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 http://charlotte.ifas.ufl.edu/horticulture
WHAT TO PLANT
Annuals/Bedding plants: If summer beds need refreshing, try scarlet sage, nasturtium, celosia, and wax begonia for color into fall.
Bulbs: Plant gladiolus every 2 weeks to stagger blooming. Stake each plant.
Herbs: Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil.
Vegetables: September opens the door for more vegetables to plant.
Shrubs: Consider placing native shrubs, like beautyberry, marlberry, firebush, and dahoon holly, where you can view the birds that enjoy them
WHAT TO DO
Lawns: Continue to monitor the lawn for signs of insect damage. Fall armyworms, chinch bugs, mole crickets, and sod webworms are still active this month.
Vegetable gardens: Prepare the fall vegetable garden if not done in August. Using transplants from your local garden center will get the garden off to a fast start, but seeds provide a wider variety from which to choose.
Perennials and bulbs: Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to planting beds and monitor water needs during establishment.
Irrigation: Check that irrigation systems are providing good coverage and operating properly before summer rains taper off.
* Information courtesy of the University of Florida IFAS Extension: www.edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep452