Specialized information on Hardscape Landscape Waterscape Ecoscape

Tip Of The Week


Growing Onions in Northeast Florida

Onions begin with growth concentrated on roots and leaves, then begin to form bulbs when daylight hours reach a particular length.  There are three basic types of onions: Long Day, Short Day and Intermediate. It is very important to plant a variety that is meant for our climate. If you try a long day type in our area, it will form tops, but very small bulbs and will be exposed to too much heat, killing the tops before the bulb can form. Long Day varieties do best in northern areas that have more hours of daylight in the summer (14-16 hours).  Long day onions are excellent keeping varieties. Intermediate onions are the most widely adapted, being best for the middle latitudes (12-14 hours of sunlight per day). They can be used in northern regions and in the south where daylight hours reach 10-12 hours per day. Short Day types are best suited for our climates, when day length reaches 12-14 hours of sunlight, and are generally planted in the winter or early spring. These types usually do not store well. -- Written by Amanda Searle, Coordinator for the Springfield Community Garden


Growing Beans

In Northeast Florida, beans grow best from March through September. Put your bean about 1" below the ground and keep it hydrated. The seed should sprout in 7 to 10 days.


Slow it Down

Look for slow-release fertilizers, or fertilizers that have a high percentage of slow-release nitrogen in them. These products have less potential to leach or run off into Florida's waterways than quick-releasing fertilizer.


Check That Paint

Sample paint colors as you would inside your home. You'd be surprised how much lighter dark colors can look once they're outside.


Family Movie Night

Wow your kids with family movie night. Find an old-school projector, put a sheet up on the garage or backyard wall and play one of your kid's favorite movies outdoors. Don't forget the popcorn.


Avoiding Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are attracted to things that remind them of nectar or mammal flesh. When outdoors, wear light clothing that covers most of the body, keeping skin and hair covered. Avoid bright, floral colors. Khaki, beige, and olive have no particular attraction for mosquitoes.


Attracting Hummingbirds

Make homemade nectar for your hummingbird feeder by boiling one part granulated sugar and four parts water. Be sure to let the nectar cool before pouring into the feeder.


Controlling Wasps

Make sure to keep your outdoor kitchen area clean including recycling and garbage bins. Wasps are attracted to garbage and food waste - especially protein foods like meat. Spray the area down with water and white vinegar - a natural method to control wasp problems - and avoid swatting them. When a wasp is squashed, a chemical is released which attracts and incites other nearby wasps.