thinking ahead: summer gardening in zone 10


Every year my garden sort of tells me when it’s time to start thinking seriously/planting for the summer: the Alyssum begins to wither. And it started to happen this week, which surprised me. How is it already the middle of May? Spring seems like such a blur.

And the weather has been weird, too. Just this morning it was 67 degrees, which is VERY cool for Southwest Florida in May. So I was wondering if we might get a few extra weeks of spring weather. But the Alyssum is doing its “brown and crispy” thing, so it means despite the strange weather, I have to start thinking and ordering seeds.

Last year I planted a lot of sunflowers. It was fun, but it was also sort of a pain. The thing about sunflowers in containers is that you get one big show from the seeds you plant, but then a few days later it’s all over and most of the sunflowers (since they are smaller to begin with, having been grown in such a tiny space) only rebloom a tiny bit. Some sunflower surprise me, but I think this summer I’d like to plant something that blooms throughout the summer. Plus, we are doing the whole bee garden/sunflower garden on the side of the house, so I can try new things on the lanai in the container garden.

I’m thinking about something boring, but something I haven’t ever had in my garden: petunias. They remind me a bit of nasturtium in that they are flower-y and bushy and a little wild. And I have four big planters to fill once the nasturtium begin to slow down and die due to the heat and rain. Every year I have tried to pull my nasturtiums through the heat and rain of the summer, and every year it’s been an exercise and futility, so this year I’m just going to try and plant some things that are supposed to be good for summer.

So petunias…. and what else?

I’m thinking more shrimp plants. Our yellow shrimp plant was one of the first plants we *ever* bought for the garden, and almost three years later it’s now the size of a big bush, still in a container, and it comes back every time I cut it way down. Plus, it’s super cool looking. I would really like a pink one. I don’t know what other colors they come in, but I’d like a few more. (I just did a google search and *wow*, I think this might be my “summer obsession plant” this year…!)

I definitely want to get that dwarf citrus tree I have been talking about for ages… Tom eats a lot of clementines, but he’s sort of picky about them being seedless and of a high degree of sweetness, and all the local plants we’ve come across were not really *great* Clementines. I would like a citrus tree with pretty and sweet smelling blooms. Maybe a small orange.

I’d also like a David Austin rose.

I’d say salvia, but they always attract a ton of mealy bugs and it becomes this huge battle that I’m not in the mood to wage this year.

I also would like to find a summer vegetable. Our eggplant actually does well throughout the summer, so that’s good.

What are you planting this summer?

Comments 2

  1. Misti wrote:

    I was thinking that petunias might be a winter annual though. When are they sold down there?

    You should try porter weed too.

    Posted 11 May 2013 at 8:54 pm
  2. Misti wrote:

    I think you would like Brazilian plume flower too.

    Posted 13 May 2013 at 9:26 pm

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