Planting in Tampa Florida - Knowledgebase Question

Rochester, AL
Avatar for gongloff
Question by gongloff
January 5, 1998
I want to send plants as a gift to an inexperienced gardener in Tampa FL. He likes blue flowers, so I'm thinking about sending blue pansies, and double (Blue Rose) lisianthus, in addition to some peppers and tomatoes. Burpee says they mail to Zone 8 in March, but I'd like him to get the pansies as quickly as possible so he can enjoy them over their winter, before it gets too hot for pansies, and they just look yucky. This whole idea is expensive, is it also doomed to failure? He has a southwestern exposure, sandy soil which I worked real hard at enriching last March. Any suggestions/advice?

Answer from NGA
January 5, 1998
It is a little late for Pansies in the Tampa area. The
Lisianthus should be a good choice. Your friend should
improve his soil with the addition of plenty of organic
matter. Leaves, grass clippings and turning over green
material. Green material can be rye, clover or even weeds
before they form seeds. The pH should be checked
and the recommended amount of lime worked into the soil.
His County Extension Office will check the pH for him with
little or no cost. Hillsbourough County Extension Office
number is (813)744-5519.

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