April Newsletter: Fruit & Veggies, Semi-Tropicals

Veggies & Herbs

Vegetables & Herbs to plant now are tomatoes, peppers, southern peas, summer squash, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, bush beans, pole beans, collards, eggplant and corn. Easy to grow herbs to plant and use in your recipes are basil, chives, dill, parsley, oregano, thyme, mints, cilantro, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, and anise. When you have planted your vegetables or herbs, do not allow new seedlings to dry out. They should be kept moist, but not soaking wet.

Citrus & Fruit

Now is the best time to plant citrus so it has a full growing season to root in before winter. When selecting citrus we recommend that you choose varieties that ripen earlier so the fruit has been harvested by the time we normally get our coldest weather. Most often, if we get a hard freeze (when temps fall below 32 degrees for more than 6 hours), any unripe fruit still on the tree will freeze inside and it ruins.

NOW is the Time to Plant Your Semi-Tropicals Plants!

Plants like Hibiscus, Allamanda, Dipladenia, Ginger, Hawaiian Ti, Bougainvillea, Tibouchina, Croton, Copper Plant, Jatropha, Mandevilla, and Cape Honeysuckle. These beautiful, flowering and colorful foliage plants give an abundance of flowers or bright foliage that make the garden pop. The key to adding a few to the garden is getting them planted right after winter so they have a full growing season to root in. Once they have an established root system, if hit by next winters cold weather, they almost always re-emerge from the roots in spring. Fertilize with a liquid drenching the area well, or use the proper amount of granular, never right on top of the crown of the root ball where burn may occur but away from the crown and water in well. Even though the plant has died back to the ground the established root system below could produce a bushy, blooming plant in no time at all. We always recommend that a minimum 75% of your landscape be cold hardy.

Container Plantings

Container plantings provide a wealth of flexibility for gardeners. Love tropical plants but worry about the cold? Plant them in a container that you can bring in from the cold! Love a plant the deer will eat? Plant it in a container and put it inside your lanai or porch. Want some flowers to look at outside your window? Plant a pretty container with beautiful plants and enjoy!

There are any number of choices for containers! If you like the plant, it can go in a container! General guidelines for containers include “thriller, spiller & filler” which means tall plant(s), medium size plants and draping plants. Want drought tolerant? Try cactus, yucca, crown of thorns, desert rose etc.

Stop by our garden centers and see the beautiful pottery we carry, and we would be happy to help you choose some plants that would work for you!

Got Deer? Want to create a container for a sunny spot that deer normally won’t like?

Try this:

Start with your “thriller” in the center of the container: use salvia for example or a Dracaena Spike. There are several varieties of Salvia such as Salvia Amistad, Mystic Blue, Red Splendens, or Indigo Spires.

Now add your “fillers”- try a Dipladenia or Mandevillea. This plant just blooms endlessly in full sun- they come in red, pink, white, yellow. Add in some Lantana like New Gold, Anne Marie or Confetti.

For your “spiller” try Vinca– available in a host of colors, trailing lantana or Baby Sun Rose.

For those customers who live in “deer communities” we like to remind you that despite the many, many lists of plants that are out there giving deer resistant plant suggestions, what might not have been on last year’s menu, is on the menu this year. For that reason, we always say “usually not” when it comes to suggestions. Best advice is look around your street or neighborhood to see what is thriving and if new to the area, ask neighbors for suggestions. If you don’t see a particular plant in your neighbor’s yards or common areas, there may be a very good reason.