October is here and I am definitely glad to see the cooler temperatures. There are so many benefits to autumn in Florida like the slowdown of lawn growth (no more weekly mows!), increased growth and flowering for some heat-stressed plants, and the opportunity to take full advantage of our cool season vegetable gardens while most of the country preps for winter. Here are some tips to help your garden throughout the month of October.
Fall color for Florida
Being a transplant from the Northeast, I do honestly miss autumn, mainly the fall foliage. I spent most of my fall and winter afternoons in the woods near my family farm and the sight of the tree color change is something I wish I could see every year. While Florida does not offer the same display, there are some plants that can give us a nice fall color pop in October and November.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/mv126_ for more information).
Finally, planting in fall annuals with yellows, oranges, and reds can add that fall color to your landscape as well as the standard garden chrysanthemums. This contrasts well with other cool-weather annuals like pansies, dianthus, and ornamental cabbage and kale.
www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist). Also, never cross a property line to do any tree removal, plant clearing, or herbicide applications as these can lead to legal issues.
The line of communication you build with your neighbors may help to avoid any disagreements. In the past, I have had conversations with my own neighbors about removing a tree from my yard that provided shade to them because it was invasive and also about some issues I saw in one of their trees that could have created a hazard for our homes.
Things to plant in October
Vegetables: Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Collards, Cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, Kohlrabi, Mustard, Onions, Radish, Rutabaga, Spinach, and Turnips.
Herbs: Basil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mexican Tarragon, Parsley, Sage, and Thyme.
Annuals: Dianthus, Pansy, Petunia, Shasta daisy, Snapdragon, Flowering Kale, and Flowering Cabbage.
Bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, or corms: African lily, Amaryllis, Aztec lily, Calla lily, Iris, Kaffir lily, Lily, Walking Iris, Spider lily, Pineapple lily, Star-of-Bethlehem, and Zephyr lily
Wayne Hobbs is an extension agent in environmental horticulture for Clay County.