Tag Archives: Gardening

Gardening: Another spring

Gardening

By Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

The seasons roll around, and before we know it the robins will have passed through and our overwintering birds will have left for their more northerly nesting grounds. Depending on temperatures, lawns will soon be greening up, we will be planting our summer vegetables and perhaps seeking new shrubs and perennials to fill in gaps that winter may have left behind.

Gardening: Approaching spring

Gardening

By Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

I confess to being a little haphazard in my approach to spring — seeds that should, for optimal growth, have been sown indoors around six weeks before our last predicted frost, often have to wait till I realize where I am in the year. On the other hand, some of us have a tendency to sow seeds too early, not realizing that once they germinate, they need to be placed in good, strong light to promote sturdy growth, before they are acclimated and planted out after the last frost.

Gardening: January blues?

Gardening

By Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

As November slid into December, there had been so little rain in northeast Florida, it was deemed “abnormally dry” by the U.S. Drought Monitor (http://tinyurl.com/pav75ez). And unfortunately the rain we need to replenish the aquifer is forecast to be lower than normal in early 2017. Luckily, our established landscapes do need less rain in winter. Most trees and shrubs need irrigation — or rain — only about every two to three weeks, depending on their drought tolerance. As always, any newer plants need to be carefully watered to help them establish successfully.

Gardening Considering our wildlife

Gardening

By Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

By the end of October, beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) bushes in my backyard had been denuded of berries. The birds had been making a determined assault on them for several weeks, and when hurricane Matthew passed through it finished the job. Cardinals and catbirds then busied themselves stripping any accessible fruits from my firebushes (Hamelia patens). Since these fruits dangle on the ends of slender stems, the only way for the birds to reach them was to fly at them and grab them in passing, much like a flycatcher’s technique; it was so comical to see.

Gardening | Autumn: Difficult weather, but good insects

Gardening

By Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

September was a mixed bag, meteorologically speaking, including a near miss from Hurricane Hermine, then dry, hot weather, then the rain and high winds of Hurricane Matthew in early October.