all your perennial bedding plants.
All lawns are not created equal. If your grass is still filling in from the brief winter dormancy, hold off on cutting it. Let the grass send out runners and fill in bare patches instead of jumping for plugs or new sod all together. We’ve had to tell multiple lawn maintenance crews to hold off on mowing for this very reason. Let your grass grow in- even if it looks weird for a few weeks. This is a crucial growth period so fertilize with time release nitrogen and avoid using weed & feed products. You’ll be ‘keeping up with the Jones’ before you know it!
This month, we take the advice of our favorite magazines: Southern Living. ‘Cut back the old leaves of liriope and mondo grass plantings before new leaves emerge. You can cut small plantings by hand. For larger ones, use your lawn mower with the blade set at 2 1/2 to 3 inches high. Be careful not to cut too short, as you may damage this season’s new leaves. You can check the height of the new growth by gently pulling apart the existing leaves near the base of the plant.’ (Southern Living Magazine, Feb 2012, pg 66)
We’re bringing in the new year with lots of resolutions to keep growing in 2012! One change is going to be growing more of our own vegetables to cut back on costs and increase the amount of vital nutrients our body receives. During these colder months, lots of leafy vegetables grow in abundance. We plan on growing them in containers so we can move them to the sunniest location and also protect them from sudden cold snaps. It’s so easy to buy a veggie starter pack at your local nursery or garden center for $5-$10 and you’ll be eating from it all season long! Read about which veggies to pick out in this IFAS gardening guide for January.
Want an easy, inexpensive solution to freshen up your landscape? Put down some new pinestraw mulch! You’ll be surprised how far 20 bales of pinestraw can go. Not only will it help with weeds and water retention, but it also improves the quality of your soil over time. Go here to see the Florida-Friendly Principles on mulching.
This month, we’d like to feature another flowering specimen tree: the Althea. Also called Rose of Sharon, Althea trees are renown for their over-sized flowers and hardy tendencies. Imagine a tropical hibiscus flower with light green leaves that comes back from the frost year after year. The most common bloom color is white with a dark pink center, but purples and pinks with double petals are gaining popularity. Email Margie to find out if an Althea tree is right for your yard! She knows what grows 🙂
It seems the higher the temperatures get, the more color we see from our crape myrtle trees. If your blooms are reachable with a small ladder, you may want to try ‘tip pruning’ to encourage another flush of color through August. We found this UF IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) article on crape myrtles that states ‘tip pruning promotes flowering because dormant buds below the cuts are stimulated to grow, and flowers form at tips of new growth.’ Read more about it here to see if your tree needs this second cut to re-blooms.
This month, we’re featuring one of our favorite trees: The vitex tree (Vitex agnus-castus). It has lavender blooms that resemble butterfly bush, yet a mature vitex can reach 15′ in height. It’s resilient to disease and bugs which is a huge plus. Butterflies and bees love the fragrant flowers that appear from spring to summer. The foliage drops over the winter to reveal attractive stem character. Pruning may be necessary over time to achieve the shape you want if you buy it small as a shrub. Call us if you need advice on where to find one. Read more on the IFAS Extension website by clicking here.
Let’s face it, people don’t have the time to tend to a huge 1/2 acre garden like they did in the good ol’ days. But we want your garden to still be the creme of the crop no matter how big or small. Container gardens can be beautiful, colorful, and even edible! Here’s a mantra to stick to: include a thriller, a filler, and a spiller. Take into account each plant’s growth habit and size to ensure your container will look fantastic all season long! We love portulaca as a ‘spiller’ because it cascades over the side of a pot and doesn’t require a lot of watering. Happy gardening everyone!
It’s that time of year again.. Easter Lilies are here! With their breathtaking fragrance and large, trumpet-like flowers, it’s a shame they don’t last more than two weeks inside. But we have good news! You can actually plant them outside after the blooms fades away. Plug them into a sunny spot with rich soil and this time next year you’ll have a whole new flower display to enjoy! The best part is that you can watch the bulbs multiply over the years, allowing you to spread them all throughout your garden.
Finally, spring is here and we couldn’t be happier! There is an old saying that roses should be pruned by Valentine’s Day. Don’t fret, this is just a rule of thumb and you can prune today without risking your entire rosebush. Check out this amazing rose FAQ page if you have any questions or feel intimidated when it comes to those thorny (yet beautiful) plants. Leah has been snipping away at roses for the past few weeks now. Please feel free to contact her if you need some ‘Foxy’ help! (email: email@example.com)
Things are starting to thaw after the hard freezes. This is a critical time in the gardening calendar for North Florida. Never over-prune your ornamental trees or shrubs. This is a common mistake we see all the time; particularly with crape myrtle trees. It’s been deemed ‘crape murder’ when the branches are cut off at the same length year after year. Let the tree reach its natural shape and only prune the suckers near the ground or raise the canopy slightly if a branch is blocking your path. Check out this amazing article from the UF IFAS Gardening Solutions web page: http://www.gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/news/2009/five_mistakes.html. Let us help you prepare for Spring- call the Foxy Ladies today!
Happy New Year from Foxy Foliage! Hopefully your new year’s resolution involves some time in your landscape or garden. The local paper had a great article on what to do and what to avoid this winter to help your plants prepare for spring. Raymond H. Zorba Jr. wrote the article and here’s what we thought was most important to pass on to our friends and clients:
“Now is the time to move those plants that aren’t happy where they are. A greater success is achieved if you first dig down around them … a month or two before the move..”
“Reminder: Florida’s Arbor Day Celebration this year falls on Friday, Jan. 21. Why not consider planting a tree to commemorate some event important to your family or community?”
Read the complete article here: http://jacksonville.com/entertainment/home-and-garden/2011-01-01/story/january-time-get-your-garden-ready-spring
Here comes the cold weather! Don’t let your worn-out summer annuals turn your yard into a messy eyesore. It’s time to plant new color for the winter. We love dianthus, pansies, petunias, and violas. There are plenty of flowering shrubs that will add a splash of color, too. Think like a fox and consult the experts from UF by checking out their North Florida Gardening Calendar for December. Happy holidays from our garden to yours!
The leaves are changing colors! Not only changing, but accumulating on the ground. It’s important to get them off your grass either by mowing them down or raking them up. Protect the bedding plants from the threat of frost with mulch and leaves around their bases. Pick out the weeds and take note of the perennials that die back during this season. Lastly, if you plan on having any winter vegetables, plant them ASAP to ensure bountiful crops. Planting lettuce and carrots in containers makes them easy to protect from any freezing temperatures.
We sure are glad the fall weather is here! The stresses of summer have ceased but that doesn’t mean your gardening chores are over. Now is the perfect time to plant the ‘right plant in the right place’ so roots can grow over the cooler season. Take a look at the October Gardening Calendar from the UF ISAF extension office for tons of helpful information: http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/lawn_and_garden/calendar/
Pine trees are dropping their needles these days and that means one thing: free mulch! If you don’t have pine trees in your own yard, just look around your neighborhood. Fill up a few trash bags or even collect them in a wheelbarrow. Replenish the worn out mulch from earlier in the season, being sure to cover any exposed soil that is susceptible to weeds.
Last month’s extreme temperatures were stressful on many plants in your yard. Be careful when the temptation arises to fertilize or treat for bugs. Make sure you are buying the right products and follow the instructions carefully. Lots of times plants can be burned by applying during the hot hours of the day. Now is also a good time to fertilize your citrus trees and remove any deformed, fruitless branches. Enjoy a nice refreshing glass of fresh squeezed lemonade or orange juice when all your hard work bears fruit!
If you have sabal palms in your yard, now is the time to hire a professional tree surgeon. They will come out and remove the seed pods that, if left alone where they are, will drop and produce hundreds of tiny seedlings all around your existing palm. They can remove brown or yellow fronds at this time too, and leave you with a beautiful Floridian landscape.
Don’t forget! July is the last month to cut back your azaleas and hydrangeas! Cutting will ensure a lush blooming season and encourage new growth. Remember that azaleas have a very shallow root system so leaf litter will eventually break down and harm the plant. Take an electric leaf blower and clean out your hedges to make sure you’re seeing color from one season to the next!
Did you know that cutting the seed heads off your crape myrtle’s suspended blooms will allow it to bloom AGAIN this summer?! Enjoy the beautiful flush of color all season long by applying this tactic in your garden. Keep the weeds at bay by reapplying mulch that has been washed out by those predictable afternoon rain storms. We suggest using pine straw since it wont float away like wood chips or bark. Whatever you choose to mulch with, get plenty of it and apply it deep enough to prevent weed germination and to smother out existing smaller weeds. Take care around the base of the plants, however, making sure that you aren’t suffocating the plant.
Keep your knockout roses looking great all summer long with proper pruning. Clip off old blooms as they fade using a clean pair of shears. Selective pruning like this will ensure consistent color throughout your garden. If you happen to clean up your rose bush and pick off a few unsightly yellow leaves or branches, be sure to throw them away and not just drop them back in the flower bed. This will ensure your plant stays healthy and beautiful making your attention to detail quite rewarding.
Make sure to water during dry spells, especially azaleas and camellias. When rains stop, water 1-2 times weekly as well as replenish mulch in existing areas. It is very important not to do any major pruning so you can allow plants to harden off for winter. In order to extend blooming, remove old flowers from annuals and make sure to check weekly for thrips and scale insects.
During the month of November, landscaping and design is key in regards to perennials. Make sure to divide and replant overgrown perennials and bulbs so that they are settled before the coolest weather arrives. To get in-depth coverage discussing pruning methods for this time of year, visit the University of Florida IFAS extension website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg108.
Also be on the lookout for fungal disease. watch for a brown patch that turns yellow. Treatment is difficult for fungus during this time of year, so prevention is key. Find out more at the University of Florida website to learn full treatment of this fungus also known as Rhizoctonia Blight at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh044.
To always make sure that you are always ready for climate and seasonal changes in your garden and landscape, make sure to stop by monthly and get more information right here.