By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley Arrandale

In early November, the whole country experienced record lows after record highs, and some improvement in the drought — never a dull moment!

As clocks have “fallen back,” those of us with in-ground irrigation systems need to change our watering schedule, even if we use well water. Hand held hoses and drip systems can run at any time. Check here for details: www.sjrwmd.com/wateringrestrictions/. Watering just once a week, if needed, is all that is required for our grass to adjust to shorter days and cooler temperatures, both of which cause slower growth. Until we have a freeze we will likely see grass continue to grow, so if you must mow, be sure to set your mower blades high; scalping a lawn will weaken the roots and make it more susceptible to freeze damage.

Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,

Finally it’s cool enough to grow lettuce, and continue to plant cool season vegetables; see “The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide” (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021).

By now, the wild sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) and goldenrods (Solidago spp.) are past their prime, and setting seed, which is a boon for our wild life. Asters (Symphyotrichum spp.) are blooming along the roadsides, and the seed heads of bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus) are turning a rusty brown color, lighting up the roadsides as they catch the sun. Winged sumac (Rhus copallinum) is one of the few native shrubs that turn a beautiful red in autumn, and is a delight. The leaves of the ubiquitous Boston ivy (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) become a stunning red before dropping, and in addition the vines produce plenty of small black berries for our avian neighbors, and probably for small mammals too.

It won’t be long before we dress our homes with festive plants. When buying Christmas cacti and poinsettia, take care to place them where they will be happy, and care for them appropriately. This humorous article by “The Grumpy Gardener,” aka Steve Bender, tells you what you need to know: www.southernliving.com/garden/grumpy-gardener/how-to-care-for-holiday-plants.

Birds need to fatten up for the colder weather ahead, and now is a good time to put out protein-rich suet cakes. Making your own is a possibility; the internet is always a good resource. The big box stores sell several varieties of suet, and I’ve found that one formulated for woodpeckers is popular with many backyard birds as well as winter migrants.

Until our first frost we can expect some of our tender perennials to keep blooming and one that I really enjoy is the tall red pentas or Egyptian starflower (Pentas lanceolata). Other late fall and early winter flowers include pansies and violas. For more information on winter annuals see https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep451#SECTION_12. Camellias are wonderful evergreens that can provide color throughout the winter. With early, mid and late season bloomers, Camellia sasanqua and C. japonica can provide color for months, although the mid-season bloomers are the most reliable in Florida (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep002). There is no need for a dull yard, at any time of the year. Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

  • 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