Both Sarasota and Charlotte Counties restrict the use of fertilizers containing Nitrogen and Phosphate from June 1 through September 30. This protects the water quality in our creeks, lakes and marine water that receive runoff from the storm water system. The counties suggest using iron, manganese and magnesium to help keep your lawn green. For more information go to www.scgov.net or click here.
What to Plant
Annuals/Bedding Plants: Annuals that can take full sun during the increasingly hot summer months include celosia, portulaca, vinca, coleus, torenia and ornamental peppers.
Bulbs: Butterfly lily and gladiolus are bulbs that can be planted during the middle of summer.
Herbs: While summer is too hot to start herbs from seeds, many, such as oregano and mint, do well if started from small plants.
Vegetables: Plant tropical vegetables, such as boniato, calabaza, and chayote this month.
Palms: Continue planting palms while the rainy season is in full swing. Support large palms with braces for 6–8 months after planting. Do not drive nails directly into a palm trunk.
WHAT TO DO
Trees: Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and pruning if needed. Hire an ISA-certified arborist.
Lawns: Determine the cause of any lawn problems before taking action. If an insect is the culprit, treat only the affected area. Rule out disease or sprinkler malfunction.
Fertilizer Ban: Sarasota and Charlotte Counties prohibit the application fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants from June-September.
Vegetable Garden: Use summer heat to solarize the vegetable garden for fall planting. It takes 4-6 weeks to kill weeds, disease, and nematodes, so start now.
Irrigation: Install an inexpensive rain shutoff device to save money by overriding an irrigation system when it rains. If one is already installed, check that it is operating properly.
Pests: Inspect the leaves of ornamental plants for small white dots that may indicate lace bugs at work. Spray forcefully with water to help control this pest.
Tropical Fruit Trees: Check for damage to fruit or leaves and take action to minimize the effect of insects and/or disease on developing fruit or the overall health of the tree.
* Information courtesy of the University of Florida IFAS Extension: www.edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep452