Fall Planting

Fall Landscaping

Florida Fall Planting: What to plant now and how!

We have one more month until Winter sets in (December 21st), but in Florida we are still in prime fall planting mode as the weather cools down. While we may not be able to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage that our northern friends are seeing, now is a great time to enjoy the outdoors thanks to the drop in humidity and the cool breezes. And working in the garden not only pays off in blossoms, and literal fruits of our labor, we can also work up a sweat and make a little room around the waistband to enjoy all of our holiday cooking!

What is good to plant this month?

Let’s talk flowers. The holidays are coming up and hopefully you’ll be enjoying a house full of wonderful guests and all of the mess they leave behind! Why not invest in some fall season annuals to brighten up your outside area, encourage your guests to enjoy the perfect weather, and in doing so, create less clutter in your home: everybody wins!

The Gazania. Image courtesy of Flickr user americo7

The Gazania. Image courtesy of Flickr user americo7

Beautiful Gazanias are the perfect annual for Florida winters, they’re colorful, vibrant, so friendly, and easy to plant and grow. They are used to dry, sandy soil which makes the need for potting soil minimal. If there were a flower yearbook, they would be voted “Most likely to succeed.” The only downfall with the lovelies is that they are not native to Florida. But they are non invasive, so they will not harm our native ecosystem.

How to plant (1):

Propagate by seed, cuttings – Start the seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date, or scatter the seeds where desired outdoors after frost danger has passed. Cover the seeds lightly, as darkness aids germination. Make basal cuttings in late summer or early fall.

Germination temperature: 60 F to 65 F

Days to emergence: 7 to 21

Garden Beds. Image courtesy of University of Florida

Garden Beds. Image courtesy of University of Florida

English Lavender is also a great flower to enjoy and a flowers that really plays well with others, meaning you can use it as a backdrop to other plants as in the picture above. It grows a little taller than most flowers (or at least you can prune your flowers in that manner) so it’s best to place it at the back of a bed. Once again it is non native and non invasive. An added benefit of lavender is that you can clip and enjoy the flowers in a vase.

How to plant (1):

Propagate by seed, cuttings, layering, division or separation – Lavender is most easily propagated by cuttings or division. Named varieties of lavender should be propagated by cuttings or layering and not by seed which will most likely not come true. May self-seed if not deadheaded.

Cuttings of strong growth taken with a heel in July or August can be grown in a greenhouse or cold frame the first winter and planting out the next spring after frost danger.

Seeds germinate slowly. Barely cover seeds with soil in a greenhouse. They will germinate in 1 to 3 months. When large enough to handle, put seedlings in individual pots and grow in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out late the next spring after the last expected frost.

Layering is possible at any time of the year by scraping the bark near the base of a long stem, applying a rooting hormone and bending the stem down and pegging with a “V” cut from a coat hanger.

These are just two of the hundreds of pretty plants that will grow well at this time of year. Unfortunately, there are certain intricacies to any kind of planting that should be taken into consideration. For example, if your budget is tight, you’ll want to look for plants that will last, plants that can propagate through cuttings, and plants that are healthy and large (the larger the plant, the more established it is already). The irony of being on a budget is that spending money up front can save you in the long run. Spending hundreds of dollars each season to replace dying plants is costly and makes your home depreciate in value.

If time is an issue, you need low maintenance plants that are planted in the best way to keep off bugs, limit weeds and require minimal cutting and other care.

To save you time and money, you can hire us to design your landscaping, deliver your plants direct from the local growers at a lower cost and in a healthier condition than retail. We can install them, provide any hardscaping and maintenance. We can also help you to understand your own garden so that you can enjoy your outdoor area, doing as much or as little work on it as you prefer!

If you’d like more information about fall planting, or would like to get a quote for your home, development, or commercial property landscaping, call us today: (954) 938-1999 or email us

 

References:  (1) http://www.gardening.cornell.edu

Fall pest control in Florida

Mosquito in the grass

Courtesy of Flickr User hofluk

Fall in Florida brings cooler weather, more thunderstorms, the increased chance of tropical depressions and bugs. What’s not to love?

While we at PALM can’t control the weather, we can control the bugs. And it’s important that we do. Sixteen cases of locally acquired Dengue fever have been identified in Florida this season. This along with many other diseases are carried by mosquitoes, who are right now laying eggs in the wet soil around your development.

Many diseases are carried by mosquitoes, who are right now laying eggs in the wet soil around your development. [Read more...]

Hurriane Resistant Trees – is there such a thing?

Hurricane Frances rips up some trees. (Image courtesy of Flickr user daveinswf. Click for full photo.)

Its rainy season in Florida, which is a good time to plant new trees. But with rainy season also comes hurricane season and as the fourth tropical storm of the season quietly simmers near Florida and the Caribbean, it’s important to make sure you choose trees that are more likely to survive hurricanes and truly be a good investment for your property.

While there are trees that are stronger than others, the way they are planted, the area in which they are planted, and the surrounding trees or plants can make all of the difference The list of strong trees is long, so let’s consider the other elements first in order to narrow down the list.

 

Tree Canopy at Bonnet House (Image Courtesy of Flickr user Cliff1066. Click for full photo.)

Don’t let trees get lonely

Trees are approximately 10% more likely to survive when planted in groups.(1) Trees should be planted in groups of five and as a mixture of older and newer trees, along with differing heights of trees and shrubbery. That being said, trees that are over-mature, or not in the list of “safe” trees are not likely to survive a hurricane, regardless of how they are planted.

 

Just like us, trees get weaker as they age

Trees that are over-mature should be removed as part of your landscaping plan (yes, you should have one that is updated at least quarterly).

The roots on this 80-foot tree were not enough to withstand a small hurricane. (Image Courtesy of Flickr user mattjb. Click for full photo.)

Go deep

Trees depend on their roots to become strong, so trees should be planted deeply. Logical, right? , but unfortunately soil in south Florida is sandy and not always deep. So, the particular type of tree is especially important in our neighborhood. In addition water run-off is integral. If water consistently loosens the roots, or worse, starts to rot those roots the tree may not make it through a large sneeze, let alone a force 5 storm.

Trees need love all year long

Trees need to be pruned throughout the year, not just before hurricane season. Not pruning them causes them stress and strain and weakens their structure. Pruning them only before hurricane season will help their chances of survival, but having a year-long plan will give them more time to bounce back and give them the best chance they have.

Go Native

In general, trees that are native to Florida stand up to hurricanes better. The palm species appears to stand up better than any others, but even among the palms some are better than others. Again it’s logical: those palms that are native to coastal regions are better at withstanding high winds, gusts, and water damage. Queen palms do poorly compared to Canary Island date palms, manila palms, and sabal palms.

We’ve covered the ways to improve your tree’s chances, and here’s the list of hurricane resistant trees, brought to you by our great friends at The University of Florida’s Food and Agricultural Science division:

The meaning of plants in Florida

The Orange Tree

Orange trees symbolize eternal love, fruitfulness, and marriage.

After reading the new book, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, I started looking at my landscaping in a new way. The book speaks about the meaning of plants (flowers, herbs, and trees included) and the way they are used in our life. For example, the main character brings a wayward couple back together by presenting them with jonquil, a flower similar to the daffodil. According to the Victorian meaning, the jonquil means “love me” or “affection returned.” If you’ll pardon the pun, the marriage blossoms as a result. [Read more...]

5 cost cutting measures for property managers

Florida Property Managers Cost Cutting Measures For Landscaping

Cost Cutting Measures For Landscaping

Property managers have a thankless job. It can be incredibly difficult to oversee all details, whether of a luxury 18 hole golf course or a small community managed by a board of volunteers. Residents and customers expect well kept lawns, maintained trees, and blooming flowers year round but don’t want to pay through the nose together it.

Why is landscaping so important?
Ninety-three percent of real estate agents recommended landscaping as a top five home improvement recommendation responding that at an average cost of $540 a homeowner can expect a $1,932 price increase on their home for a 258% return on investment.*

It is also clear that having access to green spaces is important to many people.  The Husqvarana Global Garden Report 2012 showed that “63% of respondents reported being willing to pay more for an apartment or house if it was located in an area with good green spaces, compared with, for instance, 34% willing to pay more for an area with good shopping and 33% for good cultural venues.”

Landscaping can also lower heating and cooling costs, reduce noise, reduce dangerous chemical usage, and stem flooding. But it can be costly, especially if you are not experienced. In 2001 homeowners spent $37.7 billion caring for their property, according to the National Gardening Association.

So, we’ve come up with five ways to help those beleaguered individuals, and perhaps this will help you too.

1. Research
Using plants that are native and resilient to your particular context – are you considering a high traffic area or an area with other plants for example – will cut your costs immensely. Obviously native plants are cheaper to purchase as there are no additional transportation costs and they are more likely to survive, but without the correct care and maintenance, even the natives can suffer. Doing your research, knowing which plants are best for your landscape and how much maintenance they require will help.

2. Watch the Water
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 50% of water used for landscaping is wasted. Oftentimes watering is done a the wrong time, too much or too little; sprinklers are often damaged or moved unexpectedly. Now, you are spending money on water unnecessarily and your plants may suffer as a result. So, keeping up with the correct water schedule, ensuring any sprinklers are working correctly and your timers are set correctly will save money now and in the future. Of course, doing research will allow you to have a handle on the amount that plants need to be watered and can ensure you don’t plant a low watering plant next to a high watering plant.

3. Involve community
Many people claim to enjoy landscaping but don’t want to spend all day working on it. Many hands make light work. If you can pull together as a community, you can maintain the property together, or perhaps build a garden together. According to the Municipal Research and Service Center, a communal garden will “strengthen community bonds, provide food, and create recreational and therapeutic opportunities for a community. They can also promote environmental awareness and provide community education.”

4. Use flowers sparingly
Flowers can beautify a neighborhood faster than nothing else, but after the flowers are gone, the beds are a terrible eyesore. The constant replacing of certain flowers is costly both in plants and maintenance. The easiest way to keep your community looking beautiful year round is to avoid most flowers. Instead, try flowering bushes that look good even after the flowers drop. Crotons are always a great investment as well. They are hardy, colorful, and able to spread with minimum maintenance required. As you consider bushes with flowers, you may consider bougainvillea or hydrangea. Take care to do your research, flowers that are constantly dropping on cars and in driveways can annoy residents and plants that attract cats or rodents or are poisonous to pets or children should be avoided in communities.

5. Hire PALM.
The final cost cutting measure is an easy one! The problem with researching the plants, maintaining the landscape, keeping the flowers blooming, managing the water use and keeping the sprinkler heads in order, the lawn cut, the trees trimmed, etc is that all of this takes time. And time is money. If you hire PALM, you will never have to worry; you’ll save money through water usage, flower replacement, sprinkler system maintenance, your trees will be cared for by an internationally certified arborist, pest control will be taken care of… everything managed by one company, All that will be left for you to do is stop the residents picking the flowers for their vase!

Contact us for more information: (954) 938-1999 or admin@palmatlanticlandscape.com

 

Sources:

*https://www.landcarenetwork.org/media/statistics.cfm
http://www.investmentsinlandscape.com/stats.html
http://www.gardenresearch.com/home?q=show&id=3636
http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/pubs/outdoor.html

Don’t prune your own palm trees! Here’s why

The Florida Palm Tree is a Gorgeous Sight!

The Florida Palm Tree is a Gorgeous Sight! Image courtesy of Dru Bloomfield (click image for more)

The palm tree is the beloved symbol of Florida. It conjures up jealousy in everybody outside of our gorgeous sunny state, but caring for a palm tree is trickier than it may look.

[Read more...]

PALM has joined the Sunshine State Bio Mass Cooperative

Sunshine State Bio Mass Cooperative logo
We are so excited to announce that PALM has been accepted into
The Sunshine State Bio Mass Cooperative!

Biomass, as a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms.[1] As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or converted into other energy products such as biofuel.

-Wikipedia.org

The cooperative is a group of like-minded organizations throughout Florida that are coming together to dispose of landscape waste materials in an ecologically and fiscally responsible way. Put very simply, the cooperative is a group of companies that are working together to put waste disposal materials to use, rather than throwing away a valuable resource and polluting our environment (and our other vital resources such as the Everglades) at the same time. [Read more...]

Full Service: Lauderdale Residence

  1. The Finished Project! Lauderdale Residence: Landscape installation and maintenance by PALM
  2. Before: Front View.
  3. After: Front View.
  4. Before: Front bed. Before: Front bed. Lauderdale Residence: Landscape installation and maintenance by PALM
  5. After: Front bed.
  6. Before: West View.
  7. Before: East View.
  8. After: East View.
  9. Before: Driveway.
  10. After: Driveway.

Dixie Diver Arbor Services

  1. Dixie Diver CompleteDixie Diver hired PALM to install palm trees at their new store. The palms needed to flank the store, giving it a great appearance for traffic, but not ruining visibility.
  2. Dixie Diver1Dixie Diver hired PALM to install palm trees at their new store. The difficulty of the installation was the proximity to US1, one of the county\'s busiest roads. PALM had to avoid blocking traffic.
  3. Arbor Services Dixie Diver part 3Dixie Diver hired PALM to install palm trees at their new store. PALM was hired for their expertise and of course lived up to their reputation by completing the installation within the time frame and budget allotted.

Dixie Diver needed arbor services at their new store and turned to PALM for help. The job was difficult due to the location and need to NOT interrupt traffic, but PALM completed the job within the allotted time frame and budget.

Landscaping to do list: September

Bougainvillea

Cut back for more flowers!

 

September is upon us and, as the weather changes across the rest of the country, South Florida will see little change in temperature and a slight increase in precipitation. So, the following are ways to prepare your landscaping for the last few days of summer:

1. Trim your trees. Technically this is something to do at the start of hurricane season, but I include it here just in case you haven’t already done it.

2. Trim back your woody plants. Your poinsettias and your bougainvilleas. Cut them back, give them a low-nitrogen fertilizer and you should see regrowth of flowering branches shortly.

3. Start your veggie planting! Now is a good time for many of the greens: spinach, broccoli, and snap peas as well as tomatoes and onions.

4. Lay mulch around any plants that are bare. Not only will it clean up your yard, but it also holds the moisture so that your plants and trees stay hydrated.

5. If you have a Christmas Cactus, start pulling back on the water. Throughout the month of September, slowly pull back on watering and in the beginning of October, the longer nights will dry it out completely, which produces new buds in time for the holiday season!

If you want more tips or have a landscaping question, please leave us a comment. If you live in a development, and wish the landscaping was better, give us a call: (954) 938-1999

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