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Mid Florida Gardening; Not For The Weak

Aug 3, 2008
Zone 9b is a small area and has the blessings and problems of both the North and South Florida zones. We are just hot enough to wilt many attractive plants, cold enough to not be able to grow tropicals, although there is no 'winter chill' that so many plants require.

Of course many vendors sell plants to us backyard gardeners, and this is really a scary undertaking with a great many plant sources. The idea from the sellers point of view is to sell the plant. It's up to the gardener to ask the right questions and have some idea of how valuable the information will be.

Yes indeed. It isn't going to be easy. The questions asked have to provide useful information, be pertinent and timely. Which send me to the internet for answers and failing that, at least enough information to know when I'm being handed a bunch of gobbledygook.

A lot of people realized that Florida was a very different area and that the information found online is valuable.

One of the greatest points on any information source is the pictures of the plants. Truly a picture is worth that thousand words when gardening is the topic. Other good sources of photos and learning experiences are catalogs from the major nurseries. These catalogs provide a good bit of information, but I have noticed that some photos are stock prints and have nothing to do with the actual plant being described. Be sure to carefully read all the description to see what size plant you are buying.

Sometimes I believe I understand why people like artificial plants. The plant is subjected to all kinds of stress when you are getting it to grow, then it doesn't want to grow how you wanted it and of course, just as it seems to be rounding the bend and able to become a great plant in your yard, the insects, mold, mildew, rust and every other malady attack those plants.

Now you have to be a chemist to prepare the solutions to battle the enemy, a botanist is to know which plants should NOT get the particular spray you have prepared, and a witch doctor to keep the rain away long enough for the spray to 'take'.

I frequently toy with the idea of letting the vines and bamboo take over the place. But then another email or catalog comes across my desk and I know I've got to find a place for just one more.
About the Author
Chris Jensen is a contributing author and editor of Jetfly Blog. For more related articles and views visit Jetfly Home & Garden Blog now. Also, for the best up-to-date related online products, check out Garden Decor Shop for todays current online deals.
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