by Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent
As we move into September, we can expect some relief from summer’s heat and humidity. This change offers a time to possibly catch up on landscape jobs.
September also offers a favorable time to purchase and plant some landscape plants. And the Okaloosa County Master Gardeners can assist with this. They are holding a Fall Plant Sale this Saturday in Fort Walton Beach.
Fall is the best time to add new plants to your landscape. Cooler temperatures allow new plants to establish a healthy root system before having to expend most of their energy generating new leaves and flowers as they would in spring.
The Okaloosa County Master Gardener’s Association will hold a Fall Plant Sale from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday, September 17 at the Okaloosa Extension Annex, 127 West Hollywood Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach. This plant sale will be held indoors, rain or shine. The plant sale will feature annuals, perennials, native plants, woody ornamentals and plants for butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife. A large variety of plants will be available including many hard-to-find Florida-Friendly plants grown by Master Gardeners in their own gardens.
Below are ideas for September gardening for North Florida from the UF/IFAS Extension Florida Gardening Calendar.
Bedding Plants: If summer beds need refreshing, try ageratum, celosia, zinnia and wax begonia for color into fall. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319.
Bulbs: Add color to the landscape by planting calla, narcissus and zephyr lily. See: Bulbs for Florida at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_bulbous_flowers.
Herbs: Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary and basil. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020.
Vegetables: Plant cool-season vegetable crops such as radish, carrot, cabbage and lettuce. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021.
Lawn problems: Continue to monitor the lawn for signs of insect damage. Fall armyworms, chinch bugs, mole crickets and sod webworms are still active this month. See: Insect Management in Your Florida Lawn at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_lawn_insect_management.
Fertilize lawns: September is the last month to fertilize Bahia, Bermuda, Zoysia and St, Augustine lawns, if needed. But it’s too late to fertilize a Centipede lawn. Choose an appropriate analysis fertilizer with either a low amount of nitrogen or controlled-release nitrogen and sufficient potassium. The fertilizer should have no or very little phosphorus unless a soil test indicates a need for it. Avoid “weed and feed” products; only apply herbicides to areas with weed infestations. See: Your Florida Lawn at http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn.