Category Archives: News

Summer Gardening with Kids: Green Thumbs, Healthy Minds

Summer Gardening with Kids: Green Thumbs, Healthy Minds

The Positive Impacts of Gardening on Kids

Gardening is more than just a hobby; it’s a wonderful way to nurture a child’s development in multiple ways. Whether you’re planting flowers, growing vegetables, or maintaining a small garden space, the benefits for children are profound and varied.

In today’s digital age, children spend more time indoors than ever. Gardening provides an opportunity for kids to step outside, breathe fresh air, and engage with the natural world, fostering a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the environment. Beyond this connection to nature, gardening offers significant educational opportunities. It teaches children about science and biology, helping them learn about plant life cycles, soil composition, and the importance of water and sunlight. Gardening can also introduce concepts like photosynthesis and the food chain in an engaging way.

Adorable toddler smiling blonde girl holding carrots in domestic garden. Healthy organic vegetables for kids. Garden, vegetable, gardening. Picked Fresh Vegetables Just From The Garden
Watching Monarch emerge from chrysalis Sept. 2007 Drew Monkman Copy
Father with small son working outdoors in garden, sustainable lifestyle concept.

Gardening also promotes physical activity. Digging, planting, weeding, and watering involve physical exertion, helping to improve motor skills, strength, and overall fitness.

Gardening benefits mental well-being as well. Spending time in the garden can reduce stress and anxiety. The rhythmic activities involved in gardening can be soothing and meditative, and seeing the results of their hard work can boost a child’s self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment. 

Furthermore, gardening allows children to express creativity and imagination. They can design their own garden layouts, choose the plants they want to grow, and create garden decorations. This creativity can spill over into other areas of their lives, fostering innovation and exploration.

 

Fun Summertime Garden Projects

Gardening is a wonderful way to spend quality time with your family while enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some simple and fun garden projects that everyone can participate in:

Monarch Butterfly

Plant a Butterfly Garden

Create a colorful haven for butterflies by planting nectar-rich flowers like milkweed, lantana, and pentas. Kids will love watching these beautiful insects visit your garden.

Build a Fairy Garden

Let your imagination run wild by designing a miniature fairy garden. Use small plants, pebbles, and tiny figurines to create a magical world. This project is perfect for sparking creativity in children.

how to make a fairy garden_ The Spruce
Vegetable Garden

 

Start a Vegetable Garden

 

Teach your kids where food comes from by planting a vegetable garden. Choose easy-to-grow veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Watching their own food grow will be a rewarding experience for the whole family.

Create a DIY Bird Feeder

Recycle materials like milk cartons or plastic bottles to make bird feeders. Fill them with birdseed and hang them in your garden. It’s a great way to attract local birds and teach kids about wildlife.

Milk cartoon bird feeder
Painted rocks

Paint Garden Rocks

Collect smooth stones and let your kids paint them with bright colors and fun designs. These decorative rocks can be used to label plants or simply add a splash of color to your garden beds.

Engaging in these garden projects can create lasting memories and instill a love for nature in your children. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to teach important lessons about sustainability and the environment.

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Services

  • Landscape Design & Installation
  • Paver Patios, Paver Walkways, Paver Driveways
  • Firepits, Retaining Walls , Seat Walls,
  • Landscape Lighting, Drainage design & Installation,
  • Lawn Care Services, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Fertilization
  • Lawn Pest Control, Lawn Weed Control
  • Aeration and Top Dressing
  • Water Features, Koi Ponds,
  • Waterfalls, Bubbling Fountains
  • Garden Center & Pond Supply Store

General Services Areas

Jacksonville (Jax), Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, Nocatee

Location

GARDEN CENTER
12501 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32246

LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS
(not open to the public)
St. Johns Bluff
1057 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Hours

Monday-Saturday 9-5
Sunday 10-5

HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
New Year’s Day • Easter • Memorial Day
July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Eve • Christmas Day

The Native Garden Guide for Northeast Florida

The Native Garden Guide for Northeast Florida

Embracing native plants in Northeast Florida is more than just a landscaping strategy; it’s an investment in the local ecosystem. A native garden provides a natural sanctuary for wildlife, conserves resources, and creates a seamless integration with the regional landscape. This guide will help you understand the practical benefits and beauty of native plant gardening in Jacksonville and beyond.

The Native Philosophy

Why commit to native plants? The reasons are as abundant as the sands on a Floridian shore. Native species like the Saw Palmetto and Walter’s Viburnum have thrived here for millennia, creating a symbiotic masterpiece with local wildlife. They conserve water—precious in every droplet—and stand resilient against pests and diseases, all while offering a buffet for the senses and the local ecosystem.

butterfly on milkweed
Pink Cone Flowers

The Benefits of Native Plants

 Native plants offer several advantages for gardens in Northeast Florida:

  • Low Maintenance: They are adapted to the local environment, requiring less watering and care.
  • Pest Resilient: These plants have natural resistance to local pests, reducing the need for chemicals.
  • Ecosystem Support: They provide habitats and food sources for local wildlife, fostering biodiversity.
Bee on a flower.

Pollinator’s Paradise

A native garden in Northeast Florida is a sanctuary for pollinators. The Coral Honeysuckle and Butterfly Milkweed are not just plants; they’re lifelines for hummingbirds and monarchs, vital threads in the ecological tapestry. And let’s not overlook the Beautyberry, with its jewel-like fruits, or the Maypop Passion Vine, a climactic display of blossoms and a haven for fauna.

Planting and Maintenance Tips

 To ensure your native garden thrives, follow these tips:

  • Research: Learn the specific needs of each plant, such as sunlight and soil type.
  • Planning: Design your landscape to accommodate the growth patterns and needs of your selected plants.
  • Local Nurseries: Purchase plants from local nurseries to ensure they’re acclimated to the regional climate.
  • Professional Consultation: For tailored advice, consult with landscaping professionals who specialize in native plants.
    Firebush:zebra wing butterfly

    Northeast Florida’s Native Plant Compendium

    Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or a beginner with a budding green thumb, this list of native plants will serve as your guide to cultivating a garden that resonates with the natural ecosystem of Northeast Florida:

    Sabal Palm

    Sabal Palm

    (Sabal palmetto)

    Appearance: Fan-shaped leaves, iconic silhouette

    Benefits: State tree, resilient, provides wildlife habitat

    Live Oak

    Live Oak

    (Quercus virginiana)

    Appearance: Majestic, broad canopy

    Benefits: Wildlife habitat, iconic Southern presence

    Southern Magnolia

    Southern Magnolia

    (Magnolia grandiflora)

    Appearance: Large, fragrant white flowers

    Benefits: Evergreen beauty, aesthetic appeal

    Florida Anise

    Florida Anise

    (Illicium floridanum)

    Appearance: Star-shaped red or pink flowers, spicy scent

    Benefits: Shade-loving, deer-resistant

    Walter’s Viburnum

    Walter’s Viburnum

    (Viburnum obovatum)

    Appearance: White spring flowers, red fall foliage

    Benefits: Year-round interest, versatile growth patterns

    Firebush

    Firebush

     (Hamelia patens)

    Appearance: Red-orange tubular flowers

    Benefits: Sun-loving, pollinator-friendly

    Muhly Grass

    Muhly Grass

    (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

    Appearance: Pink to lavender plumes

    Benefits: Drought-tolerant, ornamental grass

    Coontie

    Coontie

    (Zamia integrifolia)

    Appearance: Fern-like with leathery leaves

    Benefits: Drought-tolerant, historical significance

    Beautyberry

    Beautyberry

    (Callicarpa americana)

    Appearance: Vibrant purple berries

    Benefits: Wildlife food source, striking fall and winter color

    Oakleaf Hydrangea

    Oakleaf Hydrangea

    (Hydrangea quercifolia)

    Appearance: White flower clusters, oak-shaped leaves

    Benefits: Attracts pollinators, bold fall coloration

    Fakahatchee Grass

    Fakahatchee Grass

    (Tripsacum dactyloides)

    Appearance: Tall, wispy grass plumes

    Benefits: Texture to landscapes, wildlife-friendly

    Sea Grape

    Sea Grape

    (Coccoloba uvifera)

    Appearance: Broad, round leaves; purple fruits

    Benefits: Salt-tolerant, windbreak, wildlife attractor

    Carolina Jessamine

    Carolina Jessamine

    (Gelsemium sempervirens)

    Appearance: Yellow trumpet flowers

    Benefits: Drought-tolerant, pollinator attractor

    Coral Honeysuckle

    Coral Honeysuckle

    (Lonicera sempervirens)

    Appearance: Tubular red or yellow flowers

    Benefits: Hummingbird and butterfly attractor

     

    Maypop Passion Vine

    Maypop Passion Vine

    (Passiflora incarnata)

    Appearance: Intricate purple and white flowers

    Benefits: Host plant for butterflies, edible fruit

    Railroad Vine

    Railroad Vine

    (Ipomoea pes-caprae)

    Appearance: Bright purple flowers, sprawling vines

    Benefits: Dune stabilization, sandy soil adaptability

    Sunshine Mimosa

    Sunshine Mimosa

     (Mimosa strigillosa)

    Appearance: Fern-like with leathery leaves

    Benefits: Drought-tolerant, historical significance

    Butterfly Milkweed

    Butterfly Milkweed

    (Asclepias tuberosa)

    Appearance: Vibrant orange to yellow flowers

    Benefits: Monarch butterfly food source and habitat

    Blue Eyed Grass

    Blue Eyed Grass

    (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)

    Appearance: Star-shaped blue flowers

    Benefits: Low-maintenance, adds texture

    Puple Coneflower

    Puple Coneflower

    (Echinacea purpurea)

    Appearance: Pink-purple petals with a central cone

    Benefits: Immune-boosting properties, attracts pollinators

     

    Black-eyed Susans

    Black-eyed Susans

    (Rudbeckia hirta)

    Appearance: Bright yellow petals with a dark brown center

    Benefits: Drought-resistant, supports pollinators

    Blazing Star

    Blazing Star

    (Liatris spicata)

    Appearance: Tall spikes of purple flowers

    Benefits: Butterfly attractor, aesthetic appeal

    Tickseed

    Tickseed

    (Coreopsis spp.)

    Appearance: Bright yellow blossoms

    Benefits: State wildflower, butterfly attractor

    Blue Porterweed

    Blue Porterweed

    (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis)

    Appearance: Spiky blooms of deep blue flowers

    Benefits: Attracts butterflies, heat-tolerant

    This collection of plants is just the beginning. Each species selected for your garden contributes to the tapestry of a thriving, sustainable ecosystem that celebrates the essence of Northeast Florida.

    By choosing to grow native, you’re not just enhancing your garden—you’re contributing to the preservation and enrichment of Northeast Florida’s natural heritage. A native garden is a living, evolving space that supports local ecosystems and reflects the unique character of the region. Start your native gardening journey and become a part of the collective effort to nurture the land we call home.

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    Services

    • Landscape Design & Installation
    • Paver Patios, Paver Walkways, Paver Driveways
    • Firepits, Retaining Walls , Seat Walls,
    • Landscape Lighting, Drainage design & Installation,
    • Lawn Care Services, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Fertilization
    • Lawn Pest Control, Lawn Weed Control
    • Aeration and Top Dressing
    • Water Features, Koi Ponds,
    • Waterfalls, Bubbling Fountains
    • Garden Center & Pond Supply Store

    General Services Areas

    Jacksonville (Jax), Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, Nocatee

    Location

    GARDEN CENTER
    12501 Beach Blvd
    Jacksonville, FL 32246

    LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS
    (not open to the public)
    St. Johns Bluff
    1057 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
    Jacksonville, FL 32225

    Hours

    Monday-Saturday 9-5
    Sunday 10-5

    HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
    New Year’s Day • Easter • Memorial Day
    July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Day
    Christmas Eve • Christmas Day

    The Benefits of Core Aeration and Top Dressing for Northeast Florida Lawns.

    The Benefits of Core Aeration and Top Dressing for Northeast Florida Lawns.

    In the quest for a verdant and thriving lawn, especially in the distinctive sandy soils of Northeast Florida, understanding the benefits of core aeration and top dressing is paramount. These lawn care practices are not just beneficial; they are necessary for the long-term health and vitality of your turf. Let’s explore why these techniques are so effective and how they contribute to a healthy lawn.

    lawn aeration

    Understanding Core Aeration

    Core aeration is a process that combats the common issues of soil compaction and thatch build-up, which are prevalent in our sandy Northeast Florida soils. By removing small “cores” of soil, we create a pathway for air, water, and nutrients to reach the root zone of your grass. Here are the benefits you can expect:

     

    • Air Exchange Improvement:

      Aeration facilitates better exchange of air between the soil and atmosphere, which is essential for root respiration and growth.

    • Water Uptake Enhancement:

      The process allows for better water absorption, helping to reduce runoff and increase moisture retention in the root zone.

    • Fertilizer Efficiency:

      Aerated soils enable better fertilizer uptake, ensuring that essential nutrients are more readily available to the grass roots.

    • Root System Development:

      Loosening the soil helps to foster a stronger and deeper root system, key to a resilient and lush lawn.

    • Soil Decompaction:

      By breaking up compacted soil, aeration encourages a healthier soil environment for turfgrass to grow.

    The Role of Organic Matter

    The addition of organic matter to the soil is another crucial step in nurturing a healthy lawn. Organic matter has a multitude of benefits, including:

    Top Dressing amendment

     

    • Moisture Retention:

      It acts much like a sponge, absorbing and holding moisture for extended periods, which is particularly useful during dry spells.

    • Soil Aeration and Structure:

      The introduction of organic material creates air pockets and loosens soil structure, leading to improved root growth and enhanced water absorption and drainage.

    • Nutrient Provision:

      As it decomposes, organic matter slowly releases nutrients that are vital for plant growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur.

    • Soil Biology Enhancement:

      The incorporation of organic matter supports a diverse ecosystem of soil organisms that contribute to the overall health of the lawn by breaking down organic material and fighting off pests and diseases.

    Top Dressing: A Nutrient Booster

    Top dressing, when applied after core aeration, can significantly amplify the benefits of the aeration process. By filling the aeration holes with nutrient-rich organic compost or a similar medium, the soil is directly amended where it matters most. This can enhance the soil’s water retention capabilities, provide a direct nutrient boost, and introduce beneficial microorganisms that help create a robust and balanced soil ecosystem.

    Screenshot 2024 02 06 at 10.55.44 PM

    Practical Lawn Care Strategies

    Incorporating these practices into regular lawn care routines can have a profound effect on the health of your lawn. Here are some strategies for homeowners:

    • Regular Aeration:

      Aerate your lawn annually or biannually to maintain soil health and ensure nutrient availability.

    • Organic Top Dressing:

      Following aeration, apply a layer of organic compost to enrich the soil and provide a healthy growing environment for your grass.

    • Appropriate Grass Selection:

      Choose turfgrasses that are well-suited to the climate and soil conditions of Northeast Florida to ensure the best growth and resilience.

    • Soil Testing:

      Conduct periodic soil tests to identify nutrient deficiencies and pH imbalances, adjusting your lawn care practices accordingly.

    By understanding and implementing core aeration and top dressing, homeowners in Northeast Florida can significantly improve the health and appearance of their lawns. These practices promote deeper root growth, enhance soil quality, and help establish a lush, green turf that is both beautiful and sustainable.

    Earth Works Lawn Care: Your Partner in Lawn Excellence

    At Earth Works, we’ve seen phenomenal results from these services. Your turf and plants won’t just survive; they’ll thrive. If you’re ready to improve your lawn’s health and enhance its beauty, reach out to us at 904.996.0712. Let’s work together to create the lush, green oasis you’ve always wanted in Northeast Florida.

    Services

    • Landscape Design & Installation
    • Paver Patios, Paver Walkways, Paver Driveways
    • Firepits, Retaining Walls, Seat Walls
    • Landscape Lighting, Drainage design & Installation,
    • Lawn Care Services, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Fertilization
    • Lawn Pest Control, Lawn Weed Control
    • Aeration and Top Dressing
    • Water Features, Koi Ponds,
    • Waterfalls, Bubbling Fountains
    • Garden Center & Pond Supply Store

    General Services Areas

    Jacksonville (Jax), Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, Nocatee

    Location

    GARDEN CENTER
    12501 Beach Blvd
    Jacksonville, FL 32246

    LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS
    (not open to the public)
    St. Johns Bluff
    1057 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
    Jacksonville, FL 32225

    Hours

    Monday-Saturday 9-5
    Sunday 10-5

    HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
    New Year’s Day • Easter • Memorial Day
    July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Day
    Christmas Eve • Christmas Day

    Branching Out: Celebrating Florida’s Arbor Day, January 19th, 2024

    Branching Out: Celebrating Florida’s Arbor Day, January 19th, 2024

    Florida Arbor Day is a special occasion celebrated annually on the third Friday of January. It’s a day that reminds us of trees’ significant role in our environment and lives. This tradition began in Nebraska in 1872 and flourished across the United States, inspiring communities to plant and care for trees. Trees are not just aesthetic enhancements; they are vital to our ecosystem, providing oxygen, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.

    This year, as we commemorate Florida Arbor Day on January 19th, 2024, we aim to delve deeper into the importance of trees, particularly in Northeast Florida. We focus on educating and inspiring our community about the diverse types of trees suited to our unique regional climate and how they contribute to our environment and well-being. In this edition, we explore the best trees for attracting wildlife, the top palms for Northeast Florida, and three fast-growing trees perfect for adding greenery swiftly to your landscapes.

     

    Hands Down, the Best Trees to Attract Wildlife 

     Matthew Barlow, Garden Center Manager

    A diverse range of wildlife is essential for a healthy ecosystem, and certain trees are particularly effective at attracting various animal species. Here in Jacksonville, Florida, we have many trees that serve as habitats and food sources for wildlife.

    Bottlebrush with Hummingbird

    Bottlebrush Tree

    (Callistemon citrinus)

    The Bottlebrush tree is a magnificent evergreen that grows up to 15 feet tall and wide. It’s a favorite among birds and beneficial pollinators due to its intermittent blooming throughout the year. Its vibrant red flowers are not just beautiful to look at but also a vital nectar source for hummingbirds and bees. I’ve observed hummingbirds lingering around these trees even when not in bloom, a testament to their memory of the sweet nectar.

    Bottlebrush trees are ideal for our Northeast Florida climate. They are easy to grow and maintain. Apart from attracting hummingbirds, these trees are also a haven for butterflies, bees, squirrels, and various songbirds. The Bottlebrush is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a versatile tree that can be shaped according to your space – whether as a majestic shade tree or a neatly trimmed hedge.

    Vitex or Chaste Tree 

    (Vitex agnus-castus)

    The Vitex is a showstopper with its unique lilac-colored flowers. It’s a deciduous tree that blooms sporadically throughout the year. Unlike the more common Crape Myrtles, Vitex trees are less widely grown, making them a unique addition to any garden. It’s beneficial to trim the tree after each flush of flowers to encourage more blossoms.

    This tree is a magnet for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees, including those that produce honey. Like the Bottlebrush, the Vitex can reach up to 15 feet in height and width but can be maintained at a smaller size with regular pruning. Its unique appearance and ability to attract a range of pollinators make it a valuable addition to any garden.

    VitexFlipSide

    Top Palms for Northeast Florida

    In Northeast Florida, palms are more than just trees; they symbolize the region’s tropical beauty. Our climate allows a variety of palms to flourish, each bringing unique charm and benefits to our gardens.

     

    Roebelleni

    Roebelleni

    (Pygmy Date Palm)

    Ideal for smaller spaces, the Roebelenii Palm is known for its compact size and feathery fronds. It’s a charming addition to any garden or patio area, bringing a touch of the tropics to even the smallest spaces. This palm is particularly favored for its ornamental value and ease of care.

    Phoenix Sylvestris

    Phoenix Sylvestris

    (Silver Date Palm)

    This palm is renowned for its elegant, silvery-blue leaves, adding a touch of sophistication to any landscape. It’s a resilient tree, drought-resistant, and thrives under the Florida sun. The Silver Date Palm is a versatile choice for landscapers and homeowners alike due to its striking appearance and low maintenance requirements.

    Queen Palms

    Queen Palms

    Queen Palms are a staple in creating a tropical oasis. Their long, graceful fronds and smooth trunks make them a popular choice. As fast growers, these palms can add significant height and greenery to your garden in a relatively short period. They are perfect for those who want to quickly establish a tropical ambiance in their outdoor space.

    Sabal Palm

    Sabal Palm

    The Sabal Palm, the state tree of Florida, is a symbol of resilience and adaptability. It can withstand various weather conditions, making it a reliable choice for any landscape. Its hardiness and low maintenance make it a favorite among residential and commercial landscapers.

    For more detailed information on these palms and others suited for our region and other considerations for selecting the perfect palm, visit our comprehensive page at Earth Works Garden Center. Here, you’ll discover a wealth of knowledge tailored to the unique climate and aesthetic needs of Northeast Florida.

    Three Fast-Growing Trees for Northeast Florida

    In addition to the palms and wildlife-attracting trees, another crucial aspect of landscaping in Northeast Florida is the selection of fast-growing trees. These trees are ideal for homeowners and gardeners looking to quickly add shade, privacy, or an element of mature landscaping to their properties. Here are three of the best fast-growing trees for our region:

    Red Maple

    Florida Red Maple 

    (Acer rubrum)

    The Florida Red Maple is an impressive tree, reaching 40 to 60 feet and a spread of about 40 feet. Known for its spectacular red color in spring and varied hues in the fall, it’s a visual delight throughout the year. This tree is remarkably resilient, disease- and pest-resistant, and can withstand the varied conditions of Northeast Florida. When planting, ensure it’s at least 20 to 30 feet away from structures due to its robust root system. It thrives in full sun and can tolerate normal or very wet soil conditions, making it an excellent choice for areas with excess moisture.

    Drake Elm 

    (Ulmus parvifolia)

    The Drake Elm is a medium-sized shade tree that excels in our local climate. It can grow 30 to 35 feet tall and wide, making it a perfect choice for providing ample shade. Planting this tree about 10 to 15 feet away from any structures is advisable. In winter, its leaves turn yellow, adding a splash of color early in the season. The bark of the Drake Elm is beautiful, developing flaky patterns over time. This tree is best suited to full sun and well-drained soil, making it a versatile option for many landscapes.

    drake elm
    japanese blueberry 3

    Japanese Blueberry

    (Elaeocarpus decipiens)

    Unlike the first two, the Japanese Blueberry is an evergreen, maintaining its foliage year-round. It can grow up to 30 feet tall and wide, so it should be planted at least 10 to 15 feet away from structures. This tree is known for its reliability and fast growth, providing shade every month of the year. The leaves turn bright orange or red before they are shed, and the berries produced in the fall attract birds, adding another dimension of wildlife interaction to your garden.

     

    Each of these trees offers unique benefits, from the striking seasonal colors of the Florida Red Maple and Drake Elm to the year-round greenery and wildlife attraction of the Japanese Blueberry. When selecting trees for your landscape, consider the space available, the soil conditions, and the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve. These fast-growing trees are not only practical choices for quick landscaping improvements but also contribute to the biodiversity and beauty of Northeast Florida.

    As we celebrate Florida Arbor Day this year, let’s embrace the rich diversity of trees. From the wildlife-friendly Bottlebrush and Vitex trees to the elegant and tropical palms and the rapidly growing Florida Red Maple, Drake Elm, and Japanese Blueberry, there’s a tree for every purpose and every landscape. Planting a tree is more than just a landscaping decision; it’s a commitment to the future of our environment and community. Let’s unite to plant, nurture, and celebrate these magnificent natural resources, creating a greener, more beautiful Northeast Florida for future generations.

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    Services

    • Landscape Design & Installation
    • Paver Patios, Paver Walkways, Paver Driveways
    • Firepits, Retaining Walls , Seat Walls,
    • Landscape Lighting, Drainage design & Installation,
    • Lawn Care Services, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Fertilization
    • Lawn Pest Control, Lawn Weed Control
    • Aeration and Top Dressing
    • Water Features, Koi Ponds,
    • Waterfalls, Bubbling Fountains
    • Garden Center & Pond Supply Store

    General Services Areas

    Jacksonville (Jax), Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, Nocatee

    Location

    GARDEN CENTER
    12501 Beach Blvd
    Jacksonville, FL 32246

    LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS
    (not open to the public)
    St. Johns Bluff
    1057 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
    Jacksonville, FL 32225

    Hours

    Monday-Saturday 9-5
    Sunday 10-5

    HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
    New Year’s Day • Easter • Memorial Day
    July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Day
    Christmas Eve • Christmas Day

    Ensuring the Survival of Sensitive Plants in Northeast Florida’s Cooler Climates

    Ensuring the Survival of Sensitive Plants in Northeast Florida’s Cooler Climates

    Northeast Florida, with its unique climatic conditions, presents distinct challenges for gardeners, particularly when it comes to the cultivation of sensitive tropical plants, palms, and citrus varieties. As temperatures dip in the cooler months, understanding and managing the cold tolerance of these plants is crucial for maintaining a vibrant and thriving garden. This comprehensive guide aims to assist gardeners in the Jacksonville, Florida area in safeguarding their sensitive plants from the threats of colder weather.

    Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones

     

     

    A fundamental aspect of gardening in Northeast Florida, particularly in areas like Jacksonville, is understanding the USDA Hardiness Zone of the region. Classified as Zone 9a, this area experiences temperatures that can drop to 20-25°F. Selecting plants that can endure these minimum temperatures is vital to prevent cold damage.

    Zone Map

    Tropical Plants and Their Cold Sensitivity

    Many tropical plants enhance Northeast Florida landscapes, but their sensitivity to cold necessitates extra care during the winter. Important tropical species include:

    Hibiscus

    Hibiscus

    These plants are celebrated for their large, vibrant blooms but are susceptible to frost damage. Cover lightly in a mild frost. Double up your frost cloth in a hard freeze.

    Shell Ginger

    Shell Ginger

    Tropical ginger varieties require protection from the cold to preserve their lush foliage. Shell ginger can freeze back and come back from the gound. Cover if you would like to keep it from dying all the wayback.

    Hawaiian Ti

    Hawaiian Ti

    Cherished for their colorful leaves, they struggle in cooler temperatures. They can come back from the ground after a freeze but protecting them will help minimize the damage to the leaves.

    Xanadu Philodendron

    Xanadu Philodendron

    This dwarf variety of philodendron needs shelter from freezing conditions.

    Croton

    Croton

    Known for their striking multi-colored leaves, crotons are truly tropical. They are sensitive to cold drafts and can take damage under 40 degrees. It is best if you can bring them indoor.

    Stromanthe

    Stromanthe

    Prized for their attractive leaves, stromanthe plants definietly require frost protection.

    Cold Sensitive Palms

      Palms, a Florida landscape staple, vary in their cold tolerance. These palm varieties will sustain damage and or death in a hard freeze.  They will fair better the longer they have to get established. Other factors my include position in your yard and yard’s individual micro climate, the severity of the freeze and it’s duration.

    Some palm species requiring special attention in cooler weather are:

     

    Roebelleni (Pygmy Date Palm)

    Roebelleni (Pygmy Date Palm)

    Adonidia (Christmas Palm)

    Adonidia (Christmas Palm)

    Raphis (Lady Palm)

    Raphis (Lady Palm)

    Bismarckia

    Bismarckia

    Foxtail

    Foxtail

    Citrus Trees and Frost Protection

    In Northeast Florida, gardeners are fortunate to be able to cultivate a variety of citrus trees that bring both beauty and bountiful harvests to their landscapes. Despite the region’s mild climate, occasional cold snaps do occur, and understanding how to protect these trees is essential. Here’s a tailored guide for commonly planted citrus in this region:

    • Meyer Lemon Trees: These trees are robust against cold, managing to survive in temperatures as chilly as 20°F. They can also endure brief dips to 32°F. For regions where the mercury drops below 20°F, consider potting these trees and moving them indoors to escape the cold.
    • Persian Lime Trees: Among the lime varieties, Persian limes show the greatest resistance to cold, withstanding short periods at 21-22°F. Extended exposure to teen temperatures for over half a day could be fatal. They are suitable for open planting in USDA Zones 9-11.
    lime (Citrus x latifolia) tree
    Ornge Tree citrus
    • Valencia Orange Trees: Short spells of cold down to 30°F won’t harm these trees, but prolonged cold can affect the fruit’s quality and deplete its vitamin C levels.
    • Ruby Red Grapefruit Trees: These trees have a tolerance for cold in the range of 15–20°F, yet they are sensitive to frost, which is particularly damaging to the fruit. Optimal growth is achieved in USDA Zones 9 and 10.
    • Tangerines and Mandarins: These varieties show a degree of cold resilience, capable of withstanding temperatures down to 20°F with minimal impact.
    • Satsuma Mandarins (Trifoliate Rootstocks): Renowned for their cold hardiness, mature Satsuma mandarins grafted onto Trifoliate rootstocks can cope with temperatures as low as 15 or 16°F.

     

      Strategies for Cold Protection

      One of the most effective measures is the use of freeze cloth or frost blankets. These specially designed cloths are draped over plants to insulate them from the cold, while still allowing air and moisture to reach the foliage. Unlike plastic covers, which can trap excessive moisture and lead to fungal diseases, freeze cloths provide a breathable yet protective barrier against frost. It’s important to cover the plants before sunset to retain residual heat and extend the cloth all the way to the ground to trap heat more effectively. Additionally, ensure that the cloth is secured to prevent it from being blown away by the wind. Other steps include watering the plants before a freeze, as moist soil retains heat better than dry soil, and using mulch to insulate the roots. For potted plants, moving them indoors or to a sheltered area can offer significant protection. Implementing these basic yet essential freeze protection steps can greatly enhance the survivability of sensitive plants during cold snaps.

      Additional effective strategies to protect sensitive plants from cold include:

        1. Understanding Chilling Temperatures: Temperatures between 32°F and 59°F can stress tropical plants, leading to wilting, yellowing, and reddish-brown spots.
        2. Location and Exposure: Planting sensitive species away from areas with northern exposure and using hardier plants as windbreaks can provide additional protection.
        3. Acclimation Processes: Plants start acclimating in autumn as daylight hours decrease. Understanding this natural process helps in preparing plants for the cold.
        4. Overwintering and Indoor Propagation: Consider relocating highly sensitive plants indoors or to greenhouses as temperatures drop.
        5. Post-Chill Care: After chill exposure, ensure plants are adequately watered and avoid immediate fertilization to reduce stress.

         

        Consulting with Experts

        For personalized advice, resources like Earth Works of Jacksonville can provide invaluable guidance and solutions for specific lawn, garden, and landscaping needs in the Northeast Florida region.

        Maintaining a lush garden in Northeast Florida’s cooler climate requires an in-depth understanding of the cold tolerance of various plant species. By recognizing the needs of sensitive tropical plants, palms, and citrus trees, and employing effective cold protection strategies, gardeners can ensure the survival and flourishing of their gardens through the chillier months. With proper planning and care, the diverse and vibrant flora of Northeast Florida

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        Services

        • Landscape Design & Installation
        • Paver Patios, Paver Walkways, Paver Driveways
        • Firepits, Retaining Walls , Seat Walls,
        • Landscape Lighting, Drainage design & Installation,
        • Lawn Care Services, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Fertilization
        • Lawn Pest Control, Lawn Weed Control
        • Aeration and Top Dressing
        • Water Features, Koi Ponds,
        • Waterfalls, Bubbling Fountains
        • Garden Center & Pond Supply Store

        General Services Areas

        Jacksonville (Jax), Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, Nocatee

        Location

        GARDEN CENTER
        12501 Beach Blvd
        Jacksonville, FL 32246

        LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS
        (not open to the public)
        St. Johns Bluff
        1057 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
        Jacksonville, FL 32225

        Hours

        Monday-Saturday 9-5
        Sunday 10-5

        HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
        New Year’s Day • Easter • Memorial Day
        July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Day
        Christmas Eve • Christmas Day

        Rain Gauges for Efficient Irrigation & Lawn Care in Jacksonville, FL

        Rain Gauges for Efficient Irrigation & Lawn Care in Jacksonville, FL

        In Jacksonville, FL, where our St. Johns River is central to the vibrancy of our city, the importance of efficient water usage cannot be overstated. As a resident who appreciates the harmony between suburban life and nature, my morning neighborhood strolls often include sightings of sprinklers dousing lawns, even after an overnight downpour. While reflecting our love for lush landscapes, this scene also points to the need for more intelligent irrigation in Jacksonville.

        Landscaping in Jacksonville, FL, like many parts of Florida, demands an irrigation system that is both effective and mindful of water conservation. An effective irrigation system is an efficient one. Because overwatering is not only wasteful of a precious resource but can also harm our lawns and landscapes. If you’ve searched for “irrigation Jacksonville FL” or “landscape services Jacksonville FL,” chances are you’ve seen a great deal of information. Still, they might have missed the significance of a small yet powerful tool: the rain gauge.

        Sprinklers in the rain
        Screen Shot 2023 07 11 at 3.52.25 PM

        While Earth Works Unlimited recommends Three weekly watering events during peak temperatures. The three waterings include any rain event over a half inch. For example, if it rains a half inch one day, you should only run your irrigation system twice that week. During periods of daily or nightly rains running your system could weaken your lawn’s resistance to fungus diseases.

        integrated into your irrigation system, rain gauges can make a difference. Often overlooked, these devices measure the quantity of rainfall and adjust watering schedules to reduce water waste when connected to your sprinkler system. They are the unsung water conservation heroes, silently ensuring our lawns and landscapes stay healthy.

        St. Augustine grass is a favorite for lawns among Jacksonville homeowners, loved for its hardiness and ability to create a thick, lush carpet of green. However, even this robust variety has its Achilles heel, susceptibility to certain fungal diseases, primarily associated with overwatering.

        By measuring the amount of rainfall and adjusting the sprinkler activity accordingly, rain gauges prevent unnecessary watering, a primary culprit of St. Augustine grass issues like Brown Patch, sod webworm, and Gray Leaf Spot.

        Brown Patch (or Large Patch) fungus and sod web worm thrive in wet conditions. Similarly, Gray Leaf Spot, which show up as gray or brown spots on the grass blades, multiplies rapidly with excessive moisture. By implementing a rain gauge in your irrigation system, you’re taking a major step toward preventing these diseases from gaining a foothold.

        Depositphotos 69442233 XL
        Gray leaf spot
        rain sensor installed on gutter

        A smart irrigation system in Jacksonville, FL, should incorporate these rain sensors. Along with maintaining healthy sod, rain sensors lead to noticeable savings on your water bill and contribute significantly to conserving our precious resources. Therefore, installing a rain gauge can protect your investment in “landscape design Jacksonville FL”, ensuring the longevity and vibrancy of your lawns.

         Integrating rain gauges is a step in the right direction in the quest for balance between maintaining our beautiful landscapes and preserving water. As a Jacksonville resident, I hope that my morning walks will soon include fewer sights of post-rainstorm sprinkler activity. After all, each conserved drop signifies a win for our environment.

        As we continue navigating the complexities of irrigation and landscaping in Jacksonville, FL, let’s ensure our systems are as efficient as possible. With rain gauges, we can make strides towards responsible water use, setting a great example of environmental stewardship in the Sunshine State. Let’s make every drop count together.

         

        Terri McGregor, Earth Works Marketing Director.

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        Services

        • Landscape Design & Installation
        • Paver Patios, Paver Walkways, Paver Driveways
        • Firepits, Retaining Walls , Seat Walls,
        • Landscape Lighting, Drainage design & Installation,
        • Lawn Care Services, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Fertilization
        • Lawn Pest Control, Lawn Weed Control
        • Aeration and Top Dressing
        • Water Features, Koi Ponds,
        • Waterfalls, Bubbling Fountains
        • Garden Center & Pond Supply Store

        General Services Areas

        Jacksonville (Jax), Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, Nocatee

        Location

        GARDEN CENTER
        12501 Beach Blvd
        Jacksonville, FL 32246

        LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS
        (not open to the public)
        St. Johns Bluff
        1057 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
        Jacksonville, FL 32225

        Hours

        Monday-Saturday 9-5
        Sunday 10-5

        HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
        New Year’s Day • Easter • Memorial Day
        July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Day
        Christmas Eve • Christmas Day

        Online Landscape Design Companies Pros and Cons

        Online Landscape Design Companies Pros and Cons

        Consider these online landscape design companies pros and cons and questions to ask them to get your best results when booking them if choosing not to use a local brick-and-mortar landscape design company.  

         

        Online Landscape Design Company Pro: Online Fulfillment.
        An obvious advantage to hiring an online landscape design firm is the convenience of all communications being online without needing in-person interactions. Instead, you submit your project criteria via images and form-based answers to questions. Reasons to use the online landscape design company include insufficient local design companies to choose from and simply not wanting to meet in person. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days per year, you can initiate, pay for and complete the landscape design process with the online landscape design company.

        Online Landscape Design Company Con: Lack of In-Person Interaction.
        Often people’s intentions are misinterpreted in online interactions. In-person meetings with a landscape design professional help clarify what clients want. These in-person meetings allow clients to assess whether the designer understands their vision and if they trust that they have the experience to complete it and are likely to stand behind the design during and after installation.

        landscape design1Online Landscape Design Companies' Pros and Cons
        Online Landscape Design Companies' Pros and Cons

        Online Landscape Design Company Pro: Extensive Package Details
        Online landscape design companies typically pitch the details and scope of their landscape design packages providing clearly stated details for each and the opportunity to pay for it online. An online landscape design company can also be expected to provide a timeline and quick turnaround.

        Online Landscape Design Company Con: Missing Site Considerations
        Brick-and-mortar landscape design companies often don’t provide the convenience of detailed online landscape design packages and rely instead on their in-person consultations and site visits before developing the landscape plan. The client submitting information about their wants for the landscape design to the online landscape design company may be one of many stakeholders in the project whose wants need to be represented in the design. In-person landscape design consultations and site visits typically involve designers meeting with couples taking both of their wants into consideration. The experienced landscape designer, during site visits, identifies concerns critical to the success of the landscape design that the client might need to recognize, such as irrigation needs, elevations, grades, drainage, neighborhood issues, etc.

        Online Landscape Design Company Pro: Beautifully Designed Landscape Drawings
        Online landscape design companies typically utilize various plant materials to create beautifully designed landscape drawings to suit the client’s requirements.

        Online Landscape Design Company Con: Regional Lack of Plant Availability
        Although online landscape design companies can create beautifully designed landscape drawings remotely from anywhere, plant material availability isn’t guaranteed, which can require revisions or plant and other material substitutions. Although revisions and plant substitutions are likewise common with locally based design firms they tend to have a better grasp of local availability, pricing, and what does well or not in a given area. The local designer will likely have relationships with a myriad of local plant material providers to choose from.

        Online Landscape Design Companies' Pros and Cons

        Additional questions to ask online landscape design companies to ensure your satisfaction after the sale:
        -Will the landscape design provide information on required irrigation to establish and maintain new plants?
        -Will the landscape design consider varied elevations, grades, and drainage that can impact the success of the landscape?
        -Will the landscape design be customized to consider state and local government regulations? 
        -Will the landscape design meet my Home Owners Association requirements?
        -How many revisions to the landscape design are included in my plan?
        -Do you have recommended contractors in my area who know the local plant material, what will grow well, and their availability?
        -Are there any guarantees that I’ll be able to have this design installed for my budget?

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        Services

        • Landscape Design & Installation
        • Paver Patios, Paver Walkways, Paver Driveways
        • Firepits, Retaining Walls , Seat Walls,
        • Landscape Lighting, Drainage design & Installation,
        • Lawn Care Services, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Fertilization
        • Lawn Pest Control, Lawn Weed Control
        • Aeration and Top Dressing
        • Water Features, Koi Ponds,
        • Waterfalls, Bubbling Fountains
        • Garden Center & Pond Supply Store

        General Services Areas

        Jacksonville (Jax), Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, Nocatee

        Location

        GARDEN CENTER
        12501 Beach Blvd
        Jacksonville, FL 32246

        LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS
        (not open to the public)
        St. Johns Bluff
        1057 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
        Jacksonville, FL 32225

        Hours

        Monday-Saturday 9-5
        Sunday 10-5

        HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
        New Year’s Day • Easter • Memorial Day
        July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Day
        Christmas Eve • Christmas Day

        Queen Palms for Jacksonville Landscapes

        The Queen palm is a fast-growing palm and an elegant choice for landscapes in Jacksonville and throughout Northeast Florida. The long feathery pinnate leaves are not only beautiful but can create shade if placed in the right spot. Queen palms can be used to line the property or planted as single specimens to create focal points in your landscape design.
        This palm tree grows fast approximately two feet per year up to typically forty feet in height.
        Earth Works sells 15-gallon, 30-gallon, and field-grown Queen Palms year-round. We offer
        delivery and planting services year-round. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff can help you
        find the right palm tree design for your landscape.

        If you are looking for a cold hardy palm tree that looks like a tropical palm, the Queen palm is
        a good choice. As they mature, Queen Palms shed their outer layers and reveal an attractive
        silver color on their trunk. The contrast of the light-colored trunk with the dark green palm fronds is a spectacular look that creates a tropical vibe when paired with a good landscape design in Jacksonville.

        Queen Palm genus and species Syagrus romanzoffiana
        Common names: Queen Palm & Cocos Palm

        • Drought Tolerance: Moderate
        • Origin: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay
        • Zone: 9-11
        • Typical Height: 40ft
        • Salt Tolerance: Moderate
        • Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast

        Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, water features, lawn care service, lawn spraying, and drainage solutions. Stop by our retail center or contact us online or by phone at 904-996-0712.

        Earth Works proudly serves clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.

        Florida Winterizer Fertilization

        Florida Winterizer Fertilization

        Florida Winterizer Fertilization of warm-season grasses if done should be done with a nitrogen-free product and applied prior to dormancy. Although many brands promote the sale of Winterizing fertilizers that include nitrogen, these are not appropriate for warm-season grasses. They encourage new grass blade development that alters the dormancy cycle that, by design, is nature’s way of protecting the plant from cold damage—waking the plant before a freeze puts it at risk of increased stress and death. “Many of the so-called winterizer fertilizers available in our area can cause more damage than good,” according to UF/IFAS. “The time to fertilize our warm-season grasses in Florida is during the growing season, not when the grasses are going to “sleep” for the winter.”

        The three macro-nutrients listed on the label of all fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, abbreviated as NPK. If choosing a Wintering lawn fertilizer, we only recommend an NPK with phosphorus and potassium. “Adding phosphorus to soil low in available phosphorus promotes root growth and winter hardiness, stimulates tillering, and often hastens maturity,” according to University of Nebraska Plant & Soil elibrary. “Potassium is a vital component of numerous plant functions, including nutrient absorption, respiration, transpiration, and enzyme activity.” Both phosphurus and potassium are essential for plant maintenance and support, according to the Noble Research Institute.

        Our Florida Winterizer Fertilization recommendation is for an NPK of only phosphorus and potassium. This nitrogen-free formulation is most readily available for retail sale with a 0-10-10 NPK.

        It’s also essential to know your soil pH when supplementing with fertilizers. These macro-nutrients are only fully bioavailable at a pH of 6.5 or above and decreasingly available below. “In a very acid soil of pH 5.0 only 40% of the nitrogen is available, 35% of the phosphorus and 50% of the potassium,” according to Allotment Garden.org. “Increasing to an average plot’s pH 5.5 takes the nitrogen and potassium up to 70% availability but the phosphorus is still only at 45% availability. It’s not until the pH hits 6.5 that all the big 3 nutrients are fully available to fuel the plants.”

        Where can I get my soil analyzed?
        The University of Florida Extension Office in Duval County provides free soil pH analysis that takes typically 7-10 business days to get results. Samples should be dry which is best provided to them in paper bag whereas plastic holds moisture. Samples should be gathered from a few different areas of the landscape and dropped off in person at the extension office.
        Contact the University of Florida Extension Office in Duval County for more information at (904)255-7450. Find out more about soil and soil testing in our article Soil Testing In Northeast Florida.

        For comprehensive solutions to your specific lawn, garden and landscaping need contact Earth Works of Jacksonville online and at 904-996-0712. Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, water features, lawn care service, lawn spraying, and drainage solutions.

        soil pH nutrient availability 05

        Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, water features, lawn care service, lawn spraying, and drainage solutions. Stop by our retail center or contact us online or by phone at 904-996-0712.

        Earth Works proudly serves clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.

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        Services

        • Landscape Design & Installation
        • Paver Patios, Paver Walkways, Paver Driveways
        • Firepits, Retaining Walls , Seat Walls,
        • Landscape Lighting, Drainage design & Installation,
        • Lawn Care Services, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Fertilization
        • Lawn Pest Control, Lawn Weed Control
        • Aeration and Top Dressing
        • Water Features, Koi Ponds,
        • Waterfalls, Bubbling Fountains
        • Garden Center & Pond Supply Store

        General Services Areas

        Jacksonville (Jax), Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, Nocatee

        Location

        GARDEN CENTER
        12501 Beach Blvd
        Jacksonville, FL 32246

        LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS
        (not open to the public)
        St. Johns Bluff
        1057 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
        Jacksonville, FL 32225

        Hours

        Monday-Saturday 9-5
        Sunday 10-5

        HOLIDAY CLOSINGS
        New Year’s Day • Easter • Memorial Day
        July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Day
        Christmas Eve • Christmas Day

        Fall Landscaping Advantages

        Fall landscaping advantages include air and soil temperatures, rainfall rates, plant physiology, and availability of landscaping products and services.

        1. Warm days and cool Autumn nights are favorable for landscaping compared to the extremes associated with Summer and Winter. Likewise, Springs’ volatile temperatures commonly result in many plantings’ tender new growth’s demise. Moderate Fall temperatures also contribute to an enjoyable landscaping experience.

        2. Warm Fall soil supports microbial activity and vigorous root development that strengthen plants ahead of Winter and prepare them to push out a healthy flush of Spring foliage. The frigid soil temperatures are typically associated with Winter shutdown microbial activity and plant growth, encourage dormancy, and prevent seed germination. Root zone temperatures are a vital component of the scientific study of plants. Still, it’s often a neglected consideration of the inexperienced gardener. “Fall planting means strong roots. 80% of a plant’s root growth occurs in the late summer and fall months,” according to High Country Gardens. “While you won’t see as much stem and leaf growth in the fall, the plants are busy growing new roots.”

        Source: High Country Gardens

        3. Adequate amounts of rainfall for plant health without the harm associated with the rainy season is a crucial Fall landscaping advantage. The torrential downpours, thunderstorms, and landscape-damaging winds of the July through September rainy season pass with the onset of Fall. Rainy season’s high winds snap limbs and topple trees while flooding rains deprive the soil of oxygen and offer an invitation to root fungus and soil pathogens. And less heat equates to lower watering requirements to maintain your landscape plantings.

        4. The plants we associate with landscaping, including trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials, develop in association with environmental conditions that serve as part of the basis of our recognition of the seasons. “Seasonality refers to both a regularly changing environment and the biological responses conditioned by that environment,” according to the Journal of Experimental Botany. “Knowing how plants respond to the sequence of environmental changes through the year is therefore an important topic, not just for the plant sciences, but also because of the role of plants in daily life: this aspect of seasonality forms a bridge for public understanding.”

        5. Garden Centers and landscapers are typically their busiest in Spring creating shortages of landscaping materials and longer wait times for landscape design installations. During the Fall, families focus increasingly on back-to-school activities and upcoming holidays. Less demand pressure in Fall increases the availability of landscaping and hardscaping materials, such as pavers that your contracted landscape company can install with decreased wait times.

        Take advantage of Fall Landscaping weather by booking your Landscape Design Consultation today by contacting us at 904-996-0712. Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, water features, lawn care service, lawn spraying, and drainage solutions.

        Earth Works proudly serves clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.

         

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