It’s time to start turning the soil, and removing perennial weeds and grasses. Consider growing plants in raised beds, instead of directly in the ground. Doing this will keep the soil well drained and help avoid water logging.
Did you know that mulch moderates soil temperatures and keeps roots warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer? It also helps with soil moisture, and reduces the water needs of trees. Mulch also inhibits weeds, helps reduce soil erosion and improves soil. Continue to water newly planted plants, trees and shrubs since it doesn’t rain often in Florida during the winter. Water = fuel for your plants to grow.
Don’t forget your trees! Pruning and maintaining trees is often left off the list when it comes to winter gardening. It’s a great time to remove branches and to reduce size. If you are unsure about proper pruning techniques, or the trees are very tall, consider hiring a specialist so you don’t hurt yourself or your trees.
Interested in growing vegetables? Now is the perfect time! Herbs, assorted lettuces, green onions, mesclun mixes, all thrive during southern winters. The list of possible crops for the vegetable garden is extensive. Now is the time to plant broccoli, cauliflower, collards, turnips, beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, leeks and radishes. Not only is this a great way to feed your family the freshest produce, it’s a great money saving option as well.
If temperatures drop, remember to cover temperature sensitive plants by using cloth, such as an old sheet or quilt but do not use plastic. Plastic can cause condensation to form on the leaves from freezing temperatures, which results in the leaves burning in the sunlight.
Hopefully these tips will help keep your yard bright and beautiful in 2017!