Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent for Okaloosa County, offers lawn and garden advice specific to Northwest Florida.
689-5850 or 729-1400, Ext. 5850
Many of our lawn, landscape and garden problems occurring now are caused by the dry weather we are experiencing. The month of May is usually a dry month.
Before treating these problems with a pesticide, have samples checked at plant clinic and adjust irrigation, fertilization, mowing height and mulching during dry weather.
A plant clinic to assist in diagnosing lawn, landscape and garden problems will be held Thursday, May 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Fort Walton Beach at
It is interesting to look at the origin of the plants we commonly use in our landscapes.
Sometimes knowing if plants are or are not native can be confusing. There are many different types of hollies; some are native others are not. Most of the azaleas found in our landscapes are not native. However, some deciduous azaleas, such as Pinxter and Flame are native.
Florida has the greatest wealth of native plants for use in the home landscape as compared to other states.
Before selecting a plant, be sure to find out how large it will eventually get. Find out the mature size in height and width. And don’t rely on the word dwarf in the plant name. This term is relative and can be very misleading.
For example, a dwarf Burford holly can grow six feet or more in height. This may not be what the homeowner had in mind when buying a “dwarf” shrub to place beneath a low window. In some cases, the word dwarf may only mean that the plant has smaller leaves,
Pruning is the removal of plant parts. Sounds simple enough; however, in addition to this definition there needs to be a defined reason or purpose for pruning. And, based on the type of pruning and plant species involved, time of year when pruning is done is important. In addition, knowledge of how plants respond to pruning is important.
Without getting into the details of much of the above, my purpose in today’s article is to share short tips on pruning some of our common landscape
Before you buy plants for your landscape, a little homework is in order. Look at where you plan to plant and decide exactly what you need for that spot.
Suppose, for instance, you want to replace some of your foundation plants. First, decide if you need to match the existing plants. If so, replant what’s already there, providing most are doing well. If not, then you need to choose a replacement.
Now, how large a plant (height and spread) will the space hold? Plan on