2022 – New year’s gardening resolutions

Horticulture Agent, Ralph Mitchell
Horticulture Agent, Ralph Mitchell talks to gardeners about proper pruning techniques

It has been a great gardening year, but 2022 is ready for cultivation and planting! Take time for some personal horticultural reflection and goal setting in the gardening department! The New Year is a great time to make some horticultural resolutions that will benefit any landscape. Let’s look at some tips, techniques and strategies that will make your landscaping experience in Southwest Florida the best in 2022 – we can help!

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ for 2022 – Right Plant, Right Place – This is the first Principle of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™. A low-maintenance home landscape starts with putting the right plant in the right place. Analyze your site so that you pick Florida-Friendly plants and turfgrass that match your local conditions. Keep in mind mature plant size when you make your purchases, and aim for a mix of trees, shrubs, and groundcovers. Properly selected and installed, and once these plants are established, they can be sustained with minimal amounts of supplemental water, fertilizer, or pesticides, saving you time and money. Attention to this detail will pay off big dividends in your future landscape! People often ask us, “What is one resource that I could use to familiarize myself with recommended local landscape planting materials?” I would answer that you need to see this publication – https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_2015.pdf – The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design. This on-line guide not only has pictures of the plants, but also hardiness, sun or shade requirements, salt and drought-tolerance, size, etc. to help with your selections. Everyone with a Florida yard needs to see it! To complement this, please also see – https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/materials/FYN_Handbook_2015_web.pdf – The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Handbook, where the Principles of common-sense landscaping are outlined and discussed. And speaking of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, please feel free to contact our Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Specialist, Sara Weber. You can contact Sara at Sara.Weber@charlottecountyfl.gov for more information on this all-important and overarching concept that will bring you success in your own landscape.

Visit Our Publication Website – EDIS – Often! I cannot say enough about resource. Just like last year, I love to promote EDIS publications. EDIS is the Electronic Data Information Source of UF/IFAS Extension, a treasure-trove of information on topics relevant to you and a gateway to information. This site is packed full of horticultural fact sheets (as well as other topics) on practically every subject matter with good, ready-to-use information specifically geared for Florida – please check here – http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/. You can also visit our office website by clicking on this link – https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/charlotte/.

Test Your Soil. Our UF/IFAS soil testing services are very accurate. The price is $10.00 for a complete test including several micronutrients tested in addition to the standard analysis. You can either come into our office and get a form and a baggie, or just download it from the UF/IFAS Soil Lab website here – http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/SS/SS18700.pdf . If downloaded, simply fill out the form, enclose a check for the correct amount, use a zip lock baggie for your sample and your own small cardboard shipping box – you take the sample as per the form instructions and send it off. There is no more than a 2 week turn-around time for the results. We also get a copy in case you need help with interpretation.

Let Us Help You! We are just a phone call, e-mail or office visit away. Our Staff of experts and associated UF/IFAS Specialists can help you solve landscape problems involving insect pests, plant disease, cultural problems and even household pests. Our new office at 1120 Centennial Blvd is found within the new Centennial Park Facility right across the way from the new Westport© development.

The New Year is here and with it many gardening improvements, innovations and plant palette options. Let us help you in 2022 with America’s number 1 hobby – gardening! For more information on all types of gardening topics in our area, or to ask a question, please visit https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteMGLifeline/ . Ralph E. Mitchell is the Director/Horticulture Agent for the UF/IFAS Charlotte County Extension Service. He can be reached at 941-764-4344 or ralph.mitchell@charlottecountyfl.gov

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Posted: December 31, 2021


Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, SFYL Hot Topic, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, Landscape Design, Turfgrass


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