Most Florida homeowners have properties with a variety of sun and soil conditions. There are great bulb options for just about every area of your landscaping. Consider Amazon lilies for shade, cannas for perpetually moist soil, and amaryllis for drier spots.
Now is the time to plan, prepare, and plant your warm-weather bulbs. Care for cold-damaged bulbs and choose the right ones for difficult growing conditions. Abide by depth and spacing recommendations, water regularly, and begin a spring fertilizing program.
Papaya plants grow quickly and produce impressive amounts of fruit. Choose from several varieties and grow these plants from seed, making sure to plant more than one to ensure pollination and fruit production. Protect your precious papayas from the wind and give them plenty of sunlight and water.
While turfgrasses blanket many of Florida's properties, they require resources, money, and time to maintain. However, turfgrass alternatives such as mulch, groundcover, and hardscapes exist. Reduce your yard size and substitute it for options that not only conserve resources but diversify and beautify your landscaping.
St. Augustine grass is a common Florida turfgrass with several cultivars available to homeowners. Five popular varieties are Floratam, Seville, Bitter-Blue, Sapphire, and Palmetto. Some are superstars in the state’s tropical and subtropical conditions and others should be avoided.
Adding a focal point will elevate your landscape’s appeal, and a specimen tree may fit the bill. A specimen tree is any tree planted as a stand-alone landscape feature. Choose a unique tree that will make a statement, like one with long-lasting blooms or an interesting shape.
Heirloom tomatoes are growing in popularity due to their unique flavors, colors, and shapes. Seeds are passed down through generations to preserve these distinctive fruits. Consider planting Brandywines, Cherokee Purples, and Black Krims. Remember, all heirlooms need generous amounts of sunlight, fertilizer, water, and warmth.
Vegetable gardening gives children experience in nurturing something from start to finish and teaches them the importance of growing food and asking where it comes from (not to mention the satisfaction and pride they will feel when harvesting that first cherry tomato).
Design your garden bed so that all plants are on display. Border beds could have short plants in front, one or two tiers of medium-height shrubs or grasses, and a backdrop of tall, vigorous viburnum, podocarpus, banana, or bamboo.