Tom's Monthly Gotta-Do's
You know Florida, it can be cold
one day and warm the next. In fact we could go the rest of the
winter without another freeze. It has happened before. But I guess what we
all want to know is
what do we do with the cold damaged plants?
My tomatoes are toast. That means they did not survive even with the
covers we added. And it only
dropped a few degrees below freezing. These are some really cold sensitive
plants which also
include coleus, marigolds, pentas and such. All are being pulled out and
replaced in just a month
or two. By the way, now is the time to start your new tomato seedlings. My
seeds have arrived and
are now up and growing.
Some plants like the bananas might not produce a crop this year but are
going to grow back. Maybe
if I am very lucky the trunk is still good and the bud in the top is
alive. If we do not get that
much more cold, the bud may send out new leaves and later a flower stalk.
That means we could still
get bananas from these plants.
The cannas look bad but a good cold snap just sends them into a dormant
state. They will be back
with the first consistently warm weather. I just hope this is not until
the middle to late February
or they are going to be injured again.
Here is the big question. When can I start pruning all the dead away? I
personally do not believe
the dead portions help to protect the plants. On the other hand, I don't
see where there is a need
to be in a rush to do the pruning. But if you are like me you cannot stand
the brown stems so it is
pruning time. And yes, we could get more cold and then again maybe we
won't. But it won't make
any difference as the plants have already started to grow.
Now I have more than pruning to do. February is a great month with lots of
Vegetables: Plant through mid'month; beet, broccoli, carrots,
cauliflower, celery, collard, endive,
kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, pea, potato, radish, Swiss chard and
turnip. After mid'month plant;
bean, cantaloupe, corn, cucumber, eggplant, luffa, pepper,
pumpkin, squash, tomato and watermelon.
Flowers: Alyssum, aster, baby's breath, bacopa, begonia,
candytuft, carnation, calendula,
coneflower, coreopsis, cosmos, dahlia, delphinium, dianthus,
diascia, dichondra, dusty miller, false
heather, four o'clock, gaillardia, gaura, gazania, geranium,
gerbera, godetia, Johnny'jump'up,
licorice plant, lobelia, million bells, nasturtium, pansy,
petunia, rose, salvia, snapdragon,
Stokes aster, sweet pea, veronica and yarrow.
Herbs: anise, basil, borage, chives, dill, fennel, lemon balm,
mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary,
sage, sweet marjoram, tarragon, and thyme.
Bulbs: African iris, amaryllis, Amazon lily, Asiatic lily,
blackberry lily, blood lily, bulbine,
caladium, canna, crinum, day lily, gladiolus, gloriosa lily,
Louisiana iris, society garlic, spider
lily, rain lily.