April / May 2019
photo: DAVE GORDON
Winter annual weeds, a great place to hide Easter eggs As a boy in a small town in Georgia we had a St. Augustine grass lawn. My dad started the lawn before I was born. That lawn was still doing fine when I left for college at age seventeen. I don’t remember weeds in the lawn during summer months. I do fondly remember winter “weeds” in that lawn.
purple flowers in late winter and early spring. A clump of henbit was a great place to hide an Easter egg, especially a pink or purple one. Wild geranium, another common winter annual, offered another good hiding place for Easter eggs with its pink to purple flowers. Large clumps of annual chickweed would
To see clumps of winter annuals in our yard and in neigh-
nicely hide whole eggs. Green colored eggs would blend
bors’ yards was a natural part of the transition from winter with chickweed’s green leaves. to spring. They added interest to what would have been a
Crimson clover with its reddish flowers, hop clover and
plain palette of green. It was expected to see henbit with its black medic with their bright yellow flowers were good square stiff stems holding up a display of small pinkish 2
hiding places for Easter eggs. Plus clovers add nitrogen back to our soils. I never remember my dad using any weed killer, he rarely watered. The lawn was healthy and thick enough to be a deterrent to summer weeds. But during fall and winter as the lawn would naturally thin and go dormant, winter annual weeds would run their course. Iâ€™ve heard that the sense of smell provides our strongest memories. I remember the first mowing of the season with the clean smell of chlorophyll in the spring air. It was refreshing. Once mowed and as the heat took its toll, by late April or mid-May, these winter annual weeds were gone. What was left was a green lawn to help cool the landscape as the weather warmed. The lawn was mowed high as St. Augustine should be, played on and typical-
ly not worried with. Most people have winter weeds in their lawns that let us know spring is near. Perhaps we worry too much with these seasonal, temporary plants that may have wrongly been labeled as weeds. Besides, how long have we been doing battle with these weeds and they are still here. Most lawns have countless numbers of winter annual seeds awaiting the cooler temperatures and shorter days of early winter to begin yet another generation. By May they are gone. Larry Williams
Country versus City Bluebirds For a number of years I have had a bluebird trail in north Walton County. A total of 12 bluebirds boxes have been monitored and checked throughout the nesting season. All of the boxes have had bluebirds nest in them during the nesting period. I keep them sprayed for mites and keep the wasp nests removed. There are 7 boxes on the property of other individuals. All of the boxes are placed about 4-5 feet above the ground and have a 1 and ½ inch opening. I am seeing more bluebirds in the area thanks to the nesting boxes. Bluebirds will usually birds. The first group with raising the secones. From the infortakes about 2-3 acres port a pair of blue-
have 2 broods of young of fledgling’s will assist ond group of young mation I have read, it of open area to supbirds.
Guess what? I have a pair of bluebirds nesting in our backyard in Shalimar. You can throw out the information provided by the experts. For a number of years I have noticed bluebirds on powerlines in the Longwood and Poquito Bayou area. I have observed them and heard their song in our neighborhood. The first of March I placed a bluebird house in our backyard-it took 2 days for them to locate the house. A few days later a pair of bluebirds were building a nest inside the house. Apparently, they don’t need 2-3 acres to be successful. They are presently (April 15) feeding their young. Isn’t nature wonderful? The bluebirds in our area have adapted to a more wooded area and appear to be thriving. As you can see from the picture, they are bringing happiness to our backyard.
By Dave Gordon 4
Inspect, Wash and Prevent Azalea Lace Bugs Sheila Dunning Commercial Horticulture
tering lace bug adults, eggs and newly hatched nymphs. Inspect these plants every two weeks during the growing season for developing lace bug infestations.
Now is the time to prevent your azaleas from being at-
Both adults and nymphs have piercing-sucking mouth-
tacked by lace bugs. The azalea lace bug, Stephanitis
parts and remove sap as they feed from the underside of
pyrioides, overwinters as eggs on the underside of infest- the leaf. Lace bug damage to the foliage detracts greatly ed leaves. Eggs hatch in late March and early April. The from the plantsâ€™ beauty, reduces the plantsâ€™ ability to proinsect then passes through five nymphal instars before
duce food, decreases plant vigor and causes the plant to
becoming an adult. It takes approximately one month for be more susceptible to damage by other insects, diseases or unfavorable weather conditions. The azalea can become almost silver or bleached in appearance from the feeding lace bug damage.
Adult azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott), and excrement. Photograph by James. L. Castner, University of Florida.
the insect to complete development from egg to adult and there are at least four generations per year. Valuable plants that are susceptible to lace bug damage should be
Nymphs of the azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott), with several cast skins and excrement.
inspected in the early spring for the presence of overwin-
Photograph by James. L. Castner, University of Florida. 5
However, lace bugs often go undetected until the infested plants show severe damage sometime into the summer. By then several generations of lace bugs have been weakening the plant. Inspecting early in the spring and simply washing them off the underside of the leaves can help to avoid damage later and the need for pesticides. Adult lace bugs are flattened and rectangular in shape measuring 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. The area behind the head and the wing covers form a broadened, lace-like body covering. The wings are light amber to transparent in color. Lace bugs leave behind spiny
Damage caused by azalea lace bug,
black spots of frass (excrement). Lace bug nymphs are flat and oval in shape with spines projecting
Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott), feeding. Photograph by James. L. Castner, University of Florida
from their bodies in all directions. A lace bug nymph goes through
five growth stages (instars) before becoming an adult. At each stage the nymph sheds its skin (molts) and these old skins often remain attached to the lower surface of infested leaves.
Severely damaged leaves become heavily discolored and eventually dry or fall off. Symptoms may sometimes be confused with mite injury, but the presence of black varnish-like excrement, frequent-
Azalea lace bug eggs are football-shaped and are transparent to
ly with cast skins attached, suggest lace bug damage (Johnson and
cream colored. Lace bug eggs are found on the lower leaf surface,
usually alongside or inserted into a leaf vein. Adult females secrete a varnish-like substance over the eggs that hardens into a scab-like protective covering. For more information go to: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/ creatures/orn/shrubs/azalea_lace_bug.htm
Editor: Special thanks to Karen Harper for proofreading the newsletter and to all that contribute to this publication.
Well, spring is finally here to
a beautyberry (Callicarpa spp) on your skin, it repels mosquitos?
stay. Hopefully, we will get
Use caution if you have sensitive skin.
some April showers so we will have May flowers. I don’t know about you but I sure have an abundance of weeds this year. The Northwest District Master Gardener Conference was held on March 19. We had 19 of our group in attendance. This was my first trip to the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center. What a beautiful setting! I enjoyed seeing the bobcats, grey fox and all the raptors. Several of us toured the Cracker house. It is pretty amazing how people lived back in the day. I’m not sure how thrilled I
Wendy Wilber gave awards to the following people for 10 years: Kent Beck, Bill Buckellew, Judy Fitzhugh, Marilyn Koser, Charlie Reuter, Carol Rose, Marg Stewart and Joyce Waters-Smith. For 20 years, Lockey Buhrow, Shari Farrell, Marie Harrison, Daisy Pfoertner and Roxy Shelgren were recognized.
There was a nice selection of books and apparel in the UF bookstore. This is often where my money and I are parted. I came away with a mere 6 books and a couple shirts. The keynote speaker also sold copies of his newest book, which I had to have also. Now, I have to find the time to read all of them.
would be having cracks in-between the floorboards. I guess it
All in all, it was a fun day and I’m glad that I went. I am looking
would be easy to keep the floors swept clean. Fortunately, the
forward to the statewide conference on October 20- 23, in Kis-
resident snake and her 2 boyfriends were elsewhere. To be hon- simmee, FL. est, I didn’t look all that carefully for them. I enjoyed all the lectures and learned a lot. Did you know that of
UF/IFAS Mobile Downloads
the old growth Longleaf Pines, 72% is on Eglin AFB? And that
UF/IFAS has several helpful apps for downloading onto your mobile devices. Here are just a few.
72% is a mere 9,000 acres! Some of the trees on Eglin AFB are
Agroclimate - Weather and forecast data Android Apple
200 – 500 years old. In a Longleaf Pine ecosystem, there can be Gardening Solutions - Create and manage your own virtual landscape Android Apple 170 species of plants in ¼ acre. It is among the most diverse ecosystems in North America. The ethnobotany presentation was the one I was most interested in. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t as in depth as I had
IveGot1 - Identify and report invasive animals and plants in Florida Android Apple NPDN Citrus Pests - Determine which type of citrus pest you've encountered Android Apple
hoped. There was a list of a lot of websites and books that are available on the subject. Did you know that if you rub the leaf of 7
Barking Treefrog I recently found a Barking Treefrog on a Mayhaw tree on our property in Darlington. This is the first time I have ever seen this amphibian. This frog allowed me to take as many pictures as I wanted and never showed any sign of wanting to flee. These frogs are found throughout the state of Florida (except the Everglades and the Keys) and are usually found high in treetops. The Barking Treefrog breeds in shallow wetland habitats, including cypress domes, bogs, wet hammocks, and flooded ditches. Breeding takes place By Dave Gordon from March to August with eggs laid singly on the bottom of ponds or other locations. The breeding call is a hollow tonk, tonk with a chorus of frogs sounding like distant barking dogs. The Barking Treefrog has a plump body that is green, gray, or brown and the skin is uniformly bumpy. Dark round spots, that may change color, mark the back of the frog. Light strips with irregular borders may mark the sides. Remember, youâ€™re never too old to learn something new. By Dave Gordon 8
The Tea Garden - Part II
Harvest the leaves when young and the flower spikes when they are open. Hang to dry in a cool place out of the sun So now you have the perfect spot for your tea garden and (we'll cover harvesting and drying in later installments). you've gotten a Camellia sinensis (which will be your Dried flower spikes hold up well and are useful in dried 'anchor' for the garden AND your tea). Time to start think- floral arrangements. ing about the herbs you'll want to grow. Hyssop's essential oils are antiviral, diaphoretic, antiAs with any other garinflammatory, and antibacterial. Used as an infusion in den, you have to contea it was commonly used in cold remedies. It's also resider the size of the ported to treat burns with a poultice of leaves. Sipping this mature plant when tea infusion with meals helps prevent gas and bloating. you're placing them in Taking a bath in the leaves is useful for treating sunburn, your landscape/ fungal conditions, and helping relieve the itchiness of poigarden. Let's begin son ivy. with some of the larger herbs that will form Tolerant of most soil conditions, as long as your plant has Camellia sinensis the background of your good drainage it will do well. Flower colors will range from tea garden. Agastache foeniculum is one such herb that white to deep purple and the leaves may be variegated, you really should include in the mix. dark green or almost chartreuse. You can easily start this plant from seed or purchase seedlings. Most commonly referred to as Anise hyssop, this perennial can grow up to 4 feet tall so you'll want to plant it in the back of the garden. It can be a bit aggressive but you can Note: As with all herbal preparations, medicinal use has control that tendency by actually planting it into a large not been approved by the FDA and no herbal preparation container buried in the garden. (It is a member of the mint should be used in place of medication prescribed for you family.) It has toothed leaves on square stems and flowers by your doctor. Herbal supplements are not regulated in the summer and into the fall. Hummingbirds love the and care should be exercised when purchasing. Only purpurple spikes of flowers. chase those products from reputable sources. Always check with your doctor before taking any herbal suppleThe leaves and flowers are used for teas and medicinal ments and make sure to provide a complete list of herbal concoctions. A delicate blend of mint and sweet anise fla- supplements you are taking to your medical provider. vors give rise to its other common name, Licorice plant. Marg Stewart 9
gauge of the wire. These numbers derive from the American Wire Gauge (AWG), a standard which has been used
No, not the office in Crestview, but those unwieldy things
since 1857, and refers to the thickness of the wires inside
we attach to our lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc. to make
the extension cord. And here’s where it gets tricky. You
them go. If you are emerging from winter hibernation and
might think that the higher this number is, the thicker
are thinking of dusting off and using your power equip-
those wires are. And you’d be wrong, because it’s the oppo-
ment, it might be a good time to brush up on extension
site- i.e. the lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire
cord know-how. I use a lot of battery-operated tools, but I inside the cord. Once you grasp that little conundrum, did just become the proud owner of three SunJoe tools- a things become easier. A wire’s thickness affects the power washer, a chipper and a leaf shredder, all of which
amount of current (amps) it can carry, so for your heavy-
require extension cords, so I embarked on this project out
duty outdoor power equipment you will want to choose a
of necessity. The choices in extension cords are many and
cord with a lower gauge (thicker wires) to be sure the elec-
somewhat bewildering so I’ll try to break it all down into
tricity will flow freely and safely through the extension
language that I can understand and if I can understand it
cord. An outdoor extension cord should have a number on
then you will too because I am one of those people to
the packaging such as 12/3 in which the “12” refers to the
whom electricity is a mystery and I therefore need to keep
gauge wire rating (i.e. diameter) and the “3” means it has
explanations simple. So why do we use extension cords?
three wires inside. If a cord that you’re us-
Well, of course, it’s the means of extending (see what I did
ing ever feels hot to the touch, it is likely
there?) an electrical circuit from the outlet to where we need because the wire inside was too thin (too high a gauge), causing resistance to the it when the appliance or tool we’re using has too short of a cord to reach the outlet. And, alas, if it were just that simple, electricity flowing through the wire. Hot to the touch is a no-no. Remember that. we wouldn’t need the following article. Gauges are from 10 to 20, based on the Extension Cord Ratings-what those numbers on
AWG standard. When in doubt, use a low-
your cord mean. The numbers vary and are based on the er gauge. amps and wattage the cord can handle as determined by the 10
Here’s a graphic to illustrate the different gauges:
extension cords in the range of 10-14 gauge are known as “medium duty” or “heavy duty” extension cords. They also usually have larger, sturdier connectors at the ends. However, appearances can be deceiving so it’s best to double check the gauge which can often be found on an attached tag or it may be printed on the cord itself. To choose the right cord for your project you first need to know the wattage and amperage that will be drawn by the tool or appliance you plan to use. Check the literature that came with the tool or, you
Most higher-gauge extension cords are thin, lightweight, and made to be used with simple electronics that don’t need a lot of power, like lamps, alarm clocks, fans, radios, televisions, etc. These light duty extension cords often use 16-gauge wire. Most of these cords have little insulation and would eventually deteriorate if used outdoors for any length of time. Outdoor extension cords have much better insulation and more of it. They’re able to withstand the hot
know, read the manual…Outdoor power equipment that has a motor or produces heat of any kind will have a higher electrical load than our simple house appliances. A further complicating factor is the length of the extension cord. The longer the cord, the higher the resistance to the electrical current, and the potential for overheating is greater, which can damage both the extension cord and the con-
nected device and could overload the circuit breaker as well.
sun, as well as the freezing winter without causing any problems. However, even with an outdoor cord there is still no way to have a
Matching Extension Cord to Load. The cord you choose
water-tight seal where the plug connects so caution around wet
should be rated for loads that are at least equal to, and preferably
areas is recommended. Be sure to elevate the plug out of any
greater than, the requirements needed to run your tool or appliance
standing water and you may to consider connector covers to fur-
effectively. Extension cord lengths of 50 feet or less can be used
ther protect the connection from water. These are available at
based upon the chart shown below, but if you require a cord length
home improvement stores and look like this: https://tinyurl.com/ over 50 feet, you should use the next heavier-sized cord to accomy2pvhhlw. I have numerous lights and water features in my yard
modate voltage drop that occurs because of the natural resistance of
that use extension cords and I had no idea such a thing existed so I the wire. And always, when in doubt, go with a heavier cord. This will be adding these covers to my cord connections. Thicker-gauge 11
chart, which I adapted from http://tinyurl.com/yxmocysq, provides guidance on what to use where: CORD LENGTH
DEVICE AMP RATING
MINIMUM EXTENSION WIRE GAUGE
1 to 13 Amps
16 Gauge (Light Duty)
14 to 15 Amps
14 Gauge (Medium Duty)
16 to 20 Amps
12 Gauge (Heavy Duty) or
1 to 13 Amps
16 Gauge (Light Duty)
14 to 15 Amps
14 Gauge (Medium Duty)
16 to 20 Amps
12 Gauge (Heavy Duty) or
1 to 10 Amps
16 Gauge (Light Duty)
11 to 13 Amps
14 Gauge (Medium Duty)
14 to 15 Amps
12 Gauge (Heavy Duty)
16 to 20 Amps
10 Gauge (Extra Heavy Duty)
More Safety Considerations. State Farm Insurance has more useful tips about extension cord safety. Iâ€™m thinking they would be experts, having no doubt handled many claims resulting from poor extension cord choices! I will leave it up to the reader to admit how many of these you are guilty of violating: https://tinyurl.com/y3r8d8yl And finally, how to wind the *%^$#?! things up!! We all probably have our own methods for this. I have mine and it stinks, frankly, so I looked into how others handle this problem and came up with a few ideas that actually do work. I especially like that over-under method. I tried that this morning on one of my cords and it did seem to get the cord wound up quickly and smoothly, unlike my usual battle with the gnarly things! https://tinyurl.com/y3r52r89 https://tinyurl.com/y5ncre2u
The series of Key Plant, Key Pests publications is designed for Florida gardeners, horticulturalists, and landscape professionals to help identify common pests associated with common Florida flora. Each publication provides information and general management recommendations for the most common pests on each plant. For more comprehensive guides you may download the current Professional Disease Management Guide for Ornamental Plants here or the Integrated Pest Management in the Commercial Ornamental Nursery Guide here Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) Camellia Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia) Azalea (Rhododendron spp.) Chinese Fringe (Loropetalum chinense) Holly (Ilex sp.) Pine Species (Pinus sp.)
This document is PP-202, one of a series of the Plant Pathology Department, EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 12
Highlights of the 2019 NW District Master Gardeners Regional Conference
“Encounter Nature” E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center - March 19, 2019 By Karen Kirk-Williams
million acres. Longleaf pines can live up to 500 years and are the most resilient pine in regards to fire, disease and pest resistance. This ecosystem is naturally fire-dependent and consists of approximately 40 longleaf pines per acre (versus many 100’s with most pine species) with sun-loving grasses, saw palmetto and wildflowers such as Liatris, Solidago, etc. When naturalist John Muir
Eighteen Okaloosa County Master Gardeners, along with Larry
visited in the 1930’s, he
Williams, attended the regional conference. Here are the high-
wrote of the beautiful, open
vistas of longleaf pines with “no cat’s claw vines” (Smilax).
Paul Arthur – Director of the Biophilia Center: Paul introduced the concepts of biophilia (the love of
Gail Fishman – St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge/
living things); the emergence of en-
Enthobotany: Ethnobotany relates to how humans use plants
trepreneurial conservation (ways to
for food, medicine, poisons, dyes, tannins, soaps, oils, gums,
make profit through beneficial con-
latex, resins, ink, rope and clothing. She listed beautyberry, kud-
servation of the environment) and
zu, coontie, Florida betony, smilax, violets, spiderwort, dollar-
value of restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem.
weed, hawksbeard, yaupon holly, sassafras, pecan, hickory, redbud, bidens, grapevine, sumac, blueberries and oxalis as some
Vernon Compton –
of the plants we use.
The Longleaf Alliance/ Gulf Coast Plain Ecosystem Partnership
Favorite Florida-Friendly Plants for Individual Ecosystems by Beth Bolles, Julie McConnell and Mark Tancig: Beth
(GCPEP): At its peak, the
Bolles’ “top five” for dry, well-drained areas: Ageratum, Burford
longleaf pine covered 90
holly, Chaste tree, Cestrum, Yellow Bells and Switchgrass. Mark 13
Tancig’s top five for
of $55.00 each. She requested that we order multiple copies at once
moist soils: Cardinal
rather than place individual orders. The cost is lower if we order
flower, Bluestem pal-
through her office.
metto, Iris, River birch, and Fakahatchee grass. For shade, Julie McConnell recommended Oakleaf Hydrangea, ‘Soft Caress’ mahonia, Cephalotaxus (C. harringtonia), Southern shield fern, and Lenten rose (which isn’t supposed to grow here but often does).
There is now an opportunity to apply for a Master Gardener Legacy Grant, which is available for a worthwhile project that impacts the community. This is the only reference on the Florida Master Gardener website: Counties can apply annually to receive grants for
new or continuing educational projects. Money will be awarded by the UF/IFAS Florida Statewide Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator and a review committee.
The Story of
the Birds and
Bees by Harvey
Cotton, author of
Easy Gardens for
the South with
their 40th year in
an extensive edu-
2019 (with a new
cational and pro-
logo). In 2018, we
fessional background in orna-
had 4000 MG’s; 349,309 volunteer hours; over 73,000 education hours; 510,563 volunteer contacts; 2367 MG presentations given to the public;
mental horticulture in the Huntsville, Alabama area. Harvey spoke ex-
and 603 new MG’s. Collectively, our volunteers hours were valued at
tensively on the drastic decline of bees in the past decade that is linked
$8,114,448 (at $23.23/hour) and our media reach by volunteers was
to 1. Varroa mites, 2. Pesticide use, 3. Habitat and forage loss. He is as-
40,158,767. Last year, Okaloosa county MG’s listed 66 volunteers, 6905
sociated with the Horticulture Research Institute, which is currently do-
hours, 4330 contacts, and 14 new MG’s.
ing science-based research into the effects of systemic pesticides, such
There is a new 353-page Master Gardener Training Manual availa-
as neonicitinoids, on nectar and bees.
ble. We can place a group order directly through Wendy with a cost 14
Gardeners can help bees and other pollinators by: 1. Include a larger diversity of plants in our yards 2. Plant many open, single flowers (rather than double flowering varieties which can interfere with access to nectar) 3. Plant for a succession of blooms over a long period of time 4. Minimize pesticide use 5. Create large pollinator target areas 6. Provide a source of water § Many non-native plants can be beneficial to wildlife so it is not necessary to only plant natives. § He included an extensive list of recommended bee-friendly plants but not all are not suitable for our plant zone. Among his recommendations are plants known to do well in our area: o
Trees: Red Maple, Redbud, Blackgum Tupelo
Shrubs & Vines: Bottlebrush Buckeye, Clethra/Sweet Pepperbush, Hollies, Coral Honeysuckle ‘Alabama Crimson’, Blueberries
Perennials: Agastache, Asclepias, Echinacea, Eupatorium/Joe Pye Weed, Lantana (sterile only), Bee Balm ‘Pardon My Cerise’, Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’, Salvia, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Solidago/ Goldenrod
Annuals: Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’, Pentas
Why isn't there Mouse-flavored cat food?
Why is it called “tourist season” if we can’t shoot at
Humor contributed by : Scott Berry
Norene Gideon Santa Rosa County This photo is in the live oak hammock at Grayton Beach
This is the view from the second floor porch of the Wesley mansion of the reflecting pool.
Native azaleas at Eden Gardens 16
May What to Plant Annuals/Bedding Plants: Plants that can take summer heat include salvia, angelonia, wax begonia, and ornamental pepper. See Annuals: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ topic_annual_landscape_plants
Bulbs: Planting early-, mid-, and late-blooming varieties of daylily ensures months of color from these low-maintenance plants. SeeDaylilies: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ topic_daylilies and Bulbs for Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ topic_bulbous_flowers
Herbs: Continue to plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, oregano, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary. See Herbs: http:// edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_herbs
Vegetables: Swiss chard will take the heat as well as okra, southern pea, and sweet potato. See Vegetable Gardening in Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_vegetable_gardening
What to Do
cy. SeeGardenias at a Glance: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep338
Oleanders: Inspect chewed or ragged leaves for oleander caterpillars at work. See Oleander Pest Management:http:// edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_oleander_ipm
Lawn insects: Watch for damage from chinch bugs in St. Augustinegrass and begin scouting for newly hatched mole crickets in bahiagrass lawns. See Turfgrass Pest Insects: http://
Tomatoes: Watch for pests, disease, and nutritional disorders on tomato plants. See Home Tomato Gardening: http:// edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_tomato_gardening
New plants: Produce more plants by air layering, grafting, division, or cuttings. See Seeds and Propagation (Lawn and Gar-
Trees: Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and pruning if needed. Hire an ISAcertified arborist. See International Society of Arboriculture: http://isa-arbor.com/ and Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_tree_pruning
Pests: Insects become more active in warm weather. Watch for thrips, scales, and mites on ornamental plants. See Landscape Pest Management: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ topic_landscape_pests
Lawn Mowing: Encourage healthy growth and discourage insects, weeds, and diseases by mowing correctly. See Lawn Mowing: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_lawn_mowing
Gardenias: Yellowing of older leaves is usually normal; yellowing of new growth usually indicates a micronutrient deficien18
So, Now You Have A Camelliaâ€Ś
the inside of the pot. Alternatively, take a knife and sever some of the roots on the outside of the root ball. This will give the roots incentive to grow out of the shape of the root ball and into the surrounding soil. Place the plant into the hole with the topmost root(s) just above where the soil level will be when the hole is filled. Planting the plant too deep with probably result in a slow plant death over the next two or three years. Mix the reserved soil with the fill soil and add the mixture back into the hole until the soil level is even with the surrounding ground. Do not compact the soil around the roots of the plant but do firm it with your shovel so there is good contact between the roots of the plant and the fill soil. Water until
You have just purchased your first camellia. Where do you go
the soil around the plant is saturated. Add two to three inches of pine straw around the base of the plant making sure that the mulch does not touch the trunk of the camellia. Mulch in
First, you must make a decision on where to plant the flower-
contact with the trunk will encourage mold and other patho-
ing shrub. You may choose to either plant it in the ground or
gens to attack the trunk.
leave it in a pot.
Water every day for the first couple of weeks or until the plant If you choose the ground, you need to dig a hole a little deeper is established and growing roots into the soil surrounding the than the pot the plant is in and about one and one half times root ball. After the initial period and for maintenance wateras wide. Amend the soil in the hole with a good garden soil,
ing, never allow your shrub to dry out completely. During hot, incorporating about half of it into the soil at the bottom of the dry summers, watering each week may be required. hole. Reserve the other half to mix with the soil to be used to If you choose to leave the plant in a pot, ensure that the pot is fill around the planted shrub. roomy enough to allow the plant to grow for a year. If you deRemove the plant from the pot, â€œplus upâ€? or disturb the roots, cide that the pot is too small, select a larger pot. Partially fill especially if the plant is root bound and the roots are circling
the new pot with good potting soil, lift the plant out of its pot, 19
“plus up” the roots and deposit it into the larger pot. Fill around the root Long range fertilizing of camellias in the ground should be two light apball with more potting soil leaving the top root(s) just above the settled
plications each year, one in April and the other in October. Plants in pots
soil level. The settled soil level in the pot should be about one to one and
require fertilizer more frequently since their roots are confined and they
one half inches below the rim of the pot, leaving enough room to water
cannot forage for food.
More about camellia culture next month.
Camellia From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–300 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. There are also around 3,000 hybrids. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines and described a species of camellia (although Linnaeus did not refer to Kamel's account when discussing the genus). Camellias are famous throughout East Asia; they are known as cháhuā (茶花, 'tea flower') in Chinese, tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, dongbaekCamellias can be raised in pots for many years, controlling their size by
kkot (동백꽃) in Korean, and as hoa trà or hoa chè in Viet-
judicious pruning just after they bloom and occasionally moving them to
namese. Of economic importance in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, leaves of C. sinensis are processed to create the popular beverage tea. The ornamental C. japonica, C. sasanqua and their hybrids are the source of hundreds of garden cultivars. C. oleifera produces tea seed oil, used in cooking and cosmetics.
a larger pot. Planting in a pot gives you the flexibility to move the plant to a better location in your garden to take advantage of sun, water or just to improve your view of the camellia, especially during the bloom season. Keep your newly planted shrub watered well. Do not fertilize your camellia for about two weeks then fertilize lightly using either a good shrub fertilizer or one of the water soluble fertilizers.
lmost everyone loves a pill bug. Or maybe you know them as roly-
polies, doodle bugs or wood shrimp. Kids are fascinated by these tiny little critters that defensively roll up into a tight little ball when disturbed. That's a process known as conglobation. But there's so much more to these familiar creepy crawlies than their acrobatic prowess. They play an important role in the environment. But first, some trivia. Interestingly, they're not even bugs. They're actually crustaceans, not insects. They're more closely related to lobsters, crabs and shrimps than to beetles or butterflies. They're the only crustaceans that have adapted
They 'eat' metals. Pill bugs can take in heavy metals such as copper, zinc
to living completely on land, according to the University of Kentucky
and lead, and they crystallize them in their bodies. They are able to re-
move heavy metal ions from contaminated soil and can thrive in places
And they have some unusual bodily functions. They don't urinate, hav-
where other species can't.
ing no need to excrete ammonia-heavy waste out of their bodies. They
They compost soil. Pill bugs feast on dead, organic matter, thanks to the
also eat feces, including their own. When it comes to drinking, they use
fungus in their guts. This helps speed up decomposition. Then they re-
tube-shaped structures that jut out of their rear ends, not their mouths.
turn organic matter back to the soil so it can be digested even more by
As for breathing, they have gills, like their ancestors. Those work great in the water, points out KQED Science, but not so great on land, where
fungi and bacteria, reports Natural News. Pill bugs slow climate change. As the atmosphere gets warmer, there's
they can dry out. That's why pill bugs are often found in wet, damp areas more fungus activity in the earth, which means more carbon dioxide is where they can roll into a ball to protect any moisture they have on their released into the atmosphere. But according to a 2015 study, when pill bugs are around, they eat more fungus, putting a damper on the fungal
gills. The pill bug's many jobs
activity and playing a small role in slowing climate change.
Other than entertaining children, the pill bug plays several key roles:
Submitted by : Annette Sheringo & Sherry Farrell https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/roly-poly-pill-bug-facts-important-environment
through cooperative extension efforts with states and local communities.
Armadillidiidae From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Not to be confused with Armadillidae. Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia ; Phylum: Euarthropoda; Subphylum: Crustacea, Class: Malacostraca; Superorder: Peracarida; Order: Isopoda; Suborder: Oniscidea
UF/IFAS Extension provides Floridians with life-long learning programs in cooperation with county government, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Florida A & M University. The educational programs offered in each county respond to the local needs of residents, schools, regulatory agencies, community organizations and industry. UF/IFAS Extension programs promote: sustainable agriculture , environmental stewardship
Section: Crinocheta ; Family: Armadillidiidae Brandt, 1833
financial literacy, food nutrition and safety , consumer and parenting skills
Armadillidiidae is a family of woodlice, a terrestrial crustacean group in the order Isopoda. Unlike members of other woodlouse families, members of this family
can roll into a ball, an ability they share with the outwardly similar but unrelated pill millipedes and other animals. This ability gives woodlice in this family their common names of pill bugs,roly polies, and doodle bugs. The best known species in the family is Armadillidium vulgare, the common pill bug. Pill bugs are not native to the Americas, but instead were introduced from Europe
Extension programs also provide leadership opportunities for youth through programs in areas, such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), entrepreneurship and core life skills.
By partnering with local government, advisory committees, concerned citizens, commodity groups and youth, UF/IFAS Extension creates an important link between the public and research conducted on campus and at 12 Research and Education Centers. Solutions for Your Life is the official website of UF/IFAS Extension, making UF/IFAS faculty expertise available online under categories, such as lawn and garden care, family life and consumer choices, agriculture, community development, the environment, and youth development. The website is focused on providing timely and relevant solutions.
Want to see Extension helps each county in Florida? Read most The 1914 Smith-Lever Act provided federal support for land-grant recent County Economic Impact Reports. institutions to offer educational programs to enhance the application of useful and practical information beyond their campuses https://ifas.ufl.edu/divisions-schools-departments/
While visiting Amsterdam, we stayed in a wonderful hotel that had breathtaking floral arrangements throughout. One day, I noticed this teeny man who was in charge of the flowers. I got this pic of him checking the soil before watering. Ginny /
2019 UF/IFAS Extension Master Gardener Awards Program Gerald R. Edmondson Extension Building March 27, 2019 Recognition of Officers
2019 (current Officers)
President – Dave Gordon
President – Debbie Sewell
President-Elect – Debbie Sewell
President-Elect – Scott Berry
Treasurer – Donna Edmiston
Secretary – Jennifer Yelverton
Secretary – Janet Hays
Treasurer – Donna Edmiston
Past President – Karen Kirk-Williams
Past President – Dave Gordon
Five Year Recognition (2013)
Ten Year Recognition (2008)
Dave Gordon (1082)
Charlie Reuter (1036)
Debbie Sewell (1100.5)
1000 Hour Recognition
2000 Hour Recognition 500 Hour Recognition •
Twenty Year Recognition (1998)
Ada Bower (650)
Bill Buckellew (2037.5)
John Sweda (497)
Stacey Taylor (2012.5)
Donna Edmiston (793.5)
3000 Hour Recognition
2018 Outstanding Telephone Communicator
2018 Community Outreach Award
Sandie Olsen (3069.25) 4000 Hour Recognition â€˘ Karen Kirk-Williams 10,000 Hour Recognition â€˘ Andy Donatelli (10,144.6)
2018 Outstanding Service to Youth Award
2018 Outstanding Educator of the Year
Mary Grace Evors 2018 Master Gardener of the Year
Dave Gordon 27
Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide1 Sydney Park Brown, Danielle Treadwell, J. M. Stephens,
Vegetable gardening offers fresh air, sunshine, exercise, enjoyment, mental therapy, nutritious fresh vegetables, and economic savings, as well as many other benefits (Figure 1). Vegetables can be grown year-round in Florida if attention is paid to the appropriate planting dates (Table 1). Planting dates and other vegetable gardening information are also available as a free mobile app called 'Florida Fresh.' Access an app provider for your mobile phone or download it from http://m.ifas.ufl.edu. While this guide provides recommendations primarily for traditional home gardens, the information may be useful in other situations, such as community gardens, market gardens, and unconventional approaches like container and raised bed gardens (see EDIS publication ENH1211 Gardening in Raised Beds (http:// edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep472).
Vegetables A - Z Spring There's nothing like having homegrown vegetables right at your back door, and spring is the perfect time to prepare your beds for vegetables. If this will be your first vegetable garden, you may find Getting Started with Your Vegetable Garden very helpful. Spring crops include sweet corn, cucumber, tomato, watermelon, and several kinds of beans. For best results, choose varieties recommended for Florida. You can plant seeds directly in the soil, use transplants, or start your own transplants six to eight weeks before planting time. For spring gardens in North and Central Florida, the planting time for most frost tender plants is in March. If you plant earlier, be prepared to cover your tender vegetables to protect them from late frosts. Frost hardy vegetables may be planted much earlier. Of course, in South Florida, you can plant "spring" vegetables in the fall and winter, up until February or March. Plant early enough so that your vegetables have time to mature before the heat of summer kicks in. See Table 3 in the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide for planting dates for specific crop
POPPY SEED DRESSING 2\3 CUP SUGAR 3 T LEMON JUICE 1t DRY MUSTARD 3T VINEGAR 1t PAPRIKA
2t GRATED ONION ½ t SALT 1/3 CUP HONEY 1 CUP CANOLA OIL 1T POPPY SEED Place all ingredients except oil and poppy seed in blender. Blend on high for one min. while blender is running, slowly pour the oil through the opening in the top. Stop! Pour in a container and stir in poppy seed. Store in refrigerator. YIELD: 1 PINT GRAPEFRUIT/AVACADO SALAD Place grapefruit sections and slices of avocado in ½ avocado shell and drizzle with poppy seed dressing
This was in the afternoon March 9, 2019 In Fort Walton Beach. I saw the bedraggled mom flitting around last week. Hard to believe this creature survived during the cold earlier this week. Leaving the volunteer Milkweed was a good thing. Annette 29
How the POPPY became the Flower of Remembrance
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields
landers is an area in Belgium which includes the town of Ypres.
On May 2, 1915 (World War1), the second battle of Ypres was raging near the town and its cemetery. Lt. Col. John McCrae, a physician,
poet and Canadian Forces volunteer gunner was fighting alongside a close friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer. Helmer was killed and McCrae conducted the friend’s battle field funeral. On May 3, McCrae was seen sitting in the back of an ambulance writing the poem, “In Flanders IN FLANDERS FIELD , by Lt. Col. John McCrae
Fields”. McCrae discarded what he had written but it was retrieved
by a fellow soldier. The force of the gun fire caused the native pop-
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our places: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
pies growing in the cemetery to bend and sway. Blow was later changed to grow. It was discovered that the poppy grew profusely in and around the cemetery because of the abundance of lime in the soil“In Flanders Fields” became one of the most quoted poems of the war. Parts of the poem were soon used to recruit soldiers and raise money for war bonds. The reference to poppies growing on the
We are the dead: Short days ago,
graves of fallen soldiers led to the poppy being the “Symbol of Re-
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
membrance”. Canada was first to adopt the poppy for its memorial
Loved and were loved: and now we lie In Flanders Fields! Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from falling hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high.
recognition. TheUS American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars
have adopted the poppy as their symbol to raise monies for theirMemorial recognition of fallen soldiers.
ockey, of course
HEY!!! What: Yard art contest Sponsor: Compost Pile When: April Fool’s Day – Thanksgiving (or thereabouts) Rules: To be announced Judges: Important persons Participants: OCMGA members WHAT IS YARD ART? To me, yard art is your imagination using flowers, shrubs and whimsical objects of color and interest to paint a scene that is pleasing to your eye and personality. “Those who are supposed to get it, will.” (Joel Hodgson, creator of TV program Mystery Sciences Theater)
A bottle tree would be a great addition. The bottle tree’s roots date back centuries to Africa and on to the US by slave trade. It was thought that bad spirits lived in bottles. This was due to the sound made by wind blowing across a bottle’s top caused a weird moaning sound. Superstition also tells us that evil spirits can be caught in the upside-down bottles hanging on tree branches and can’t escape. The morning sun then causes the evil spirit’s demise. One of the best- known experts on bottle trees and yard art is Felder Rushing author, radio host, program speaker, Extension Agent, Mississippi Master Gardener State Coordinator, etc. Check out his web site and blog. You will not be disappointed.
Lockey, of course 31
Yard Art Contest: Who can enter-OCMGA members When-April 1-October 31
Judges- L Williams, Marie Harrison, Carolyn Ketchel Judging. .. to be done by photos submitted. Awards: 1. $50.00 - best overall entry 2. Runner up - gardening book 3. Most unique -books 4. You have got to be kidding ! Book- Bottle Trees - by F Rushing
I have garden books that I plan to donate. They look like new. I will keep you posted. Lockey 32
There are lots of warnings out there about how bad too much TV and other electronic media is for children...Walter never got that memo. His majesty discovered TV. PBS is one of his favorites and so far his favorite movie has been WALL-E. Something about that little robot just tickled his fancy.
Load-Lifter Earth class (WALL-E). Now this little guy indeed does his job but along the way he collects things that he finds interesting...rubber ducks, lighters, you name it. He then carts his treasures back to his "home" and sorts them out (the spork was a funny part) and feeds his pet cockroach...you guessed it, Twinkies. Cute movie.
Meanwhile, the garden is spontaneously sprouting weeds and more weeds. Everywhere I look there is yet another project yelling to be done. The bees have been a royal pain (in more ways than one) and the weather has them swarming when you least expect it. Always fun, climbing ladders and retrieving wayward stinging insects.
And Sir Walter watched intently. Something about the movement had him captivated almost through the whole thing. Like most children, he got bored with the 'mushy' parts. So here I have a little robot facing an impossible task but still chugging away, bit by bit and my lazy puss watching the fun.
Looking out at the garden, I have to think that maybe it's not so big a deal. It's not a giant pile of trash and no one will be calling the garden police if I get sidetracked by an interesting plant or bug. As long as I keep doing my one little square at a time, eventually I'll get there. Then take the time to let it all hang out and find out what other TV shows Walter might like.
You never know when the Universe will send you a lesson-don't worry about the size of the job--just do your part But again, I got to thinking. Little WALL-E just kept doing and keep chugging along...but don't forget to relax now and then as well. Wisdom delivered by a robot and a furhis job. For those who haven't seen the movie, it is the ball. Gotta love it. 29th century and rampant consumerism and neglect turned the Earth into one giant trash heap. Humans have blasted into space leaving an army of robotic trash comFrom Walter and his Servants--Plentiful Plantings! pactors to clean up. Only one remains: a Waste Allocation 34
Lots of gardening articles and wonderful images from our Master Gardeners. Dive in!