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Lawn and Garden

Winter Gardening

 Unlike much of the country we don’t need to put our “gardens to bed for the winter”. While winter is the perfect time to inspect the underlying structure of your garden and make any necessary changes to enhance its appeal, winter here can be a great to time to be in the yard gardening as well.  The days are shorter, the sun's intensity less, and there are fewer insects and diseases around to attack your plants. This allows cool weather seedlings and transplants the luxury of growing slow and strong to maturity. Besides, in winter, there is less weeding, watering and care involved. There's time to harvest plants as needed, knowing they will hold in the garden longer than if they are growing under high heat conditions.  The soil holds moisture longer in fall so the garden requires less watering.  My favorite reason to garden now is we have more comfortable weather to work in. 

Whether you are growing a winter vegetable garden, planting winter annuals, or seeding up for the spring, you need know that the average first freeze is Thanksgiving weekend. So, make sure you are planting cold hardy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and collards. For annuals plant things like petunias, snapdragons, alyssums and pansies.  If you want to sow seeds for the early spring try hollyhocks, delphiniums, Iceland poppies and phloxes. Remember if you are seeding you may need some cold protection during the germination process. Read the seed pack planting instructions on the back. For more information on what to grow this month in see page 2, the November Planting Guide and check out the North Florida Gardening Calendar website edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

                                    

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