WHAT TO DO
Prune azaleas: Prune for the last time this year because the flower buds will form soon.
Solarize a vegetable garden: Clear, till, level and moisten the soil, then cover with 2- to 6-mil clear plastic for four to six weeks.
Solar heat will accumulate under the plastic, and temperatures will kill nematodes, weed seeds and soil-borne diseases.
Plan a fall vegetable garden: Contact your county extension service for a Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide.
Check lawns for insect pests: Mix 11/2 ounces of dishwashing liquid in a 2-gallon sprinkling can of water and drench 4 square feet with the solution. Observe for two minutes. Pests will emerge to the grass surface and can be detected.
Oftanol 1.5 percent granules (one application per year), Orthene or Dursban bait is effective against mole crickets at this time of year.
For chinch bugs, spot-treat affected areas with insecticides labeled for chinch bugs.
To protect beneficial insects that feed on chinch bugs, spot-treat affected areas and a 10-foot buffer around them rather than spraying the entire lawn.
WHAT TO PLANT
Outstanding flowering plants: bird of paradise, crape myrtle, honeysuckle, shrimp plant, plumbago, hibiscus, oleander
Annuals: celosia, coleus, crossandra, impatiens, marigold, melampodium, nicotiana, ornamental pepper, portulaca/rose moss, salvia, vinca, wax begonia, zinnia
Perennials: African iris, blue salvia, four o'clock, gaillardia, golden shrimp plant, jacobinia, lantana, mallow, pentas, rudbeckia, verbena
Vegetables: okra, Southern peas (from seed)
Herbs and spices (from plants): basil, ginger, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, summer savory, thyme
Bulbs: Aztec lily, butterfly lily, canna, crinum, clivia, gladiolus, moraea, society garlic, spider lily, walking iris
Information provided by Hillsborough County Extension