About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Friday, January 25, 2008

Kudos to Stetson University

This old and beautiful 174-acre university in Deland is going "native!" The Stetson University's Native Plant Initiative is slowly, but surely transforming the flora on campus into native species. Their Web site includes lists (with plant requirements) of the native palms, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, vines and groundcovers they are planting. Also, is a list of references and links, plus a slide show of 10 landscape photos. Check it out, and see for yourself what a beautiful job they are doing. Hopefully, more universities, homes, shopping centers and office complexes will follow their example. Great Job!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Get to Know the Good Guys

One of the wonders of nature is its ability to create balance. And a prime example of this can be found in the insect world. Beneficial insects are a welcome addition to any garden. The only problem is in knowing who is good and who is bad. The University of Florida Extension Service provides descriptions and photos of 11 common "good guys" online in their Beneficial Insects Sheet 1 and Beneficial Insects Sheet 2.

You can attract more beneficial insects to your yard by providing a wide variety of food (both nectar and pollen) sources. Planting a variety of perennials and native wildflowers is effective. Weeds are also a good source for beneficial insects, so don't be so quick to remove them all. Good plant choices include: goldenrod, yarrow, daisy, milkweed, scented geraniums, cosmos, fennel, dill, parsley, thyme, marigold, nasturtians and sunflowers.

Many beneficial insects can be purchased from mail order sources such as Gardens Alive and Gardener's Supply Co. When releasing purchased insects follow the enclosed instructions for best results.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Green Prints for the Gardener's Soul

Green Prints, which is so aptly described by Pat Stone the editor as, "a magazine that shares the human side of gardening: the joy, humor, frustrations, and heart in fine prose and fine art." This quarterly magazine is one of the most delightful and entertaining gardening magazines out there. The stories range from heart-warming to laugh-out-loud renderings of people's experiences in the garden. Pat has been successful in creating a very unique type of garden magazine - one of its kind. It's not designed to provide advice from the "experts," but the pages are loaded with the successes and failures of real everyday gardeners. If you love to garden and read well written short stories, you are guaranteed to love this magazine. And if you like to write, you can try your hand at submitting your own stories. Who knows, you just may find yourself in Green Prints!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Protecting Plants from Freezing Temperatures

One or two nights of freezing temperatures can devastate the look of your yard. The University of Florida Extension Solutions for Your Life provides some excellent and timely tips on what to do before, during and after the freeze to minimize damage.

Click here to read this timely and helpful article.