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Florida Gardening in March

Florida Gardening in March
Florida gardening in March. Clockwise from top left: African iris, cauliflower, carrot and polydamas swallowtail butterfly caterpillars on a pipelvine

Florida gardening in March. Clockwise from top left: African iris, cauliflower, carrot and polydamas swallowtail butterfly caterpillars on a pipevine

A few friends have told me I should write about Florida gardening because they would like to know more and they admire my yard. I don’t claim to know a lot about gardening, but I’m happy to share what’s going on in my yard from month to month.

In fact, one of my new favorite resources is the Florida Gardening Calendar by the University of Florida International Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. (UF/IFAS) If you live in Florida and want to know what to do in your yard or container garden, this is a good place to check every month. This site has a monthly gardening checklist for northern, central and southern Florida.

The pictures above are all recent snapshots from my yard. I like butterfly gardening, and right now I have monarch, zebra longwing and polydamas swallowtail butterfly caterpillars in my yard, munching on the specific plants they need. I also like growing vegetables, and this year I’ve had great success with tomatoes, spinach, green pole beans and herbs, and you can see my cauliflower and carrots are still growing. I also like flowers just for the sake of flowers because they are pretty, and right now the African irises, or fortnight lilies, are blooming.

March is also the month, however, when our large oak trees drop their leaves, produce pollen, make new leaves and then drop their “flowers.” They are such a mess!

The UF/IFAS garden pointers for my area this month that caught my attention: plant herbs, corn, cucumber, watermelon; add new mulch to planted areas; and fertilize palm trees. My herbs have done great, but I have trouble growing cucumbers and watermelon because of the bugs. I don’t think I would ever attempt corn because I have so many squirrels that they would get to the corn before I could!

I am also thinking about planting some new bushes. One neighbor has a jatropha bush. This isn’t a native Florida plant, but it has red flowers all year long. I used to have one in a large pot on the patio, but it wasn’t happy there and eventually got sick and died. Another neighbor has a beautiful Florida hydrangea bush that I have been envying for a while. This isn’t a true hydrangea, because that won’t grow where I live, but it has large clusters of pink flowers like a hydrangea. I just have to find one and think about where to plant it.

If you’re interested in gardening, there’s a great free workshop coming up at Home Depot in Deerwood (Miami) on Thursday, March 20, 6-9 pm. This is the only Florida location for Home Depot’s Spring Made Simple Garden Party that the store is having around the country. There will be garden-themed activities and garden-to-table food created by a local chef. For more details and to RSVP, sign up via Facebook here.

What have you had success growing? Feel free to share pictures on my Facebook page. Or if you have a question, I might be able to help!

  1. Oh, how to be able to garden. We are still in winter mode here. Hoping to be able to get out and till some soil soon. :-)

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