Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Home and Garden

Timely tendings: Vegetable gardening, herbs, removing shoots

It's the season for vegetable gardens:

Vegetable gardening should be in full swing this month. Remember to keep a watch for insects and diseases and be prepared to act at the first sign of invasion. Vegetables are annual plants that require a lot of fertilizer while growing, and vegetable gardens are exempt from the Pinellas County fertilizer ordinance. Keep side-dressing every five to six weeks. There is still time to plant pole beans, lima beans, cantaloupes, collards, okra, sweet potatoes and summer squash.

Herbs: This is a great time to plant herbs. Some are annuals and others are perennial, so be sure to locate them appropriately. You don't want to plant perennial herbs in the middle of a vegetable garden where you will need to rotate crops and change plants from one season to the next. For more on herbs, including which herbs grow best in Florida, see edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh020.

Get rid of suckers: Always remove suckers below the bud or graft union on citrus, avocados, mangos or any other grafted plant. These shoots will grow fast, and they rob needed strength from the desirable upper portion of the plant and will not produce the desired flowers or fruit.

Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For landscape and garden information, visit pinellascountyextension.org. For regular tips about what's growing in Pinellas, go to facebook.com/growpinellas.

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