Flourish and Nourish This Fall with Seasonal Herbs and Flowers

House and Home

Pictured: Zinnia flowers

To the plant killers and passion project DIY-ers, this one is for you. Whether it's for sprucing up the backyard with no fuss or picking up a new homegrown hobby, gardening and landscaping experts of Sarasota, Jay Vowels and Alex Barth, share with us their tricks of the trade when it comes to keeping your garden alive and thriving.

When starting an edible garden, it can be difficult to wait for your homegrown vegetables to be ready for harvest, but Your Farm and Garden Plant Purchasing Agent and overall plant geek Vowels explains, “produce such as tomatoes and peppers are notorious for long growing seasons.” The nursery sells a vast variety of tomatoes like the Cherokee Purple, Midnight Snack, Better Boy and Big Boy. The Sunshine State is the perfect growing ground for tomato and pepper plants because they soak up sunshine just like water. Compost is your soil’s best friend. “It doesn't matter if it's an herb, vegetable or succulent—all plants want to be amended from Florida’s sandy soil,” says Vowels. “There is no nutritional value in our soil, so it is important to amend with composted material and nutrients.” For those who are no-fuss, farm-to-table fanatics, try tomatoes, peppers, zucchini or squash.

Your Farm and Garden also carries the ever-popular milkweed (a plant with purpose). After a decline in reproductive habitats and climate change impact, Monarch populations have been on a decline, but they prosper when feeding off of milkweeds. “Milkweeds are great for the environment because they attract crucial pollinating insects,” Vowels says. Milkweeds are must-have pollinator plants for Monarch butterflies, as well as other beneficial bugs like bees, other butterfly species and moths. When beautifying your garden with pink petals and fluttering Monarchs, milkweeds are the perfect easy-to-manage plants.

Troy’s Tropics Plant and Design Specialist Alex Barth recommends thyme and basil as herbs to garnish your favorite pasta or chicken dishes—bringing flavor from the earth to your dinner platter. These classic, flavor-packed plants are guaranteed to fill your kitchen with the fragrant aroma of herbal incense. Backyard basil and thyme will stay happy as long as you keep them hydrated, watering regularly with one inch of water each week. 

Zinnia flowers are vibrant plants of the sunflower tribe, with a red, orange and yellow shade variety of layered petals. The flower’s bold, pack-a-punch pigment will set your at-home oasis apart. Barth says Troy’s Tropics carries these as a popular purchase for gifting and gardening throughout September—perfect for sunny Sarasota’s autumnal weather.

Pictured: Zinnia flowers

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