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Landscaping in a Central Florida Spring
Spring brings many opportunities for renewal and adding new flowers to your yard is one of the easiest and most rewarding. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture has made the following recommendations for what to plant in April:
New varieties of coleus do well in sun or shade and provide vivid colors and patterns for months. See Annuals: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_annual_landscape_plants
Planting early-, mid-, and late-blooming varieties of daylily ensures months of color from these low-maintenance plants. See Bulbs for Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_bulbous_flowers and Daylilies: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_daylilies
Add nasturtiums to your herb garden. The leaves and flowers add a peppery zest to salads. See Herbs: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_herbs
Continue planting warm-season crops, such as beans, sweet corn, and squash. Mulch well to prevent weeds and provide water if the weather has been dry. See Vegetable Gardening in Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_vegetable_gardening
What to Do
Pests: Monitor landscape plants weekly for aphids on tender new growth. See Landscape Insect and Mite Pests: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_insect_pests_by_type and Landscape Pest Management: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_pests
Identify and conserve beneficial insects. Some insects should be encouraged in your yard! See Beneficial Insects: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_beneficial_insects
Check for thrips if leaves and/or flowers of gardenias and roses are damaged. See Landscape Pest Management: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_pests
Perennials and bulbs
Divide clumps of bulbs, ornamental grasses, or herbaceous perennials to expand or rejuvenate garden beds or to pass along to friends. See Bulbs for Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_bulbous_flowers and Perennial Landscape Plants: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_perennials
Rule out cultural problems, such as lack of water, that resemble insect damage before applying a pesticide. See Turfgrass Pest Insects: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_turf_pest_insects
Apply fertilizer after new growth has started which is usually early April in north-central and central Florida, Choose a fertilizer (not a "weed and feed") with little or no phosphorus unless a soil test indicates the need for it. A fertilizer with controlled-release nitrogen yields longer-lasting results. See Lawn Fertilizer: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_lawn_fertilization
Choose from a wide variety of shrubs to add to the landscape now. See Shrubs: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_shrubs and The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf
Add mulch to minimize weeds and conserve moisture during dry weather. Organic mulches add nutrients to the soil. See Landscape Mulches: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_mulch
All measurements are approximate. Pricing and specifications are subject to change without notice.
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