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for discerning weeders

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT—STUCK AT HOME


On the Cover - One of our own Master Gardener Volunteers and her faithful knight Mari Darr~Welch has been a professional photographer 30 years. She is a Pulitzer finalist for her work for the Associated Press during Katrina. After the hurricane she shelved journalism and opened a full-service studio in Fort Walton Beach. While she loves her family beach portraits and weddings, her passion lies in high school senior and other creative portraits. When Donna Edmiston contacted her about an idea, she saw about creative front porch photography sessions, Mari was fully onboard. By using her state-of-the-art professional photography equipment, she was able to protect her clients while still capturing real reactions to this historical time in which we are living. Welcome to Covid-19 Porch-traits. We will survive and even use the image to laugh one day. When restrictions relax a bit, we will continue doing the porch-traits for a $40 donation with 50% raised going towards masks for law enforcement. Her web page is www.destinweddingphotographer.com or she can be found on Facebook @maridarrwelchphotography. You can also schedule at 850-699-3403

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May, 2020


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What calcium should you use? It depends.

Grafting! My Darling Quarantine Quarantine Kitchen Make new camellias us- What have our memRecipes from our meming this technique bers been up to? bers

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Plant Propagation Initiative

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Publications on COVID-19

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Asian Hornets

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Quarantine Kitchen

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Just for Fun! Holidays

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Last Word

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How to Earn Hours During This Time What’s the Right Calcium to Use? Updated Publications and Infographics Wildlife Happenings

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Gardening Underground

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Royal Division—How to Get Enough Plants for a Long Border Rhododendron/Native Azalea

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Grafting Camellias

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Laura and the Bean(stalk)

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My Darling Quarantine

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An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

We have a little contest in this issue. You’ll have to check out the entire issue to find it! We’ll give you a hint: It involves a picture of a flower and it might be located somewhere between pages 1 and 26. Take a shot at the answer and email it to Marg Stewart no later than May 27th to be entered to win the prize. Yes, it’s a real prize. No, it isn’t cash. Stay safe. We hope you enjoy this supplemental issue of our publication!

May, 2020


PLANT PROPAGATION INITIATIVE COVID-19 MGV Plant Propagation Project Guidelines Preferred plants are those from your garden. Choose those plants which are perennial. No houseplants or vegetable plants, please. Consideration should be given to the number of cuttings, divisions or seedlings you can accommodate. Do not overload your capabilities. Maintain a record of the amount of soil you use to propagate plants. You may either reclaim this amount of soil from the nursery at the end of the project or list it as a donated item at the end of the year. When propagating from plant cuttings or divisions, plan on one for your garden and two for the Master Gardener Volunteer nursery or Master Gardener Volunteer organization to be given as door prizes at educational meetings or at MGV membership meetings. Provide Debbie Sewell and Lee Vanderpool with the botanical name and common name of each plant along with the number of plants you propagate for donation to the MGV program. Provide this information only after the cuttings are rooted, divisions are potted or seedlings are established. Debbie will print nursery labels for

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

by Larry Williams

your plants and will provide those labels to you at a later date. Lee will track the varieties and number of plants being propagated. If you do not know the botanical and/or common names of your plants, do the research to identify the plant. If you cannot provide identification, email or text a picture of the plant including a close up of leaves, stems and flowers/fruit to Lee for identification. Plants propagated for the MGV program will be accepted at the nursery when access has been returned.

Time spent on this activity should be documented in the VMS system. Record your hours in VMS as “volunteer hours” for the time involved with propagating and caring for your plants. Record you hours in VMS as “continuing education” for the time involved with research and education related to learning more about plant propagation. I created a new Project in VMS titled “At Home Plant Propagation Project.” Please record your hours under this project. Learn, be safe and have fun.

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MORE WAYS TO EARN HOURS

by Larry Williams

I’m continuing to develop new ideas and revisiting older ideas for Master Gardener Volunteers to be able to volunteer and to gain recertification hours during this time that will work for you from home. Below is one that I am revisiting. You can count the time that you spend reading the newsletters and articles as “Continuing Education” in the VMS. There is a system from UF/IFAS that you can use to subscribe to newsletters, newspaper articles (including mine), etc. It is called UF/IFAS Extension Subscription Management System (SMS). Below are instructions on how to subscribe to the SMS. I think you'll find it useful and educational. You may want to print these instructions to have as you are going through the subscription process. If you have any questions about this, please give me a call or send me an email. 1. Open the SMS by going to http://subscribe.ifas.ufl.edu 2. New subscribers will click on either "Subscribe" or "New Subscriber" 3. Enter name, email, zip code and create a password. Then click "Continue." Note: It is recommended that you create a "strong" password in the range of 4 to 16 characters. And, of course, your password needs to be something that you can remember. 4. Choose the item(s) that you wish to subscribe to. The "tabs" across the page represent the program areas in Extension. Click on the tab that is your area of interest such as "Lawn & Garden." Under each tab will be a section labeled "Newsletters." Click the box next to the publication(s) you wish to receive such as "Gardening in the Panhandle" and “Williams’ Weekly.” The next section as you scroll down is "General Information." Click on the topic(s) that you would like to receive information about such as "Florida-Friendly Landscaping." This will be used to send you email notifications about events, special announcements, etc. 5. Click "Submit." An email notification will then be sent to the email address you used when you subscribed. 6. You must click on the link provided in the email in order to activate your subscription. If your email software does not allow you to click on links, then you can copy the URL into your browser to activate your subscription. This "double opt-in" feature eliminates spam. 7. Once the email has been confirmed, you will be given the opportunity to update your profile. Click "Continue." 8. Enter your new username and password. You will be asked to provide information that is necessary for Extension reports. Please share this Subscription Management System with others who enjoy gardening in Northwest Florida. I hear from people who tell me that they want to get my weekly article that is in the Northwest Florida Daily News but they no longer subscribe to the paper. This is a way that they can get my articles for free. You may enjoy the Gardening in the Florida Panhandle newsletter, as well. Happy Birthday March—May!

S. Farrell J. Fitzhugh D. Gordon D. Green R. Hastings P. Kildow L. Kulaw

S. Berry V. Dougherty M. Evors E. Fabian An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

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D. Lounsbury S. Olsen D. Sewell E. Smith D. Stuart L. Vanderpool May, 2020


WHAT’S THE RIGHT CALCIUM?

By Jennifer Bearden, Ag Agent

“What’s the right calcium source for my soil?” I always start my answer (like any good soil scientist) with, “it depends!” If your soil pH is high, I would recommend a liming material. If your soil pH is close to the target pH, I would recommend other calcium sources. Not all calcium sources are equal in their ability to adjust soil pH. It’s not the addition of calcium that neutralizes acids in the soil. It’s actually the oxides, hydroxides, carbonates or silicates in the liming materials that adjust the soil pH. We measure liming materials to the standard of pure Calcium Carbonate. We express this in terms of CCE or Calcium Carbonate Equivalent. Some liming materials have a higher CCE than calcium carbonate such as hydrated lime and burned lime. Gypsum has a CCE of zero, thus has very little effect on soil pH. Lime Material

Chemical Composition

CCE (%)

Calcium Carbonate

CaCO3 (pure)

100

Calcitic Lime (Ag-lime)

CaCO3

80-100

Fluid or liquid lime

CaCO3

95-100

Dolomitic lime

CaMg(CO3)2

95-120

Burned lime

CaO

150-175

Hydrated lime

Ca(OH)2

120-135

Slag

CaSiO3

60-90

Table source: Soil Fertility and Fertilizers—An Introduction to Nutrient Management, 8 th edition by John L. Havlin, Samuel L. Tisdale, Werner L. Nelson, and James D. Beaton

If the soil pH needs to be raised, I would recommend choosing the most economical method to accomplish this goal. Many times, this will be dolomitic lime or calcitic lime. If the soil test shows a need for magnesium as well as lime, you should choose dolomitic lime. Apply lime 2-3 months ahead of planting in order to give the soil pH time to adjust. Calcium is a macronutrient that is essential for normal plant growth. In some parts of the Florida panhandle, soil calcium can sometimes be low. Depending on the situation, soil calcium could be low while the soil pH is close to target pH. In this case, you would add a calcium source that will not greatly affect the pH of the soil such as calcium nitrate, rock phosphate, gypsum or chelated calcium. Calcium chloride is not a liming material and should be applied cautiously as excess chloride causes plant damage. If you have questions about what to use on your specific soils, you can contact your local extension agent. An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

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May, 2020


UPDATED PUBLICATIONS

by Staff

Palmer amaranth—4-page publication illustrates characteristics of this weed, proper management, and development of effective control strategies. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag346

University of Florida infographics are helpful and available!

Basic Tips for Designing Efficient Irrigation Systems—10-page fact sheet discusses factors to consider when designing irrigation systems. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae539

Disaster preparedness:https:// branding.ifas.ufl.edu/media/ brandingifasufledu/infographics/ DisasterPrep.jpg

Supplemental Lighting with Hops—4-page article provides guidelines for supplemental lighting to control flowering of hops in Florida. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1365

Pantry preparedness: https:// branding.ifas.ufl.edu/media/ brandingifasufledu/infographics/ FCS_PantryStaplesInfographic.jpg

Vertical Farming Systems—5-page fact sheet provides a comprehensive summary of the current status of indoor vertical farming in the United States. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr429

Cleaning Routine: https:// branding.ifas.ufl.edu/media/ brandingifasufledu/infographics/ LibertyCoNightlyCleaningRoutineInfographic.jpg

Nutrition of Florida Citrus, 3rd Edition—115page book. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss478

https://branding.ifas.ufl.edu/infographics/

Effective presentations: https:// branding.ifas.ufl.edu/media/ brandingifasufledu/infographics/ DeliveringEffectivePresentationsInfographic.jpg

WILDLIFE HAPPENINGS Even though our nights can still get quite cool, daytime temps will be climbing. Here’s some animal antics to be on the look out for: Birds - Brown pelican and white ibis young are now visible in nests. - Painted Buntings nesting - Least terns and snowy plovers nesting on beaches Mammals - Gray Bats congregate at maternity caves Reptiles - Alligator mating season - Loggerhead sea turtles begin nesting - Soft-shell and alligator snapping turtles complete egg laying

Alligator seen around campus at UF. Photo by Chris Harry

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May, 2020


GARDENING UNDERGROUND

by Sarah Petty

Daffodils (Narcissus) and summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) showed their colors in January and February in the previous Compost Newsletter. They have come and gone. Amaryllis, iris, and some species of rain lilies and crinums are continuing the parade of color from our underground friends. Bulbs, rhizomes, and corms do not take much yard space but tucked in, here and there, different types give year-round joy. It just starts your day right when you go out to get the paper and spot the color from the first amaryllis of the season. Amaryllis

The red amaryllis (Hippeastrum species) are my most traveled bulbs: from my Grandmother’s in Mobile to New Orleans to Houston, back to New Orleans, and now to Laurel Hill. These bulbs are vigorous when they are planted with their shoulders above the ground in well-drained soil with average moisture. I think some of these bulbs I have now are great-great-great-grandchildren of the originals. They can take full sun to dappled shade. Some of the other bulbs and rhizomes have joined along the way via gardening friends and plant sales. The iris group includes “Southern Blue Flag,” bearded, and Louisiana types. The rhizomes of the white-bearded iris are happy campers on a sunny root area of a pecan tree. The blue flag and the Louisiana iris also appreciate the sun but need a damp area to keep them happy. The white Crinum species have huge bulbs and make quite a tropical display. It has been said that crinums never die. The rain lilies (Zephranthes atamasco) are tiny bulbs, sometimes found in the grass at abandoned home sites.

Louisiana Iris

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UNDERGROUND cont’d

Left: Southern Blue Flag, Yellow Louisiana Right: Crinum, White Bearded Iris Bottom: White Rain Lilies

All photos courtesy of Sarah Petty

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May, 2020


ROYAL DIVISION Divisions from four 'Queen Mum' Agapanthus yield enough plants for a 60-foot-long border! I've spent most of the past six weeks working in the garden, starting new beds, moving existing plants (including a 10-foot-tall climbing rose), and dividing perennials. One of the first tasks on my long list of projects to tackle during our stayat-home time was to divide four 'Queen Mum' Agapanthus plants. Four years ago, I reluctantly splurged on these pricey cultivars at $18 each. I was hoping to find inexpensive blue Lily of the Nile, but none were available at the time. "Queen Mum', by Southern Living Plants, has enormous 8" white blooms tinged with violet. The attractive evergreen foliage provides a beautiful border, mass planting, or container plant even when not in bloom.

by Karen Kirk-Williams sized bulbs along the edge of our front planting bed. I'll use the bulbs from the remaining "Queen Mum' to finish the border, which is over 60 feet long, once I go to the store for more soil amendments. In hindsight, I'm so glad I decided to splurge on these cultivars because they have exceeded my expectations and were worth every penny. I miss everyone and look forward to a return to a more normal lifestyle, but these past six weeks have been very enjoyable, meaningful, and productive. Take care and stay safe.

The clumps were so heavy that even though I was using my favorite Root Slayer shovel (many thanks to Ann Foley for telling me about this very handy tool), I had to ask Charlie to help me lift them out of the ground. I've divided three of the Agapanthus and planted over 50 baseball-

Blooming aloe—photo courtesy of Bill Buckellew

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May, 2020


RHODODENDRONS/NATIVE AZALEAS

by Dave Gordon

Native azaleas are certainly some of my favorite plants. I have given presentations on a number of occasions and have been growing them for years. The picture you are viewing is of a native azalea in front of our home in Shalimar. Every year when the native azaleas are blooming, we have people stop and ask about them. This year, on two different times, two women stopped and asked if they could take pictures. One lady was from Australia and knew nothing about them. Well, this made for a great teaching moment. We have about 6-7 native azaleas in our landscape and they never disappoint us. I have been encouraging everyone to plant at least one native azalea in their landscape. You will not be disappointed. The other pictures you are viewing is of an evergreen Rhododendron (Grace). A number of years ago Southern Living came out with a series of 8 evergreen Rhododendrons that were heat tolerant for the south. One day, about 4 years ago, I was going through the plants in Lowe’s and saw 2 different evergreen Rhododendrons blooming in their garden center. As you know, I am a sucker for plants. I purchased 2 different ones and planted them in a semi-shaded area in our landscape in

Shalimar. Right plant, right place. This is true because they have continued to thrive in our yard and have rewarded us with blooms each year. I do not fertilize or prune them. The plants are approximately 4 years old and are doing well. If interested, you might check Lowe’s garden center from time to time or check them out on line.

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GRAFTING NEW CAMELLIAS Although there are many types of grafting, these comments apply to camellia plant grafts where the entire plant is within a container, usually a black nursery pot. The grafted plant should remain in the original container for approximately a year. Camellia grafting is usually done in late January or during February when camellias are dormant. A graft is composed of two distinct parts: camellia rootstock or understock and scion or cutting of a desired variety of camellia. The rootstock should be one half to one inch in diameter for best results. The scion is smaller, with four to six internodes, and must have some leaves. The procedure for grafting is relatively straightforward. Select the camellia variety that you wish the finished plant to be. You have hundreds of camellia varieties from which to choose. The scion is usually selected depending upon the desirability of the flower. Remember, the finished plant will have only the flower of the scion plant selected. Protect the scion in a sealed plastic bag with a few drops of water to prevent the cutting from drying. Remove the top portion of the rootstock, leaving a bare stump about four to six inches tall. Clean the rootstock with a sharp knife then with a cloth impregnated with isopropyl alcohol. Using a hammer and large knife or another sharp instrument, split the rootstock stump for about one to one and a half inches from the top. Remove the splitting instrument from the cut and insert a screwdriver or other blunt tool to keep the split open. Remove the scion from the plastic bag and remove all but the top two or three leaves. If the leaves are large, cut them in half with scissors. Remove the bark on the bottom end for about one-half inch on either side of the cutting, shaping it into a "V" shape, wider on one side. Insert the scion into the split of the rootstock, ensuring that the cambium or green layer of both the rootstock and the scion meet in at least one point. Many times, the scion is inserted at an angle crossing the entire rootstock, so the An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

by Lee Vanderpool cambium meets at two points. Apply rooting hormone to the grafted area if desired. Spray the grafted area with a fungicide to prevent fungal growth then wrap the graft union with florists’ tape or other adhesive material to hold the scion in place. A large Styrofoam cup should be placed over the entire grafted plant. This acts as a miniature greenhouse by keeping the humidity around the graft high as well as protecting the graft from wind and interference by insects or animals.

Place the grafted plant out of direct sun in a shaded area such as under a tree or on a shaded porch. Apply a fungicide to the soil once a month to prevent fungal diseases. Follow the instruction label on the fungicide container. Water sparingly about once a week to keep the rootstock alive. Do not remove the Styrofoam cup; water will wick under the cup to keep the soil moist and to provide moisture to the grafted plant. Begin checking the graft for new growth around the first of May by briefly removing the cup then replacing it immediately. The new growth of the scion will begin when the "mother plant" or donor of the scion material begins growth. This may vary by several weeks, depending upon the camellia variety. When new growth is discovered, check the plant every other day. When the scion has three new leaves, make a hole about the diameter of a lead pencil in the cup. When the scion has five new leaves, remove the top half of the cup by cutting it away with a sharp knife or scissors. These two steps are "hardening off'" the new graft by changing humidity conditions. If the leaves wilt, place a new cup over the grafted plant and water lightly. Try removing the cup again in a few days and watch for wilting. If the leaves wilt, replace the cup for a few more days. Repeat this procedure until the leaves remain turgid. At that point, remove the cup altogether. Fertilize the grafted plant with half-strength liquid fertilizer as soon as you remove the cup protection. Do not get the fertilizer on the new 9

May, 2020


GRAFTING cont’d Prepared scion

leaves; it may burn them. Subsequently, fertilize "weakly, weekly" or half-strength fertilizer every week. When the new foliage hardens off or turns dark green as mature camellia foliage, begin lightly fertilizing with granular or pelletized fertilizer about every two months. Spray with a fungicide monthly until the plant goes dormant around November. Plant the new camellia in the ground while it is dormant in late fall or during the winter. Water thoroughly weekly until the plant gets established. Fertilize lightly after a month.

Remove top portion of rootstock

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

Trim and prepare rootstock to accept the scion

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GRAFTING cont’d

Use a large knife and hammer to split the

Insert screwdriver into the split

rootstock

rootstock

Scion inserted into rootstock

Cover entire grafted plant with a Styrofoam cup

Wrap graft area with tape

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

Place prepared scion into rootstock

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May, 2020


LAURA AND THE BEANSTALK

by Laura Tiu, Marine Science Agent

Once upon a time, while attending a meeting, an older gentleman with a spry wink presented me with some magic red beans. He said that they were “coral beans.” Now, as a marine scientist, I was instantly skeptical, knowing that coral is an animal and certainly doesn’t grow from beans. However, curiosity got the best of me, and those bright red beans were so pretty, I was forced to investigate further. The magic beans that I received were actually the seeds of Erythrina herbacea, commonly known as the coral bean or Cherokee bean. The coral bean is a flowering shrub or small tree found throughout the southeastern US. It is a tough, native plant known for its beauty and attractiveness to hummingbirds and butterflies. But like most beauties, there is a dark side; the beans are very poisonous, so care must be taken selecting a location to plant. In the wild, the plant propagates naturally, dropping seeds that may be carried off by birds. It can also be propagated by cuttings or seeds. I decided to try and see if I could get my magic beans to sprout. The seeds are very hard, and the first task at hand is to cut or file a spot on the red seed coat until you can see a spot of the interior white portion of the seed. I used a small paring knife, and the job took effort. I then soaked the seeds in a bowl of water in the kitchen, changing the water daily for 4 days. During this time, the seed swelled, the red coat split, and the root started to appear between the two seed halves. I removed the now soft seed coats and transferred the seeds, root side down, into some moist potting soil, just deep enough to still see a small speck of seed at the surface of the soil. After two days, the seeds turned green, and a sprout emerged. After one week, each plant had 6-8 leaves and was ready to be transplanted in the garden. I will keep my green thumbs crossed, and perhaps next year, I will report that they all lived happily ever after.

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May, 2020


MY DARLING QUARANTINE We asked our Master Gardener Volunteers how they were dealing with the stay-at-home recommendations. How were they coping? What have they been up to? We also asked them to send photos of their gardens. Karen Harper—How I spent quarantine.

Carol Strom—Wildlife Habitat Linda Timothy—My arbor...a combination of Coral Honeysuckle, which blooms all year, and Gloriosa Lilies An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

Sandie Olsen—I bid on this scrawny plant at one of the MGVs silent auction and it turned into this stunner. It was a cutting from Val Boyle’s 13

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QUARANTINE cont’d. Tennis Anyone? Dave Gordon

Daisy Pfoertner

Just be careful because people are going crazy from being in lock down! Actually I've just been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking coffee and we all agreed that things are getting bad. I didn't mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything. Certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant. In the end the iron straightened me out as she said everything will be fine, no situation is too pressing. The vacuum was very unsympathetic... told me to just suck it up, but the fan was more optimistic and hoped it would all soon blow over! The toilet looked a bit The boat ramps are still open and I have been able to do some fishing. One of my favorite past flushed when I asked its opinion and didn’t say times is surf fishing. As everyone knows all of the anything but the door knob told me to get a grip. beaches are closed. Hopefully, the beaches will be The front door said I was unhinged and so the open by the fall. curtains told me to ........yes, you guessed it.....pull I have rooted some nice plants for the plant sale. myself together Also, at our first meeting I will bring several I hope it made you smile. plants for door prizes. As most of you know, my wife (Patti) and I play tennis 2-3 times a week. Fortunately, Shalimar Pointe Tennis Club has continued to remain open. Therefore, our group of tennis players has remained faithful to playing tennis while the courts are still open. I usually see Carol Baker several times a week around the tennis courts as she walks her dog. Yes, we do take precautions during and after play-Clorox wipes, no hand shaking, etc. We feel that the fresh air and sunshine are beneficial to our daily living.

May everyone continue to enjoy good health and stay safe. If my wife and I can assist anyone in some way please do not hesitate to call. The Fabians We (Ed and I) stay close at home and spend much of our time caring for our bonsai trees. To date not a one of them has shown signs of Covid 19. When not trying to figure out how to make another meal out of what's in the refrigerator, I have been making masks for our local Manor...a rehab facility...and it grows a few more requests weekly. Neighbors take this seriously and want to be as protected as possible. So...I make a few more masks. It is a great way to dig into that pile of fabric left over from this project and that one. Hope everyone is dealing carefully with this and keeping safe.

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QUARANTINE cont’d. Linda Kulaw

Oh, and I made a succulent shovel I have continued working—OCSD issue a laptop from an old shovel for me to work from home as needed—so I’ve I had. I have one learned new technology. Since students and and like it so teachers are not at school (and I work there), I’ve much I made anhad the school garden all to myself. That meant other with differtrimming down Smilax on the fences pulling ent succulents. weeds, fertilizing the cabbages, herbs, and other Plus, I am setting vegetables the students planted before Coronaup a pot of plants virus took effect. I’ve spent time working in my with a small fairy own gardens and am practicing growing red water fountain so I blooming yucca plants from seeds I had gathered can listen to burwhen I visited my daughter in Texas. A few came bling water as I up. They don’t like a lot of water so I’m unable to relax outside. The leave them to our area rainstorms—patience is a plants include: virtue. Due to Coronavirus, I have not gone groflax lily, euphorcery shopping for 3 weeks. I can my own fruits bia, heuchera that I grow, love fresh herbs, salads, raw nuts, “coral bells,” and seeds so I’ve eaten well from that plus my evolvulus “blue freezer storage. daze,” and sedum “golden showers.” There is a ceramic toad abode that I made as well.

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QUARANTINE cont’d.

One of Ed Smith’s favorite photos Ed Smith sporting a very ‘sporty’ look in PPE.

COVID volcano mulching

Interested? https://www.ezywrap.com/ products/371-microbe-safetymask

This is a gardenia. You are viewing it from the stem side (aka the back). Anyone care to take a stab at guessing what is wrong with it? First 10 correct answers emailed to Marg Stewart will be entered to win a prize. Yes, a real prize. Answer will be provided in the next edition of The Compost Pile. Answers must be received by May 27th.

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May, 2020


QUARANTINE cont’d. Scott Berry #1 Garden: Dendrobium unicum. Imagine the gentle scents of tangerine and peach for the full effect.

#2 Keeping busy: Mowing our large corner lot to collect all the fallen oak leaves. Stuffed nine large trash bags. #3 New skill: Livestream church services via Facebook but still challenged to start it on time given many FB links which all appear to be the Karen Harper’s Ginger Lily correct one. Very flat learning curve. Eighth day of self-isolation and it’s like Vegas in my house. We’re losing money by the minute, cocktails are acceptable at any hour, and nobody knows what time it is.

I washed my hands so much due to COVID-19 that my exam cheat notes from 1972 resurfaced. Nail salons, barbershops, hair salons, waxing centers, and tanning places are closed. It’s about to get ugly out there.

Walter: “Dear Lord let these people get out of the house! They are driving me crazy!” An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

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May, 2020


QUARANTINE cont’d. Donna Edmiston This is the new bed I put in. Red Maple, White and Yellow African Iris, Society Garlic, Aztec Grass, and a Coontie. I basically spent my quarantine catching up on all the things I was “going to get around to.” Painting in the house, adding a planting bed and tree to my front yard, tackling some craft projects, making cloth masks, and trying new recipes that I’ve found.

Rediscovering My Yard Mary Grace Evors First of all, I must say that I have never found myself with nothing to do, but I have often found myself with more to do than I could actually get done! So, during this corona virus pandemic, I have been trying to do some of the things I usually do not find time to do...some of which are fun...and some of which are not. On the more pleasant side, I have had more time to spend in parts of my yard that I have neglected. Of course this gives me good feelings of accomplishment. While pruning and weeding a badly neglected azalea bed, I found a “weed” I didn’t recognize. Finally got it identified as Madder (Rubia tinctorum). It is a perennial that blooms with a small yellow flower in the 2nd year, after which the root can be used for a fine red dye. If I want more of it I can buy it potted from $7.95 to $19.95 a pot! I also found that it is a host plant for the hummingbird moth. Another discovery (for me) was a variegated shrimp plant growing from a cutting whose leaf was not variegated. I never knew there was a variegated variety, though I’m sure many of you did. I like it. Since this plant is drought tolerant, lives in partial or full shade, and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies it is perfect for any spot in my yard. Another early morning discovery was that some of my matchstick bromeliads aren’t matchsticks. Lee An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

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May, 2020


QUARANTINE cont’d. says they do look like a variety of Aechmea, so it is in the same family. While clearing an overgrown path to the bayou, I found some English ivy with a stem I couldn’t believe. It is over 25 years old.

NOT a matchstick. Variegated shrimp plant

It has been so refreshing to spend more time enjoying this beautiful world...but I am missing everyone.

Prayers for the fire fighters and emergency responders fighting the fires in South Walton, Santa Rosa, and Escambia. Our thoughts are with those impacted by these devasting fires.

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May, 2020


QUARANTINE cont’d. Lynda Penry

Cleaning out closets

Making origami cranes

Liking nun orchids

My insect condo

Milo got up but couldn’t get down

Roof damage. We had a sun roof for a day.

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

20

May, 2020


COVID19 INFO Things are slowly beginning to open back up. However, COVID-19 isn’t gone by any definition. Here are some helpful links from the University of Florida. There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion out there. We rely on the science for our gardening, let’s rely on the science for your health and safety as well. Facemasks and Cloth Face Coverings https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs371 How to Use Cloth Face Coverings https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs372 Do-it-yourself Cloth Face coverings https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs373 Bandanas as Cloth Face Coverings https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs374 Shopping and Handling Groceries https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs367

Is Coronavirus an Issue in Produce Production https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs351 Is Coronavirus a Concern on Fresh Produce https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs350 Is Coronavirus a Concern with Takeout https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs349 Is Coronavirus a Concern at Grocery Stores https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs348 Okaloosa County COVID-19 Information Page http://okaloosa.floridahealth.gov/programsand-services/infectious-disease-services/ COVID-19.html CDC COVID-19 Information Page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ index.html

Cleaning and Disinfecting Reusable Bags https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs354

KILLER HORNETS FROM THE UF IFAS HONEY BEE RESEARCH AND EXTENSION LABORATORY

Many of you have seen articles being released about the Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia, making its way to the United States recently. Fortunately, this invasive insect has been on the radar for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for many years. Fact: There have been NO sightings or confirmed identifications here in Florida. Beekeepers: you are our first line of defense- as a reminder, if you think you’ve spotted an Asian Giant Hornet (or any invasive species) in Florida, please contact your local apiary inspector or submit a sample by using the following link: https://www.fdacs.gov/…/How-to-Submit-a-Sample-for-Identifi… . For more information on this hornet, please visit: https://agr.wa.gov/…/insects-pests-and-weeds/insects/hornets Featured Creatures article on Vespa mandarinia https://tinyurl.com/yd65rwsh

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

21

May, 2020


QUARANTINE KITCHEN

(or what MGVs eat when they’re stuck at home)

Addictive Crunch Scott Berry

seconds. Don’t overmix.

2 cups Captain Crunch Peanut Butter cereal 2 cups dry roasted peanuts broken in half 2 cups THIN stick pretzels broken in half 1 1/2 lbs. almond bark white chocolate (could only find at Wal-Mart)

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Mix top three ingredients in large bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave on high in 15 second intervals until runny. Pour melted chocolate over dry ingredients and mix until coated completely. Spread out on wax/parchment paper in thin layer.

Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart. Preheat oven to 300F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is stills oft. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.

Store (if it lasts that long) in air tight container.

Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is stills soft.

DoubleTree Signature Cookie Recipe Donna Edmiston

Chia Pudding Lee Vanderpool

Let dry then break into small pieces.

Makes 26 cookies ½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks) ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar ¾ cup packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 ¼ cups flour ½ cup rolled oats 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt Pinch cinnamon 2 2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 ¾ cups chopped walnuts Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

1 cup milk 4 tbs. chia seeds 1 tsp. vanilla 2 tbs. sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, ensuring that all clumps of seeds are fully incorporated into the milk. Cover and refrigerate. After one hour, stir again then cover and return to the refrigerator. Let set for at least two hours but it is better if left overnight.

Alternative ingredients: instead of white sugar, use raw sugar for a fuller flavor or use maple syrup or honey as the sweetener. To the basic recipe, add muddled fresh or frozen fruit for a more robust pudding. Good as a snack or as a breakfast staple.

Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.

Muddling is a technique of crushing fruit, sugar, and/or herbs to draw out flavors.

With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

22

May, 2020


KITCHEN cont’d. Linda Kulaw The recipe I'll share today is one my daughter often asks me to make as it is a healthy low fat, rich, Mousse we enjoy: Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse 12 ounces tofu, silken 1/2 cup real Maple Syrup 1/4 cup dry cocoa powder 1 1/2 teaspoon real Vanilla Extract 1/3 cup Peanut Butter 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons Vanilla Almond or Soy Milk Place all ingredients into a food processor, slowly drizzling in the almond or soy milk. Blend until smooth. Chill for one or two hours before serving. You may serve with a spoon of whipped topping on top. Mousse alone is: Per 1/2 cup serving (this recipe makes 5 servings): 252 cal,11 grams protein, 34 g carb, 11 g fat, 2 g sat. fat, 4 g mono. fat, 0 mg chol, 1 g fiber, 151 mg sodium Stay healthy, stay well, and do good work. Lee Vanderpool Here is something I have come up with out of sheer boredom! I love boiled shrimp but could not find a sauce that I liked. The red spicy stuff is just not to my liking so I have concocted my own mixture. 1 tsp lemon juice 2 tbs mayo 2 tbs catsup 1 tbs sugar (I use raw sugar) 1/4 tsp prepared horseradish Mix thoroughly until sugar is dissolved. Vary sugar and horseradish to your taste. Simple but delicious. Yields enough for 12 large boiled shrimp. Karen Harper Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins Note: I have modified this recipe for convenience by using my bread machine to make the dough and by rolling out the dough and cutting it with a round cutter vs. shaping the dough by An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

hand. The original recipe can be found at: https://www.breadworld.com/Recipe/WholeWheat-Sandwich-Thins/ Ingredients: 3 to 3 ¼ c. whole wheat flour ½ c. wheat bran 1 envelope bread machine yeast (2 ¼ tsp) 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten 1 tsp. salt 1 ¼ c. water ¼ c. honey 1 tbsp. corn oil 1 egg Directions: 1. Place the ingredients in the bread pan of your machine in the order given by the manufacturer. Set to the dough cycle. 2. When the cycle is complete, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to ¼’ – ½” thickness, depending on your preference. 3. Cut into 3 1/2” rounds and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 4. Prick each round several times with a fork (to ensure even rise) and then lightly brush each with water. 5. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes until puffy. 6. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 13-15 minutes or until bottoms of the sandwich thins are lightly browned. 7. Cool completely, slice in half, and fill with your favorite sandwich fillings. Yield: 16 sandwich thins. Note: you can of course make these any size you wish. I roll the dough out very thinly and, using a 3 ¼” cutter, I get as many as 28 sandwich thins from this recipe. They store in the freezer very well. Pictures on next page!

23

May, 2020


KITCHEN cont’d. Sandwich Thins

Karen Harper I make these little mini bread loaves frequently. The size is perfect for one who loves homebaked bread but not too much of it! The recipe makes two loaves that slice into the perfect size for toast and jam or for a small sandwich. The original recipe is from Taste of Home.com. The modifications are mine.

bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down; shape into loaves. Place in two greased 5-3/4x3x2-in. pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Brush tops with melted butter.

Mini Bread Loaves Ingredients: 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast 1 tablespoon sugar 1/3 cup warm water (110° to 115°) 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups allpurpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup whole milk 2 teaspoons butter, melted Additional melted butter Directions: Combine yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl. Add 11/2 cups of flour, salt, milk and butter. Mix for 3 minutes on medium speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

1 slice: 69 calories, My Modifications: 1. I’ve made this recipe by hand and in my bread machine with equally good results. When using a bread machine, put all the liquids that are called for into the bread pan: the warm water, whole milk, and 2 tsp butter. 2. Divide the dough into two equal parts, shape into small loaves and place them in 3”x6” mini loaf pans, then let it rise as directed. 3. You can sub 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of all-purpose flour if you like. When using whole wheat flour, I also add 1 tbsp of vital wheat gluten. This helps the whole wheat flour to rise well.

24

May, 2020


HOLIDAYS MAY

JUNE

JULY

Amaranth Month Clean Air Month Gifts from the Garden Month National Salad Month National Sweet Vidalia Onions Month

Country Cooking Month Great Outdoors Month Perennial Gardening Month Fruit and Veggies Month National Pollinator Month National Rose Month

National Bake Beans Month National Blueberries Month National Culinary Arts Month National Grilling Month National Ice Cream Month National Horseradish Month

Hurricane Preparedness Week (3-9) National Wildflower Week (4-10) Mudbug Madness Days (23-25)

Hemp History Week (1-7) Duct Tape Days (11-13) National Pollinator Week (22-28)

Dandelion Day 1st National Homebrew Day 2nd World Naked Gardening Day 2nd Garden Meditation Day 3rd No Diet Day 6th Hug Your Cat Day 12th Chocolate Chip Day 15th

Go Barefoot Day 1st Donut Day 5th Yoyo Day 6th World Oceans Day 8th International Sushi Day 18th Summer Solstice 20th National Hydration Day 23rd National Sunglasses Day 27th

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

25

Bean and Bacon Days (1-5) Hemingway Look-Alike Days (16-20) Garlic Days (24-26)

Zip Code Day 1st Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day 6th (I try every year!) Miniature Golf Day 11th Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day 14th (dress like a cow for a free entrÊe!)

May, 2020


LAST WORD Well, here we are in week 6? 7? 100? I have gotten to the point that the first thing I do (even before coffee) is to cross off a day on the calendar...otherwise neither Happy Hubs nor I would have a clue as to what day of the week we are dealing with! When all this started I had such grand plans. Had everything laid out in my mind. Chores that were going to get done. Projects were going to be finished. The garage was going to be clean. Somewhere along the line that plan dissolved into just trying to stay focused on getting through the day. With no set schedule of places to go and people to irritate (other than HH and that gets dull) I found myself spinning my wheels for a while. I did make a happy discovery that (a) one of my neighbors has older children (b) he wanted them to be active during the lock down and (c) they would do all sorts of manual labor for payment in chocolate chip cookies! That meant all the debris from a massive shrub trimming was raked and bagged by someone other than me. I have Elaeagnus so you know how much litter that produced. It also meant that holes were dug for all the fruit trees in my mini ‘orchard’ AND thanks to a much younger person who works out A LOT (aka their dad) a large stump was removed.

Score one for the home team! As long as I keep the supplies in the house for making cookies I can get some of the harder jobs accomplished and my neighbor scores baked goods and tired out children. Walter is taking most of this in stride. There have been times that I swear he’s trying to figure out how to get us out of the house and to quit interfering with his nap times. He heads to higher ground once in a while. I just wish he’d swish his tail around while he’s up there and handle the dust bunnies instead of retreating back down to lower levels leaving a trail of gray paw prints to mark his passing! An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

by Marg Stewart I had to take mom to University of Florida hospital for a medical appointment. That drive was interesting. Felt more like a Mad Max movie. Eerie when you don’t see another vehicle on I-10 for miles. Even creepier when you can merge onto I-75 and not have your life flash before your eyes. I was pretty convinced we had indeed hit the end of days when I got back onto I-75 in Gainesville during lunch time and there wasn’t another car in sight. Although, it was a calm drive...almost too calm. You know you’re in trouble when you figure that the car is pointing straight, the road is going straight, your passenger is snoring so you actually have a moment to consider what could be the harm in catching a wink or two. Thankfully, I stayed awake and we made it back in one piece. Other than that, I go out only when I have to. Yes, I wear a mask and I’ve used so much hand sanitizer that I think my fingerprints are gone. It still amazes me when I see so many empty spots on the shelves. What will these folks do if there’s a hurricane warning? Where will they find the stuff to rush out and buy? Hopefully they’ve hoarded enough that they’ll be prepared for that eventuality. We’ve opted for takeout a few times and one of the neighbors got the 20A Modern Bistro food truck to hit our neighborhood. Never thought I’d say it but those nights were a real treat. You tend to get real tired of your own cooking after a while. HH and I were happy to support our local businesses. That’s something we all need to do, now and in the future. Shop local! I figure I should try to be more like Walter. Take the higher road, look at things from a new perspective. Value nap times and avoid housework whenever possible!

Plentiful Plantings 26

May, 2020


The Foundation for the Gator Nation..... An equal opportunity institution.

Mission To assist Extension Agents in providing research-based horticultural education to Florida residents. Vision To be the most trusted resource for horticultural education in Florida.

The Compost Pile is a quarterly publication created by the Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteers. Marg Stewart—Editor Karen Harper, Debbie Sewell—Co-Editors

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Publication

May, 2020

Profile for Okaloosa County Master Gardeners

The Compost Pile Supplemental May 2020 Edition  

During this time of stay-at-home recommendations and the closure of many of our facilities, Master Gardener Volunteers never stop learning n...

The Compost Pile Supplemental May 2020 Edition  

During this time of stay-at-home recommendations and the closure of many of our facilities, Master Gardener Volunteers never stop learning n...

Profile for ocmga
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