South Florida Tropicals: Avocado

Avocados growing on a tree. Avocado fruit. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

This 4-page fact sheet is a major revision that discusses the background, availability, selection, ripening, storage, uses, yield, nutritive value, and basic, safe preparation of the avocado. The document also contains several avocado-based recipes. Written by Linda B. Bobroff and Amy Simonne, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, revised January 2018.

Sizzle and Passionista: Two New Lance-Leaved Caladium Cultivars

'Sizzle' plants (about 5-months-old) grown in full sun.Many lance-leaved cultivars often produce small tubers, making it difficult for growers to produce tubers profitably. ‘Sizzle’ and ‘Passionista’ are two new lance-leaved caladium cultivars with improved tuber yield potential. The availability of ‘Sizzle’ and ‘Passionista’ may expand the color palette for caladium plants desired by greenhouse growers, nurseries, and gardeners. This 7-page fact sheet discusses the cultivars' tuber yield potential, container trials, landscape performance, growing recommendations, and availability. Written by Zhanao Deng, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, December 2015.

Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide — Revised!

woman holds basket of garden produce
Vegetable gardening offers fresh air, sunshine, exercise, enjoyment, mental therapy, nutritious fresh vegetables, and economic savings, as well as many other benefits. With some attention to planning and planting, vegetables can be grown year-round in Florida. This 11-page guide provides recommendations primarily for traditional home gardens, including planning your garden and choosing crops, soil preparation and maintenance, fertilization, irrigation, pest management, and other gardening know-how.  Includes a planting guide, table of suggested varieties, and table of products labeled for insect and mite management in home vegetable gardens. Written by Sydney Park Brown, Danielle Treadwell, J. M. Stephens, and Susan Webb, and published by the Environmental Horticulture Department.

January 24th is National Peanut Butter Day!

Peanut Butter in the jar.Try some of these tasty peanut butter ideas from EDIS publications:

  • Peanut butter is a quick, easy, and popular sandwich choice that’s also healthful (in moderation). Use whole-grain bread, and add sliced banana, fruit preserves, or honey and a thin slice of Muenster, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella cheese to your child’s favorite peanut butter. (Tips for Nutritious School Lunches)
  • Stuff celery sticks with peanut butter and top with raisins (Choosing Healthy Snacks Using MyPyramid)
  • Instead of peanut butter and jelly, try peanut butter and sliced banana. Add a little honey for a sweeter sandwich. (Healthy Eating: Super Sandwiches)
  • Banana & Peanut Butter Spread: Cream ½ cup peanut butter, add ¼ cup hot water or evaporated milk, and blend thoroughly. Add ¾ cup mashed ripe banana, and season with 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice. (South Florida Tropicals: Banana)
  • Peanut Butter Banana Shake: blend 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 banana (fresh or frozen), 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract (Healthy Eating for Elders: Drink to Your Health)

Peanuts have been one of the more profitable crops grown in the Coastal Plains of the southeastern U.S. for many years. For publications on peanut production in Florida, see Peanut Production topic page.

Peanuts can also be grown in your home garden: see Producing Peanuts for Home Use.

Popular Publications this Week

Specific Vegetables A-Z [topic page]
Southern Chinch Bug Management on St. Augustinegrass (ENY-325/LH036)
Subterranean Termites (ENY-210/IG097)
Edible Tubers and Roots [topic page]
Formosan Subterranean Termite (ENY-216/MG064)
A Guide to Citrus Nutritional Deficiency and Toxicity Identification (HS-797/CH142)
Pineapple Growing in the Florida Home Landscape (HS7/MG055)
St. Augustinegrass yard killed by southern chinch bugs.Winged reproductive subterranean termite.Rutabaga