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Last Update 01/06/13
January in the Florida Garden

 Get Out There and Grow!

January is a great month to begin planning and planting your spring vegetable and flower gardens. The weather is dry and daytime temperatures rarely go above 85F. The nights get cool, but rarely below freezing - although many years ago, January 19, 1977 to be exact, a trace of snow fell in Miami and cities north. Occasionally Siberian Freight Trains of cold Polar air will push their way out of Canada and down to Florida, sometimes getting only as far as Central Florida, other times barreling their way down to the Keys.

Because this month tends to be so dry, supplemental applications of water are required by your lawn and plants. January is also an important month for gardeners in South Florida to fertilize tropical fruit trees, lawns, and shrubs.

Citrus trees especially, should be evaluated this month. Insect pests, plant diseases, and nutritional deficiencies may become apparent now. Citrus is attacked by aphids, whitefly, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and scale insects. It also becomes home to sooty mold, fungus, foot rot, gummosis, "greasy spot" and a host of other diseases resulting from poor nutrition. Now would be an excellent time to schedule (on your new calendar of course)  regular feedings of 6-6-6 fertilizer around the drip line of your trees. The rule of applying fertilizer to fruit trees is one pound of for each year of the tree's age.

Watermelon anyone? Now is a good time to start watermelon if you are in Central or South Florida (North Floridians should wait until March).


Best bets for starting a traditional garden this month are:

Vegetables :  Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive, Escarole, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion Sets, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkins, Rhubarb, Romaine, Rutabagas, Spinach, Squash, Strawberries, Sweet Corn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips Watermelons, and almost any other vegetable or fruit you desire.

Herbs:   Anise, Basil, Borage, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Fennel, Garlic, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame, Sweet Marjoram, Thyme and most other herbs.

Flowers:   Amaryllis, Asters, Baby's Breath, Bachelor's Buttons, Balsam, Calendulas, Callas, Candytufts, Carnations, Cosmos, Cockscombs, Daisies, Dianthus, Forget-Me-Nots, Gaillardias, Gladiolas, Globe Amaranth, Hollyhocks, Lace Flowers, Lilies, Lobelias, Lupines, Marigolds, Narcissus, Nasturtiums, Pansies, Poppies, Salvias, Scabiosa, Snapdragons, Statice, Stock, Strawflowers, Sweetpeas, Sweet William, Verbenas, and other cool season flowers and bulbs.

Sources: Florida Home Grown; Florida Gardening Month by Month

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