By Lesley Arrandale, Master Gardener
mail@floridanewsline.com

Jacksonville has been lucky — so far. As of early October, the people of the Carolinas are struggling to recover from continuing flooding after Hurricane Florence; our thoughts go out to them. But Florida now has its own storm, Michael, which will hit the Gulf Coast as a strong category 4 hurricane. We hope for the best under dreadful circumstances.

On a more positive note, hailing from another clime, albeit more than 30 years ago, I really love the onset of cooler weather. (And even “cold” weather, in this climate zone.) So much so, that autumn is my time for walks on the beach and generally enjoying getting out and about, after the blistering summer heat has moderated. I think many people would agree that it’s more appealing weather for gardening too, and there are plenty of tasks to tackle.

DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent

One such project may be planting a new bed in good time to allow the plants to settle in before the colder months of January and February. There are plenty of resources to turn to for ideas, and perhaps the most useful one is the Florida-Friendly Landscaping (R) program. There are nine principles governing the program, with “Right Plant, Right Place” being the first and probably the most important; it covers all the information needed for success. For an overview and links to detailed guidance on design and plant choice, begin here https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/. This video from the Polk County Extension office is a good introduction to the program and not overly specific to their county: https://tinyurl.com/yczc5ycv.

To keep your cool season vegetable production well organized, decide what you can reasonably eat (unless you like to share your bounty or are adept at home canning and freezing), and plant small quantities of your favorites at intervals. Some of the brassicas and mustards are large plants and you may only need a few to satisfy your needs. Broccoli produces small tender side shoots resembling the large main head after it has been harvested, and can be treated as a “cut and come again” vegetable. Carrots are slow growing, but a short row sown every week or two through the season may suffice. These are tactics from which we all would benefit. I’ve certainly been too gung-ho in the past, and my family has made it clear that some vegetables can quickly lose their appeal if they appear too often on the menu. Refer to the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide for what to plant, and when: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021. This is a comprehensive guide that is well worth consulting regularly.

Certain culinary herbs that struggle in Florida’s summer will be coming into their own. For an illustrated guide to herbs and how to grow them, check out this PowerPoint presentation: https://tinyurl.com/yd3fdtku.

Autumn-blooming wildflowers along our roadsides have been delightful. The tall billowy yellow flowers are goldenrods (Solidago spp.) which make a spectacular display when massed. However, not all species are suitable for a modest sized garden, as some can spread aggressively. Check out this article about Chapman’s goldenrod (S. odora), one of the more restrained species: https://tinyurl.com/y74s8fbz. And there are cultivars available in the nursery trade which have been bred for desirable characteristics.

My beautyberry bushes (Callicarpa americana) are putting on their fall display of luscious magenta berries — a real treat for mockingbirds, who find them irresistible. It reminds me that I share “my” space with other creatures, seen and unseen, and prompts me to try to tread lightly and considerately in my dealings with others — of all descriptions.

  • Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • I.T. Promise Inc. Computer Services Professional Computer Services business and residential
  • Pavers concrete and more Free estimates
  • Snip's Tree and stump service over 25 years experience
  • The right cleaners, LLC House cleaning services
  • Premier Homes Realty Inc. Michael Taylor and Tari Taylor
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • Vote Rod Hardwick for st johns county sheriff Working together for the strength of our community during challenging times
  • Preddy law firm estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship
  • Starling Nocatee, 360 degree virtual tour
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Support Community Journalism The Creek Line
  • Tutoring club of st johns. Text tutoring to 484848 for a chance to win one month of free tutoring
  • Being Well Florida News line is excited to introduce Being Well magazine
  • Westminster Woods on Julington creek. Live well. Be Happy
  • Ackerman cancer center. We're here for your cancer treatment
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience, complete lawn maintenance
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Academy of Dance Open House & Registration August 19th and 20th 3pm to 6pm Classes start August 24th! Ballet, Pointem Jazz, Hip Hop Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Music Theatre, Vocal
  • Affordable Water
  • All About Ballroom
  • Do you only want cremation?
  • Craig Funeral services, Funeral, Crematory, Memorial Park
  • Cronin Ace Hardware
  • Vote for Christian Whitehurst! for St. Johns county commissioner, District 1
  • Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,
  • Finding the right doctor just got easier, Dr. Levine Baptist primary care
  • DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent
  • Nemetz Dental Associates! Your new smile awaits!
  • Deerwood Academy register now for 2020-2021 VPK
  • Eye center of st augustine, The eye surgery Center of St Augustine
  • Famous Automotive and tire center
  • Fruit Cove Baptist Church
  • The Goddard School summer camp
  • Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs
  • Ian MacDonald Mortgage loan originator with Regions Mortgage
  • Julington Creek Chiropractic & Wellness Center P.A. serving st. johns county for nearly 21 years
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. Have you watered your birds lately?
  • Legends of Real Estate call Kim Kessler
  • Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commerical!
  • Crosswinds Veterinary Hospital. Preventative Medicine and wellness, Surgery, Dentistry, Labs and Imaging, Farm Animal Medicine, In-Patient and Emergency Care
  • Florida Waterways Inc. Your trusted Waterway Advisers
  • Harbor Chase Independent & Assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Immerse yourself in a rewarding community that enriches your body, mind, and soul.
  • Dont Forget to vote for John Turner School Board member
  • Julington Creek Family Dentistry. Implant Cosmetic and Restoration Dentistry. We are following Advanced Safety protocols set forth by CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines for dental practices
  • Lori Hershey for School Board, District 7. A school system we can all believe in.
  • Alicia Washington for Circuit Judge
  • Matt Schellenberg. Dependable Leadership for these challenging Times. School Board District 7
  • Re-elect Mike Orfinger for circuit judge
  • Concrete Works! Free Estimates, driveways, Patios, Walkways, Concrete removal, Driveway extension, Pavers
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • Mobile Notary Service. 15 years experience, 24 hour services
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • Starlight Gymnastics! Our #1 priority is your children!
  • Chris Strickland for ST Johns county sheriff!
  • Sugar Bear Antique Mall Summer spectacular sale July 10th-12th
  • Baptist Health, Great tools for motherhood
  • A Green Cleaner, Free pickup and delivery to your home!
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • Alive Credit Union Start banking healthier today!
  • Clara's Tidbits Now in Mandarin!
  • Brian E. Floro DMD, PA Dental services
  • JR Dental General, Specialty and Dental lab
  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • Railing Chiropractic & Acupuncture
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our may issue!
  • HarborChase independent & assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Your safety and peace of mind is always our Top Priority
  • Smart Choice Medical healthcare membership! No VoPay, No Deductibles, No Hassles
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021