Green Resources

Here are links to some of my articles and posts. See below for some of my favorite Florida gardening books. - Ginny

Compost & mulch

- A compost turning = happy gardening in 2013!
- Follow the yellow mulch road
- A requiem for a hickory tree
- Composting for your garden
- Bokashi Composting, a fast, anaerobic, fermentation process
- An early fall compost pile
- From compost to dinners
 

Conservation

- Australian pines: one of Florida's least wanted
- Cats in the garden controversy
- We All Live in a Watershed!
- Disney Wilderness Preserve: a Nature Conservancy property
- Invasive vs. aggressive: they are not the same
- The Almost Ghost Orchids of Clay County
- Removing invasives in Mandarin: a team effort
- Shoreline restoration and habitat building
- Shoreline habitat in the Intracoastal Waterway
- Native Park restoration

A bountiful harvest!
Edibles

- Tomatoes are for summer
- Sweet treat carrots
- Edible flowers
- Grow more veggies: kids can help
- A native herb amongst the Mediterraneans
- Dotted horsemint: an appreciation
- Thanksgiving Harvest
- Okra swales
- Short-day onions and more...
- Further lawn reduction, more edible garden space, and zebra longwings
- The skinny on onions
- The tale of two parsleys
- The royal herb: sweet basil
- Florida blueberries
- Wide row planting and trench composting in the vegetable garden
- Recipe for failure: Long-day onions in Florida
- Fall edibles
- The herb garden: a (mint) family affair
- The eagle has landed, fall gardening and more...
- Results: The nematode experiment 
- Black swallowtail larvae in my dill
- Harvest-directed cooking

Environmentalism

- Supporting wildlife beyond your garden gate
- Native plant issues: The good, the bad, and the ugly
- Outreach with impact! Part 1
- Outreach with impact! Part 2
- Outreach with impact! Part 3
- Outreach with impact! Part 4
- Eco-activists: a few people can make a real difference
- A look back to find lessons for the future
- Florida's Arbor Day
- Clay County's delegation hearing and plan ahead
Barbara's buttons (Marshallia graminifolia)

Florida's native plants

- Getting Started with Native Plants in Florida
- Palmettos in the landscape
- Longleaf pines
- An appreciation of scarlet hibiscus
- A shrub to be thankful for: the groundseltree or saltbush
- Florida's palms
- A review: The Trees of Florida
- What??! Native plants not pretty?
- Doug Tallamy!
- Snow squarestem: a bee and butterfly magnet
- Natives for your yard: the next step
- Natives for landscaping: an FNPS tool for you
- No need to beg for beggarticks
- Red bays are dying
- White-topped sedge
- Florida's marvelous mangroves
- Field trip to Torreya State park with Gil Nelson
- Pokeweed: A bird-friendly native
- The St. John's-worts: under-rated landscape plants
- My name is Ginny and I’m addicted to the Florida Native Plant Society!
- The Arbor Day Foundation and Florida
- Maypop, a native butterfly and bee magnet
- Florida's native plant communities

http://www.fnps.org/
http://www.fnpsblog.org/
Other online resources for Florida natives:
- The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) website www.fnps.org provides a wide range of resources including a tool to choose natives appropriate for your county with specific requirements such as shade, soil, and salinity. the FNPS site also includes a thorough description of Florida's native habitats, plus some frequently asked questions such as, "Why plant Natives?"
- The FNPS blog www.fnpsblog.org offers a wide variety of articles about  native plants and their habitats.
- The Florida Association Native Nurseries provides tools to find a plant or a nursery near you: http://plantrealflorida.org.
- The Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants provides distribution maps and photos of plants--native or not: http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/

Good garden soil hosts lots of critters.

Good gardening

- Pot bound!
- Give Peace (Lilies) a Chance!
- Queen Palms Don't Rule in Florida
- Hurricane-Scaping
- Unseasonable offerings from Bonnie Plants
- A less than ideal potted tree? Even natives can have problems.
- I don't love crepe myrtles, But...
- Planning for microclimates
- Trees and Shrubs: the Bones of Your Landscape
- Signs of Spring in Northeastern Florida, Finally!
- Gardenfests not popular? I beg to differ
- Troublesome spot? Convert to containers
- When native plants die... 

Integrated pest management (IPM)

- Just say no to poisons
- A poison is a poison is a poison!

Landscaping

- Sensational sunflowers
- Pulsating purple in the fall meadow
- Pee-yew! Those smelly stinkhorn fungi
- Ferns in the landscape
- Edging projects: risks and rewards
- There's gold in our meadows
- Jewels of summer
- Plan ahead!
- Adventures in creating a native garden
- Rayless sunflowers, fall seedlings, and more...
- Fixing a slumping problem

Lawns

- Changes
- Cutting edges
- The lawn less mown
- A St. Augustine meadow project
- Reducing the lawn in your landscape
- St. Augustine grass: native or not...
- Sunshine mimosa, a lawn alternative for Florida

- From lawn to woods: a retrospective


The Lawn Reform Coalition offers a large number of ideas and resources for reducing your lawn and more sustainably managing what's left of it. (I'm the Florida representative of this group.)

Rain barrels, rain gardens, & other rain water issues

- Climb up my rain barrels
- Ooh la la, French drains
- A new bed... and standing stormwater
- Three More Rain Barrels
- Rain Lilies for my rain gardens
- Rain barrels revisited
- Expanded rain garden
- Rain Gardening in the South: a Review

Science in the garden

- A Plant by Any Common Name...
- Invasive vs. aggressive Part1
- The magic of the mistletoes;
- The Science Behind Southern Grasses, Including Turf
- Water Science for Gardeners
- Mother Nature's mysteries

A bluebird in the early morning sun.
Wildlife

- Backyard habitat certification
- From stump to butterfly haven
- Pond pleasures
- Cheer for the predators in ecosystem gardening
- The gopher tortoise, a species of special concern
- Of timberdoodles and ecotones
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
- Christmas is for the birds
- Managing a natural meadow
- Invite birds to your yard
- Can the birds count on you?
- One native plant = three habitat benefits
- An inch-by-inch decoration feat
- An exception to the rules
- Attracting Damsels and Dragons
- Teeming with zebras
- The joys of a Florida pond 
- 6 easy steps to support wildlife in 2014

Great reference books for Florida gardening and conservation:


"Sustainable Gardening for Florida": It's my own book, so of course, I'm recommending it. But what makes it different is that I've included information about how to be a better gardener. You'll learn: how to plant a tree, the best way to use containers (surprise--don't use gravel in the bottom), why you need to build rain gardens, how to prepare for hurricanes, and much more.

Purchase at Amazon

I wrote my second book, "Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida" with cowriter Melissa Contreras who gardens in Miami. There are a couple of vegetable books for Florida growers, but they do not cover organic methods. We've arranged the crops by plant family to help gardeners with crop rotation scheduling and also we then only have to explain about legumes and their nitrogen-fixing bacterial or how to build a squash mound one time for the all the crops in those families.

Here are links to some reviews: in the Tallahassee Democrat, in the The Daytona Beach News Journal.

Purchase at Amazon


If you can afford only one other book, buy Gil Nelson's "Florida's Best Native Landscape Plants: 200 Readily Available Species for Homeowners and Professionals." It provides details on size, where to plant, type of soil, and what to plant with each of the 200 plants. He wrote it with the help of David Chiappini of The Florida Association of Native Nurseries to ensure that the plants are likely to be available.

Purchase at Amazon



Doug Tallamy provided native plant enthusiasts with well-researched and easy-to-understand arguments for using more native plants in your yard, no matter how small. See my post Doug Tallamy!

Purchase at Amazon



Craig Huegel, a Florida native nurseryman has written a pair of useful books for helping Florida gardeners choosing and being successful with their native plants.

Purchase Native Plant Landscaping for Florida Wildlife and/or Native Wildflowers and other Groundcovers for Florida Landscapes at Amazon




Gil Nelson has written a number of field guides, but these two are my favorites. Of course, trees and shrubs are the bones of your landscape, so it's good to find out what the heck you have. And I love ferns, because if you take out the turf from beneath the trees, ferns are often the best replacements.

Purchase Trees of Florida and/or Ferns of Florida at Amazon.


I own "Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida" by Richard Wunderlin & Bruce Hansen. I'd recommend it only to the more serious botantists, because it assumes your understanding the botanical terms to use the keys.  There are no illustrations, but it covers everything, which is really useful.

Purchase at Amazon


Marjorie Stoneman Douglas was way ahead of her time with this wonderful book. I'd highly recommend "The Everglades: River of Grass" to any Florida citizen.

Purchase at Amazon