SAVE THE DATE! Open Greenhouse & Plant Swap, Saturday, August 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 602 Ronele Drive, Brandon, FL 33511 (But no Open Greenhouse in September because it’s a holiday weekend.)
It’s almost time for hummingbird season!
While you’re getting ready to plant seeds for your winter vegetable garden, pick up cuttings on hummingbird favorites including Chinese hat, firebush, coral porterweed, red and lavender firespike, coral honeysuckle, rangoon creeper and the native trumpet vine. Many of the plants here originally came from Steve Backes who has so many hummingbirds in his Valrico yard that nationally renowned hummingbird bander Fred Bassett visits most winters. Check out this story to learn more: https://baysoundings.com/hummingbirds-in-florida-if-you-plant-it-they-will-come/
And if you’re planting a garden this spring, we have a nice pile of hardwood mulch and lots of bamboos to use as stakes. We have some extra five-gallon buckets used for neem products — they’ll need to be cleaned well but they’re safe. And finally, we have some pallets for our crafty friends.
On the free plant list for August:
Native elderberries are covered in berries but they also spread by runners so we have lots to share. The non-native candlestick senna is popping up in all kinds of places – it’s the larval food for the sulfur butterflies so it’s pretty spectacular even when it’s not blooming. We also have some sad-looking passionflower in the greenhouse that really needs a good home soon. (The original fruit came from Tanja Vidovek, they’re amazingly productive vines besides attracting butterflies.)
Other you-dig plants in the yarden this month:
A limited number of coral porterweeds that popped up in the wrong spot. They don’t often do it, so they’re nowhere near the problem as the non-native blue.
Bleeding heart and pagoda plants, both of which do need to be contained because they spread underground.
Surinam cherry seedlings
A limited number of katuk plants, which are my personal favorite green. New growth tastes like peanuts, they thrive in the summer when many greens don’t
Bush morning glory has all the beauty of a vining morning glory but doesn’t try to take over the universe
Native spiderwort, another personal favorite that’s a bee magnet
Lady palms, a slow-growing hedge that’s tough as can be once it’s started
Native wild violets
Yellow walking iris
Yellow native cannas
Ever-bearing mulberries that probably won’t have fruit this month but usually do
Sweet almonds are thriving and are covered in bees.
Dark blue salvia and lavender or red firespike. There’s one big red firespike you can take as a you-dig.
Jacob’s ladder is one of the few things we grow that doesn’t benefit wildlife, but it’s an attractive plant that works beautifully in a pot
Blackberry lily, another native that came through the cold with blooms
Daikon radish, plant in September or October as a tasty crop, or let it go to see for flowers that bees and butterflies can enjoy no matter how cold it gets. (It’s also known as mooli to our Indian friends.)
Cosmos, the big plants froze back but the volunteer seedlings are still thriving
Amaranth is an ancient grain with leaves used as callaloo on tropical islands. It’s an attractive plant too with coloring that looks like coleus. The original seeds came from Jungle Jay in at Beacon Community Garden and they reseed nicely every year.
A nice selection of miscellaneous seeds that were gifted to us last month