The first month of summer

 

Port Orange Intracoastal Sunset

The first month of summer has arrived! June 22 is the summer solstice however because of Florida’s close proximity to the Tropic of Cancer our summer starts earlier & lasts longer.  As we look to the long months of summer here are some hot weather tips:   

  • It is important to fertilize your garden in the summer time, especially if you have sandy soil &/or a garden plot.  Florida’s afternoon thunderstorms & consistent watering can leach away nutrients in the soil the plants needs for food.
  • Insects will stay on the prowl this month & all summer long. We won’t get a break from the chance of infestation until the cooler weather sets in.  (One of the many reasons I think winter gardening in Florida is awesome!)  Our best fight against pests is to catch them early so check on your garden daily. Look for ants near flowering cucumbers or caterpillars under leaves.  Leave spider webs intact!  Garden spiders are beneficial predators & great for the garden!  They just need to be left alone.  We garden with children too & most garden spiders don’t bite! There are only a few poisonous spiders in Florida (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in011) & all enjoy undisturbed dark areas, not backyard gardens!

A common black and yellow argiope spider with lots of bugs in her web.

If you’re interested in vegetable gardening this summer, despite the pests & weather, I have found that onions, sweet corn & snap beans do wonderful in the summertime!

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