Heat-Loving Beans

Heat-Loving Beans

Let’s face it – gardening in Florida can be tough. With our heat, humidity, rains, and poor soil, it seems like the deck is stacked against us. However, much of the Earth enjoys a tropical climate, even warmer than Florida. Yet native people have been living off the land and growing food in abundance for generations. Rain forests thrive too. There must be a way to garden despite all of these hurdles. Choosing the right type of plant for the growing season is so important to your garden’s success.

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Oh No – Not Spanish Needle!

Oh No – Not Spanish Needle!

I want to share a little about my favorite weed. Not THAT weed! Spanish needle, bidens alba. It goes by many names – beggar tick, shepard’s needle, and others.

Many people consider this plant to be the worst of all weeds and I do not disagree that those poky little seeds get stuck everywhere and are a pain to remove. BUT, considering all of the wonderful and beneficial aspects to this wildflower – yes I called it a wildflower – I’ll put up with the little sticky seeds.

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Longevity Spinach

Longevity Spinach

One of my favorite and easiest plants to grow is longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens). It is a perennial in the Tampa Bay area unless there is a freeze, then it may die back to the roots and return in the spring. In areas with colder temperatures, it can be grown as an annual or brought inside during the winter. It does grow year round, but growth will slow during the cooler months.

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Butterfly in the Sky… Please Visit My Yard

Butterfly in the Sky… Please Visit My Yard

Convincing butterflies to visit your yard and stay a while can be a challenge. You might see them flitting through the trees, soaring up and down, occasionally stopping for a bit of nectar before cruising on to…? Where are they going? They have to hang out somewhere, right?

To understand how to make a haven for butterflies in your yard, you first have to understand what they are looking for.

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5 Native Florida Shrubs for the Birds… and You

5 Native Florida Shrubs for the Birds… and You

Birds don’t naturally eat from metal and glass tubes hanging from ornamental hooks. They really prefer to forage for insects, nuts, seeds and fruit. In fact, bird feeders can contribute to the spread of disease if not washed and dried regularly.

There is an alternative. You could attract birds to your yard with commonly available Florida native landscaping plants.

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