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Gardening Your Florida Lawn

Adding a garden to your Florida landscape is a great way to create diversity and add energy to your existing lawn. Gardens offer a fun opportunity to get outside now that the weather is cooling down and experience nature. There are also a lot of great benefits to gain from gardening, depending on what you choose to grow. Whether it be flowers, vegetables, or just a pretty plant you enjoy, gardening is extremely rewarding and can greatly improve the look of your landscape.

It is important to keep in mind that not just anything can grow anywhere. Location and time of year play huge parts in gardening and in choosing what to plant in your garden. Keep in mind the Florida terrain and also the weather and think about how much sun your garden will get in a day before making plant decisions. Consider what you would like to have grow in your garden and do some research before making any big purchases.

Vegetable Gardening

Gardens that have a large amount of vegetables growing in them require the location be on a well-drained site and a source of water. Vegetables need at least six hours of direct sunlight a day and can live amongst plants that are just for show. So your “vegetable” garden does not have to be strictly vegetables if you do not wish to grow a large variety of veggies. Florida soil is not always full of the nutrients that vegetables thrive on to grow, so fertilizer such as rotted leaves, compost, or even animal manure can be used to prep the soil and create the best environment for vegetable crops to thrive.

In all Florida gardening, adjusting the soil pH is key. No matter what you are growing, it needs to have the correct nutrients in order to survive. Before planting anything, check your soil pH levels. The best range for growing vegetables is between 5.8 and 6.3.

Fertilization is also extremely important for gardening in Florida. Synthetic fertilizer is the best option and a soil test can tell you which product will work best for your garden. Different vegetables respond well to different kinds of fertilizer so look into which fertilizer you should choose based on what you are growing.

Vegetables need plenty of sun and water to grow, but not too much. Be mindful of over watering as veggies do not hold up well when they spend too much time in standing water. Mature crops need more water less often and the amount of water you give to your veggies should be determined by how often it has rained that day.

A few vegetables that really thrive in the Florida terrain are beets, kale, peppers, spinach, and turnips.

Container Gardening

This method of gardening offers the gardener more freedom in where they want the plant and what plants can be grouped together. By planting each plant in individual containers, they each get their own little home that can be manipulated according to its needs. It also gives the homeowner the chance to show some diversity in a space and create a really beautiful look.

The plant you decide to pot will determine the size of the pot you plant it in. If a larger pot is chosen, you could even put multiple plants in the same pot and create a very visually interesting display. Try choosing a variety of different colors, shapes, and sizes to really stimulate the design. By using containers that are the same size in different colors or different sizes with the same color, you can create impressive groupings that really liven up a garden.

Citrus Gardening

Florida is known for its oranges, so it is natural that growing citrus plants is an extremely common thing to try and tackle when living in the sunshine state. Citrus trees such as lemons, limes, and oranges require well drained soil that is not in danger of a great deal of standing water. The soil pH level should be between 6 and 7.5 in order for the citrus trees to truly thrive. Young citrus trees should be watered at least three times per week for the first two weeks and twice a week after the third. Fertilizing citrus trees benefits the plants a great deal and offers them the nutrition that they need to grow to their best ability.

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