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October gardening in Central Florida

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The month of October usually brings us a few days of noticeably cooler temperatures and a decrease in rainfall. It's the perfect time to be working outside in the garden!

Fall is an excellent time to install new trees and shrubs in the landscape. The moderating temperatures reduce stress on new plants, and root systems will continue to grow throughout the winter so plants will be well-established by spring.

Now is also the time to start planting many cool-season flowers and vegetables that will continue to produce throughout the winter months. Alyssum, calendula, dianthus, geranium, petunia, pansy, snapdragon, verbena and viola all do well in the fall and winter months. Remove spent flowers and developing seedpods to ensure production of new blooms throughout the growing period.

Outstanding displays of color in the landscape can be seen now on ceiba, firespike, jatropha, podranea, callicarpa, blue ginger, cassia alata, sunchoke and caesalpinia. If your landscape is looking a little drab this time of year, consider adding a few of these beauties to brighten up your home.

Fruits ready for harvest this month include avocado, carambola, limes, bananas, papayas, passionfruit, guavas and glycosmis. Make sure at least one or two of these fall favorites are in your landscape.

In the vegetable garden it's time to plant beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions, English peas, radish, spinach, strawberry and turnips. Now is also a good time to plant some fall herbs like parsley, chives, cilantro, garlic and sage.

Now get out in your garden and enjoy the fall weather!

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