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Florida gardening in September

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Florida gardening in September
Florida gardening in September: What's happening in the yard this month. Clockwise from top: irises in liriope, a basilisk lizard, dahoon holly tree berries and a zebra longwing butterfly

Florida gardening in September: What's happening in the yard this month. Clockwise from top: irises in liriope, a basilisk lizard, dahoon holly tree berries and a zebra longwing butterfly

September is the last of the three most awful months for gardening in Florida. It’s still summer, really, even if autumn officially arrives September 23. Yes, temperatures are still well into the 90s, and the historical peak of hurricane season is September 10, so this month is a bonus month of summer, whether you like it or not.

Backyard wildlife are growing up and spreading out, making them more visible — especially the reptiles. I see basilisk lizards (the kind that run on their hind legs, making them look like miniature T-Rexes) and curly-tailed lizards every day. Baby geckos are finding their way indoors (they have a death wish), and knight anole hatchlings are making themselves at home around our yard and my friends’ yards too. Birds and squirrels are in abundance, too — they know summer isn’t over yet.

Crape Myrtle leaves damaged by chewing insect

Crape Myrtle leaves damaged by chewing insect

Plant-wise, my garden areas are still solarizing, and I’m thinking about what to plant next. The grass and trees look great, except for my crape myrtle, which has been attacked by some merciless critter. No wonder I barely saw any flowers on it this year.

According to the Florida Gardening Calendar by the UF/IFAS Extension, this month for my region I should plant mint, rosemary and basil (cocktail garden, anyone?), broccoli, cabbage and lettuce. I should also fertilize my citrus trees — and they look like they need it. There are more tips there, so check it out for your area.

What’s happening in your yard this month?

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