From oil sprays to plant products to beneficial bugs, a wide array of natural pest controls is available to the environmentally conscious homeowner or landscaper. Most are easily found online or can be found at garden centers or nurseries.
While pine bark nuggets and red cypress chips are typical ground cover choices for Florida property owners, a host of other options are available: hardwood mulches, pine straw, rubber mulch, rock, lava, plants, pine cones, nut hulls, and tumbled glass chunks.
Invasive plants are non-native species that, when left to grow unchecked, spread over plant communities and alter the local ecology. Florida is home to myriad invasive plant species from palms to grasses to trees. Educated homeowners should avoid installing these plants in their landscaping.
Put your grass clippings, leaves, and food scraps to work. Combine them in a compost pile or bin and mix with oxygen and water to eventually yield a nutrient-rich humus that can be utilized in your landscape as a soil amendment or fertilizer.
Attracting butterflies to your Florida landscape is easy. Step One: find out which butterfly species inhabit your region. Step Two: add plants that provide food for those species. You may need two plants: one for the caterpillar and one for the adult.
It was the Romans who introduced espalier—the practice of training trees to grow along a flat support such as a wall or fence. Today’s homeowners can easily adopt this growing technique, which results in trees that look like art and require little space.
Working outside in Florida winter weather is generally delightful. Gardeners who take a few simple safety precautions can enjoy work days throughout the winter without injury or accident. It comes down to protective clothing, proper lifting, awareness, and respecting machinery and wildlife.
Mistletoe, the stuff of legend and tradition, grows in two varieties: dwarf mistletoe, found in the western United States, and leafy mistletoe, found in the southwest and Florida. While leafy mistletoe is not as deadly as its western counterpart, it can severely impact a tree’s health and vigor.
Some areas of Florida experience freezing temperatures during the winter. This can kill or damage tropical or temperate plants. Bring potted plants inside or group them together outside against a wall. Cover cold-sensitive plants and shrubs with sheets or garden blankets.