In This Issue....
Santa Rosa County
Our Gulf Coast weather allows for year round gardening. There is always something to do in the landscape or garden, even during cooler weather. Although the first frost will likely occur in late November to early December, now is a great time to plant trees, shrubs and cool-season annual flowers and vegetables.
Firebush (Hamelia patens) is a reliable perennial that provides fall color in the garden Photo Credits: Theresa Friday, Santa Rosa County
The pansy is one of our best winter annual flowers. It is extremely cold tolerant, able to withstand hard freezes and recover completely. A well established and maintained pansy bed provides color throughout the winter and into late spring.
Cool season vegetables can be started now by planting the seeds of beets, carrots, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, parsley, radish and spinach. If transplants are still available, you have time to plant broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, collards, kale, leek and onions.
November is also an ideal time for planting hardy shrubs and trees in the landscape. Our relatively mild soil temperatures allow for root growth during the winter. Fall planted woody ornamentals are well on their way toward establishing their new root systems before the stress from summer heat the following year.
Permanent lawn grasses in Northwest Florida (bahiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass) go dormant in late fall or winter. These grasses grow very slowly and lose color in the fall, and turn completely brown with the first frost. If you want a green lawn throughout the winter, sow ryegrass.