APRIL GARDENING ZONE 9B
The warmth this week in Florida is restorative; so beautiful are the skies and the sunsets. I have learned some about March planting and am now reaching out a bit further. I want to explore the gardening of Zone 9B (Space Coast) during the month of April. My husband and I will be exploring garden stores soon and I really do make a list...but that is after my research makes me a more knowledgeable Floridian!
Color in the Garden is very important to me, so I always like to look at annuals. From what I have gleaned it is safe to plant coleus and they should do well in the sun as well as on the sides of my yard (the alleyways as I think of them) for little walkway gardens. In NC daylillies are spectacular and prolific. They are almost maintenance-free and this miracle of gardening is on websites as a very plausible selection for Zone 9B.
Since we will be moving in to our new home in March and early April, I thought the best list would be of annuals that I can likely buy in April and have for a few months. From this site http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg319 I have tentatively completed a preliminary shopping/ researching list:
Wax Begonia enjoys full sun and does okay in partial sun and could even be planted in February and will last till September. Hummm. Sounds good. These in NC are super easy care.
Coleus are good till October or November and are planted in April to August. Full and partial sun. I never could make these beauties grow well in NC, so maybe my sandy thumb will be better than my clay thumb! Hehehehehe.
Calliopsis - I need to see a pic of this one! I can plant this one from March to May and it will last till its toes are frosty. So it is considered Hardy in FL and likes sun/partial sun.
Crossandra - Another one I need to see. Can plant April to July and it lasts till October. This sounds like an alleyway plant for me because it likes partial (early or late day sun) or no sun.
Gazania loves sun and can be planted Feb to May and last till November.
Geranium, which I love, seems to be good only till July even though it can be planted from Feb to March. This sounds like it might be better as a container plant in brilliant red color.
Impatiens for my alley gardens as they like less sun or no sun and I can keep them till frost strikes after planting them from March through July. A winner, I hope!
Kalanchoe are reigning in my sister's Florida yard. I know this will work. They like full or partial sun and I can plant these from May to September and then discard them when they get frosty.
Marigold is a favorite of my husband. They will last 3-4 months after being planted anytime from March to August. Sun! Sun! Sun!
Moss Rose or Portulaca - love these! Tender till April-July and then they last till the very first subtle or hard frost.
Sweet Williams from March to August and they like partial or full sun.
Thunbergia (or alata) is unknown to me, but fits my interest as I can plant after moving in and hopefully have it till frost in full or partial sun.
I looked at the list on the University of Florida site and now want to yell, "Help!!" This is one that I will research separately and then buy what the garden store recommends as I fear I will be a tentative (er, cowardly) about the selection and care. I feel another HUB coming on...that includes varieties of daylilies and of other bulbs. These will have more questions - when to plant, when to dig the bulbs back out of the earth (hate doing that), can they stay in ground year round, when to feed, and on and on. After all, I don't want a Giant Beanstalk type plant nor a puny example of a big bulb plant. Would you?
When you consider I will be putting up with and living where wild boar, alligators and deer do definitely roam, I feel no need to put up with garden pests such as Aphids which feast on annuals, palms, and roses I understand. These little guys and gals suck, suck, suck the life right out of the plant, swallow-by-swallow. And they carry plant diseases with them as they roam - little infesting boogers. NO! So, April is a time to be on guard.
Thirps are very tiny insects in yellow, brown or black that punch then suck too! I can envision me with my Sherlock Holmes gardening hat, my magnifying glass, and a white paper. I will ferret them out by looking for dried and striped leaves or flowers, then shake the stem over the white paper and spy upon the paper for thirps with my magnifying glass. It's Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Thirps! If these garden invaders are present, off to the pest control section of my local Lowe's I trek, bike, or drive.
Couple of General Things to Do
When I have perennials or bulbs, I can divide them about this time of year...but alas not 2011, then I can dissect bulbs like Maura Isles might be inclined to do! Mulch though is on my list! Deadhead! Always...for more blooms.
Blog on Central Florida Gardening
- Gardening in Central Florida: Florida gardening in April...
Yeah, found a new blog on gardening in my area. I am going to be a follower of this one.