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WELCOME FALL!

for discerning weeders

Nursery Updates - pg. 3 Beetle Brigade - pg. 8 Herbs - pg. 10 And much, much more!

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

September,


HELLO MASTER GARDENERS As one of the premier volunteer groups with UF/IFAS, I commend you for volunteering in our communities and helping our citizens with solving their horticulture questions. It is because of groups like you that we are able to expand and share knowledge with a multiplier effect.

The Jokester Change is inevitable‌ Except from a vending machine.

Now that I have been on board since June, I have a good feel for the Okaloosa Extension Office. I have met many of you already and look forward to meeting all of you in the near future. If you are by the Extension office in Crestview, please stop by my office and say hello. Larry Williams is taking a break from administrative duties and concentrating on horticulture programs which includes the advisor for the Okaloosa County Master Gardeners.

Don’t forget to log your hours in the VMS system!

In order to get to know me I wanted to share a little about my background. I have over 30 years in UF/IFAS Extension as a County Director and Extension Agent with Family and Consumer Sciences programming. My programming has centered around nutrition education and healthy lifestyles. I have a passion for youth gardening and look forward to working with the Master Gardeners on projects that focus on schools and community gardening. I am putting together a team of interested volunteers in the near future that would like to assist with this project. I am a native of Florida having grown up in Escambia County and have lived in Santa Rosa County for the past 30 years. I am married to Mike Allen and we have three daughters who are grown and living in other cities. Along with our dog Cookie, we live in Gulf Breeze and enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful coastline that is abundant around us.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Along with the administrative duties in Okaloosa County, I will also be working on some District wide programs that will require travel. So if I am not in when you stop by please send me an email or leave a note and invite me to your programs. Keep up the good work and I look forward to meeting all of you in the near future. Regards, Pamela H. Allen Interim County Extension Director UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension

Nursery Notes

2

Event Calendar

3

August Chores

4

Wildlife Happenings

4

Congratulations!

4

On the Trail

5

Bad Bean

5

Infographics

6

Gardener Holidays

6

Blue is Good Beetles!

8

Ye Olde Farm

9

News You Can Use

9

Heroic Herbs

On the Cover - Fall vegetable garden. Photo courtesy of M. Stewart

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

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7-8

10-11

Recipe Round-Up

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Last Word

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September, 2016


NURSERY NOTES There has been a lot of activity in the nursery this month. First, M. Harrison made a donation of almost 250 plants to the nursery which is very much appreciated. As you can imagine, it has taken a serious amount of time to sort, label and place that many plants. The nursery staff has done a remarkable job taking care of the donation.

by L. Vanderpool All-in-all, it has been a very exciting month in the nursery. We will need the support of the entire membership for the plant sale, setting up the building, moving plants, working with clients, cashiering, relocating the few plants we hope remain after the sale and cleanup after everything else is done. We hope this will be a big money maker for the organization so please support us.

Second, the main irrigation pipes have been run and terminated. There has been some difficulty in locating sprayer heads which will fit our particular watering pattern but I think they have finally been found. Hopefully, we will have a permanent irrigation system up and running by the end of September. Third, the nursery staff and Larry decided to have a major plant sale on September 17th IN THE ANNEX BUILDING. That means that there will be air conditioning and other amenities available for the Master Gardeners as well as the public. This is why Marie's donation has come at a really good time. Fourth, we purchased a large fan which was voted on by the membership at the July meeting. The first fan to arrive was damaged and the company obligingly replaced it quickly. The second fan had a small amount of damage, as well, but was operational. Two of the Master Gardeners applied some strategic pressure to the first fan, straightened it enough to allow the blades to operate, so now we have two fans, each capable of moving 7700 cu ft of air per minute! They make a real difference when you are working in the nursery in the direct sun in 95 degree temperatures and 90 percent humidity.

‘Glee Club’ photo courtesy of L. Fabian

Second bloom of night blooming cereus. Photos courtesy of S. Gerber

The Jokester A recent study has found women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.

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September, 2016


For details on any of the upcoming events, go to www.ocmga.org/Calendar.html

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September, 2016


SEPTEMBER CHORES

compiled from UF/IFAS Gardening Calendar

Annuals/Perennials: To refresh summer beds try ageratum, celosia, zinnia, and wax begonia for fall color.

Herbs: Plant herbs like Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall.

Perennials and Bulbs: Divide and replant perennials and Continue to monitor your lawn and landscape for pests and bulbs that have grown to large or need rejuvenation. Add organic other problems. Monitor rainfall and watch out for drought matter to new planting areas and monitor water needs during stress. establishment. Firebush, firespike, russelia, and others supply Helpful Links nectar for visiting hummingbirds. Gardening with Annuals in Florida Vegetable Gardening: Cool season crops such as radish, Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide carrot, cabbage, and lettuce may be planted now. Transplants Herbs in the Florida Garden from the local garden center/nursery will get the garden off to a Gardening with Perennials in Florida fast start. Bulbs for Florida Insect management in Your Florida Lawn Lawns: Continue to monitor for insect damage. Fall armyworms, chinch bugs, mole crickets, and sod webworms are Questions? Not sure if you are dealing with a pest or something still active. Bahia, Bermudagrass, Zoysia, and St. Augustine else? Contact our Master Gardener Help Desk for assistance lawns should be fertilized this month. Avoid weed and feed when necessary, 850-689-5850 (Crestview) or products and only apply herbicides to areas with weed 850-651-7476 (Fort Walton Beach). infestations.

WILDLIFE HAPPENINGS September brings the beginning of Fall and the peak of the hurricane season. Here are some interesting things to look for this month.

compiled from wec.ufl.edu -Blue crabs migrate from shallow panhandle coast to deeper water for winter.

Birds: -Get feeders ready for returning birds. -Bald eagles return to nest sites and begin courtship. Mammals: -Gray bats migrate to Alabama caves for winter hibernation.. -Manatees start to gather in freshwater springs near power plants. Other: -Start listening for Spadefoot toads after heavy rains. -Atlantic sturgeon begin fall migration.

CONGRATULATIONS! Our own Joyce Waters-Smith won ALL the awards this summer at the Navarre Garden Club Flower Show! The name of the show was “Southern Favorites.” Her category was “Driving Miss Daisy.” Chauffeur Hoke (Morgan Freeman) drives Daisy (Jessica Tandy.) The midollino grass is woven to represent the steering wheel and the roads driven. Hoke is driving with a fatsia seed pod for his head. The cardboard palm fantasy flower represents Daisy's blonde hair and fair skin. Joyce was awarded 1st place in her class (Driving Miss Daisy); Designer’s Choice Award (purple Ribbon); and Award of Excellence (orange ribbon, overall show winner)

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

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September, 2016


ON THE TRAIL Sometimes it becomes very difficult to accurately identify a particular plant, so we use "spp" after the genus, ie : Crataegus spp. This tells us we have a plant that is a Hawthorn but, we are not sure exactly which one. This is the problem with a weeping hawthorn located on the trail to the right of marker number 9. We originally believed this small tree was a Pensacola Hawthorn, Crataegus lacrimata, however, according to http:// wildflowers.jdcc.edu/Rosaceae.html, "There are no thorns on its branches so it's completely safe where children are about." We have thorns, BIG ONES. The article also states: "With so many hawthorns in the Escambia region it is extremely difficult to distinguish one from the other."

by B. Bayer simplification, they are not separable in winter. All are "weeping hawthorns."

According to the wildflower site mentioned above, "The Pensacola Hawthorn was given its name because it was first discovered To complicate matters even further, Ellen West writes about the in Escambia when Pensacola Hawthorn stating, "There isn't enough information the region was about our beautiful, native NW Florida tree to my mind. occupied by Spanish Certainly not enough images. A medium sized tree found only in rule." Was there an NW Florida Panhandle with weeping branches covered with Escambia back then? bright green leaves, It should be noted small white flowers that C. lacrimata in spring. Small was first collected in orange/reddish Crestview, FL. on fruits follow May 11, 1898 by Mr. flowering. The bark A.H. Curtiss. Maybe it should be called the Crestview becomes darker and Hawthorn. I thought that lacrimata might have meant "The furrowed as the tree Crime" (as in stolen from) but it means ,"to weep, to drip honey." ages. As with all It really doesn't matter what our plant's true name is, what is Hawthorns there important is that we can appreciate its thorny beauty in winter, are long rigid its small wild rose like flowers in spring, its summer cover of thorns." bright green leaves and its fall berries. A possible explanation to this Photos of weeping hawthorne, courtesy of B. Bayer confusion comes from the book, Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States, A Winter Guide. "The original C. lacrimata was described from W. Florida only, but there are so many similar, closely related entities across the Southeast that all are grouped under the older name of C. lacrimata, for

BAD BEAN

by D. Stever

The Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is native to tropical Africa and cultivated in several varieties for the oil found in its leaves and seeds as well as for its foliage.

the Florida Nursery Grower's Association's Board of Directors voted unanimously in March 2001 to no longer propagate, sell or use in Florida.

It is grown as an ornamental in gardens and also grows as an invasive weed. It is an annual in the south and a perennial in the tropics. The plant may reach 15 feet tall outdoors. It is a woody herb belonging to the family of Spurges.

More Information:

Castor bean grows wild on rocky hillsides, and in waste places, fallow fields, along road shoulders and at the edges of cultivated lands.

http://poisonousplants.ansci.cornell.edu/toxicagents/ricin.html http://floridata.com/Plants/Euphorbiaceae/Ricinus% 20communis/763 http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr306

Castor beans are pressed to extract castor oil which is used for medicinal purposes as well an agent in fabric coatings, paints and varnishes, inks, waxes and crayons, dyes, and ointments. Ricinoleic acid (Ricin) does not get into the oil because it is water -soluble so the castor oil does not contain ricin, provided that no cross-contamination occurred during production. The Ricinoleic acid has been used in cosmetics, and anti-fungal compounds. The seeds from the castor bean plant are poisonous to people, animals and insects. The Castor bean is listed as a Category II Species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Castor bean is one of 34 species that An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

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September, 2016


INFO GRAPHICS

GARDENER HOLIDAYS Monthly Observances All American Breakfast Month Fall Hat Month Happy Cat Month National Fruit and Veggies Month National Mushroom Month National Organic Harvest Month Wild Rice Month Weekly Observances National Waffle Week 4-10 Popcorn Days 8-10 Mushroom Days 10-11 Hummingbird Celebration 15-18 National Indoor Plant Week 18-24

by Staff

National Wildlife Day 4th Google Commemoration 7th Banana Day 9th National Hollerin’ Day 10th National Peanut Day 13th National Guacamole Day 16th World Water Monitoring Day 18th Talk Like A Pirate Day 19th Happy Birthday to: C. Baker G. Speir J. Sweda L. Tomason

Daily Observances Cow Chip Throwing Days 2-3 Bacon Day 3rd An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

S. Leucophylia Tarnoc hybrid. Photo courtesy of D. Hickenbotham

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September, 2016


BEING BLUE IS GOOD Blueberries are delicious. They’re also very good for you. And they’re ridiculously expensive in the stores. So grow your own!! I grow blueberries successfully in containers and I thought I’d share my method with you. Of course, you can also grow blueberries very successfully in the ground but several years ago when I bought my first blueberry plant, I was struck by what a pretty little shrub it was. I thought how lovely it would look growing in an attractive container on my patio instead of out in the yard where I wouldn’t see it very often. Well, of course, one plant led to another and I now have six of these beautiful, productive shrubs gracing my patio year-round! They are among the most trouble-free and rewarding plants that I grow. So here’s how I do it: First and foremost, choose the right plants! Basically, there are two types of blueberries for the South: southern highbush and rabbiteye. The southern highbush type is better-suited to the Florida climate south of Ocala. Rabbiteye blueberries will do better in our colder panhandle winters. Rabbiteyes are tall by nature, reaching 12-15 ft. but I have no problem with keeping mine easily pruned down to manageable heights in their containers. For me, that’s in the 5’-5.5’ range. Most of the blueberry cultivars grown in Florida are not self-fruitful. This means they require cross-pollination and this pollination must be from another cultivar (variety) of the same type. So, to translate all of that into simple English, you’ll need at least two different varieties of the rabbiteye type in order to get maximum cross-pollination and fruit production from your blueberries. Here are some of the best varieties to look for when shopping for blueberries: 'Beckyblue', 'Bonita', 'Climax', 'Brightwell', 'Powderblue', and 'Tifblue'. “Climax’ is known to be a good pollinator for several varieties so if you see it for sale, grab it. I found mine at Lowe’s a few years ago and it may be the reason I’ve had such success with my blueberries. There are also many other varieties available so you’ll have to be something of a detective to get this right. Remember three simple points: 1) look for rabbiteye type 2) determine whether the plant you are considering is early-bearing or mid to late-bearing and 2) buy two different varieties for each season. If all of that seems overwhelming, take heart from the fact that I didn’t know what I was doing when I first started growing blueberries more than 10 years ago. I just bought plants because they looked good. I had no idea about their pollination needs. And yet I got blueberries within a year or two of planting the original plant. And I get bigger and bigger yields every year so somehow I’ve An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

by K. Harper stumbled onto doing the right things. So, try to be at least a bit scientific about your plant selections but don’t lose sleep over it. Choose good containers. These are going to mature into very robust medium-sized shrubs so don’t skimp on container size. Also, if your plants are going to be part of your landscaping, as mine are, then choose containers that are attractive as well. I grow my blueberries on my patio in nice-looking and durable containers and they provide a lovely backdrop year-round. I start my baby blueberries out in 12” containers and re-pot them three or four times during their early years until they are finally in very large 24” containers. Try to locate them in their permanent places because schlepping 24” containers around is not easy. When the plant is in its largest container, expect to repot it every few years. You will know when it needs re-potting because the fruit yield will begin to diminish- a sign that the plant is becoming too root-bound and has also likely exhausted the fertility of the soil in the container. And someday the plant will decrease in vigor to the point that you will know its useful life is over. That is why I keep young plants coming along, so that they can eventually take over for the older ones as their vigor decreases. Ten years into this project, I still have one or two of the original plants from 2006 and, with the younger ones that I’ve started since then, I’ve been able to keep my blueberry supply increasing annually. This year I harvested about 18 lbs. of blueberries from six plants and of those six plants, only four are old enough to produce well. That’s been enough for three batches of blueberry jam, blueberry pancakes, blueberry cheesecake, giving a few pounds of fresh berries away to friends… and I’m about to freeze the remaining 3 lbs. that are still in my refrigerator. Take care of your plants. Aside from re-potting them from time to time, you will need to do some occasional pruning to keep them healthy and productive. I’ve found that blueberry pruning in my Shalimar neighborhood is best done any time over the summer until very early fall, Whenever you choose to prune just be sure that the plant is finished bearing for the season and that it has not yet begun to set buds for its next year fruit crop. This will ensure that pruning will not disrupt the plant’s fruit production. Gradually cut the older canes down to make room for new, productive growth. Don’t be afraid to prune an older blueberry bush drastically. I call this ‘tough love.” Faced with the choice of shovel-pruning an old unproductive plant, I instead 7

September, 2016


BLUE

cont’d.

cut the oldest canes down to the base quite radically. Often the plant will rebound with lots of new growth and continue to be a top producer. And if the plant croaks, well, you were about to toss it anyway. Fertilize your plants during the growing season. Beginning in February and then once per month until May, I fertilize my container blueberries. Blueberries prefer acidic conditions, so use a fertilizer that is labeled for acid-loving plants. I use Miracle-Gro azalea-camellia fertilizer, mixing it in a two-gallon watering container and then drenching each container thoroughly. Keep your containers well-watered. This is especially important when the plants are actively producing fruit. I have mine set up with drip irrigation so that I don’t have to hand-water them very much. Between the drip irrigation and rainfall, they stay well-watered for the most part. However, during fruiting season which generally coincides with increasingly hot temperatures, I give them an extra soaking with the hose almost daily. It’s not much trouble and I am repaid many times over with bountiful fruit. The plants respond

amazingly to this simple care regimen. I am sure that there are diseases and pests that might attack blueberries but I can honestly say that I’ve never had anything go wrong with mine that required any intervention from me. I grow them completely free of spray of any kind and they are host to many, many beneficial bees and other pollinators. If knowing that your edibles are grown cleanly and pesticide-free and that you are not contributing to the alarming decline in the bee population are important factors to you, then I strongly suggest you give the cultivation of blueberries a try! Oh, and you will probably have birds stopping by to eat a few of your blueberries from time to time. I used to think I should cover them with netting so that the birds couldn’t help themselves but over time I’ve come to realize that simply by planting an extra bush or two, I grow more than enough for our needs and can afford to share a few with my bird friends too.

BEETLE BRIGADE

courtesy of E. Smith

Are you fighting the battle with air potato vines? Did you know that there is a biological control program you can sign up for? Once your request is received, you’ll be placed on the waiting list to receive air potato beetles. The requests are filled at no cost and in the order that they are received. You’ll be contacted when beetles are available to schedule a shipment day that will be convenient for you. Go to the link below to find out more! http://bcrcl.ifas.ufl.edu/airpotatobiologicalcontrol.shtml

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September, 2016


A CREEK RUNS THROUGH IT

by D. Gordon

The rains have certainly helped with plants looking better. There is no doubt that fall is coming. The Black Gum and Sycamore trees are beginning to show their fall color. Black Gum trees start to show color around the first week of August. Other trees along the creek will soon let us know that fall is on the way. So many butterflies are finding their way into the pollinator garden. I am seeing many Gulf Fritillary, Swallowtails, Sulphur, and Skippers. It is so important to have a variety of plants from which the various species can choose. The photos give you some indication as to the variety of plants the butterflies enjoy. It won’t be long before the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars will completely eat all of the leaves on the purple passion vine. The Gulf Fritillary is taking nectar from the tall ironweed. A beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (yellow form) is on a great plant for insects-butterfly bush. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (black form) is receiving nectar on tall ironweed.

Now is the time to begin looking for a variety of migratory birds. A multitude of butterflies, insects, and birds should be visiting the pollinator garden as we get into fall. Remember, enjoy the surrounding environment.

Upper left -- Gulf Fritillary Upper right - Easter Tiger Swallowtail (black form) Bottom - Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (yellow form)

Recently while sitting on the front porch, I saw two Red Tail Hawks soaring along with several Swallow Tail Kites. They are so majestic while riding the wind currents. The hummingbirds should be at the feeders for about two more months. If you are hiking through the woods be on the lookout for various species of birds that are migrating.

Photos courtesy of D. Gordon

NEWS YOU CAN USE Web Sites/Articles http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-secrets-of-thewood-wide-web

by Staff page fact sheet looks at the characteristics of scientists, the media, and the public to explain how the gap in science communication has occurred while also providing strategies for closing that gap in the future - http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc254

Updated Publications Emerald Ash Borer - http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1141 Hercules Beetle - http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1142 Promoting Ag Awareness through Commodity Fact Sheets - 3 page publication outlines the series of fact sheets with infographics related to specific Florida agricultural commodities - http:// edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc253

You have been assigned this mountain to show others that it can be moved.

Understanding science: how to fill the communication gap - 4 An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

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September, 2016


HEROIC HERBS

by L. Kulaw

Let’s review some herbs that grow easily in pots, raised beds, or the garden bed here in Northwest Florida: *See Chart on next page for more growing information and recipe ideas. Basil – Plant seeds or seedlings in the spring for months of good mood, good food. Basil has a long taproot that does not like to be moved once planted. To help prevent damping off disease and transplant shock you may steep for 15 minutes: 1 Tbsp. Chamomile tea in 1 qt. boiling water, let cool, then water newly planted basil with it. Pinch off flowers on top or sides tops of plant as it grows to get a bushier plant. Bay Laurel “Laurus Nobilis” – be sure you buy organic grown plant “Laurus Nobilis”. The leaves of Laurus Nobilis are pointed ovals, the leaf color ranging from pea green in younger leaves to forest green in older leaves. Once planted roots don’t like to be disturbed. One of my favorite flavoring leaves for gumbo and soup recipes. Plant tree in the fall, mulch, then water well to establish. It is sub-to tropical and doesn’t love cold weather. Burnet – Salad Burnet - cool as a cucumber – the leaves taste nutty, smell and tastes like cucumber. Easy to grow in a sandy location. Start plant in the fall. Prefers dry not wet soil. A good soil for Burnet is to combine 2 parts potting soil, two parts sand, and one part compost. Chives – Plant seeds or onion-like sets August through March or divide clumps in the fall. Here in Florida chives grow best in the coolest part of the year. Divide clumps every 2 - 3 years to prevent over-crowding. Cilantro/Coriander – Cilantro and Parsley are both easy to grow from seeds. Cilantro is a form of Coriander grown for its leaves. Fennel, bronze – Bronze Fennel is easy to grow and usually stays green (with bronze top leaves) all winter here in zone 8b of Florida. It is wonderful to smell the licorice scent while tending the spring garden – makes gardening a non-chore experience. Marjoram – Sweet marjoram tends to grow upright while pot marjoram runs along the ground. Plant in the springtime of the year. Easily grows through fall/winter. Mint - Spearmint, and Peppermints grow upright while Chocolate Mint sprawls along the ground as a runner. Plant in the spring, I have had Chocolate Mint in my garden for a few years – I love the scent, if you pull up a rooted piece, you’ll get a wonder-filled scent of chocolate and mint. Mints are easy to grow and like medium water needs, be sure soil does not become too dry. Oregano –Easy to grow in full sun and it spreads a little each year so plant it 24” apart to provide room for growth. Parsley – Grows easily – sow a bed of parsley seeds in the fall to get a bed of parsley from fall through spring. Likes full sun, medium water, pinch tops as needed to cook with. Rosemary - This shrub grows as 2’ to 3’ with long spindly upright stems. This plant is very easy to grow. Sage, Salvia Officinalis, – Medium sized, with grayish oblong pointed 2” to 3” long leaf can be started from seeds or cuttings in the Fall or Spring. Pineapple Sage – Plant in the fall, a 2’ tall shrub with small red flowers in the fall that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Pineapple scented leaf. An easy herb to grow. Thyme – I’ve had better results with growing English Thyme in our area than I have growing Common Thyme. Start English Thyme in the fall by seed or cuttings – easy to grow. I hope this little herb section encourages you to experiment and grow more fresh herbs to add grace to your life. Herbs do not need much fertilizer and they are easier to grow than you may think. A kitchen door herb bed will add more flavor and fun to any dish or meal you cook, and the wonderful scent of herbs in pots or a garden are sure to bring more joy to your life. Some credit is due to two of my favorite herb books: “The Good Herb” by Judith Benn Hurley and “Vegetable Gardening in Florida” by James M. Stephens The Jokester Why is it impossible to put on mascara with your mouth closed?

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September, 2016


HEROIC HERBS cont’d. HERB

GROWTH CYCLE

PROPAGATION

SPACING

PART USED

COOKING

Basil

Summer Annual

Seed

12”

Leaves

Basil, tomatoes, oregano, fresh mozzarella cheese - a great pizza topping. Grow lime or lemon basil, put crushed leaves and fresh cucumber slices in water or lemonade.

Chives, Garlic

Winter Perennial

Seed/division

8”

Leaves

Garlic chives are easy to grow and provide a delicate garlic flavor to stir-fry, soups and cheese balls.

Fennel, Bronze

Winter Perennial

Plant division

12”

Leaves

Chopped very fine, it imparts a light licorice flavor. Very good in green pea salad; salmon fish salad, or try it in bean or potato salad for a unique flavor.

Lemongrass

Summer Perennial

Clump division

2.5’

Leaves

Lemongrass tea - add honey. Leaf is often cooked with garlic, ginger, coriander and/or chili pepper in Asian soups and stirfry. Remove before serving, as you would a bay laurel leaf.

Marjoram

Summer Perennial

Seed Cutting Clump division

12”

Leaves

Provides a savory flavor to winter soups and Italian dishes.

Rosemary

Winter Perennial

Seed Cutting

24”

Leaves

My trick is to strip leaves from a limb, chop to cook on baked olive-oiled potato quarters or fish. Use 12” stems to skewer kebabs to grill or bake for a lightly infused flavor.

Thyme

Winter Perennial

Seed Cutting

12”

Leaves

Harvest leaves in the fall through winter to add to soups, stews, casseroles, and many other salad dishes.

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

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September, 2016


RECIPE ROUND-UP Sour Orange Pie courtesy of L. Vanderpool Crust: 1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers, crushed but not powdered 3 tbsp. sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

staff cinnamon or cinnamon sugar 2 - 9-inch deep dish pie crusts (note: deep dish pies do not cook as well as regular pies. I used 9-inch tart pans and they worked fine.)

Directions: Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix sliced pears and Filling: Meringue: lemon juice in a medium bowl, tossing to prevent browning. 1/2 cup sugar 3 egg whites Stir pear mixture into dry mixture. Combine well. Stir in vanilla. 3 tbsp. cornstarch 3 tbsp. sugar Pour pear mixture in unbaked pie crust. Dot top with butter. 1 tbsp. melted butter Cover with another pie crust. Seal crusts by pinching all the way 3 beaten egg yolks around. 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. orange juice Brush top lightly with water then top with cinnamon or cinna1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice mon sugar. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 deDirections: grees and bake 45-50 minutes more. Watch for excessive brownCrust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, combine crackers and sugar ing at the crust edges. Pie may require covering lightly with foil. in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add softened butter and knead Serve! until dough comes together. Press the mixture into an 8 inch pie ************ pan and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Bake 15-20 minutes or until brown. Remove the pan from oven and set aside. Lower the Citrus Pear Butter Courtesy of L. Kulaw oven temp to 325 degrees and prepare the filling and meringue. Ingredients: Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch 1 1/2 cups water then whisk in melted butter. Slowly pour 1 cup hot water into the 1 1/4 cups sugar mixture, whisking to dissolve any lumps. Whisk in the egg yolks 1 1/2 cups mango nectar (I used ‘Jumex’ brand from Dollar Tree) and citrus juices then place the pan over medium-low heat and 11 1/2 cups fresh chopped pears cook for 5 to 10 minutes until mixture coats the back of a spoon. 1 whole navel orange, peel and all, chopped Remove from heat. 1 whole lemon, seeds removed, peel and all, chopped 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped Meringue: Place egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat with an 2 cinnamon sticks electric mixer on high speed until frothy (about 5 minutes). Add 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice sugar gradually while continuing to beat until stiff peaks form 1 vanilla bean (about 2 minutes more). Directions: Combine: To assemble the pie, pour the filling into the shell and In a large pot mix together: sugar, water, mango nectar and cook on medium-low heat. In a food processor - chop into small pieces gently spread the meringue over the top. Make sure the me- the orange, lemon, and pears then add it to the sugar, water, ringue touches the sides. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the meand mango nectar in the pot. Add the ginger, cinnamon sticks, ringue is evenly browned. Let cool before serving. pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla bean. (For more flavor - I left the Country Pear Pie cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean in the pot until I jarred up the last of the Citrus Pear Butter then removed them.) Cook 25 minIngredients: utes on medium heat. Wash and heat canning jars, lids, and 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark) rings. Put Citrus Pear Butter in the canning jars and process in a 4 tbsp. cornstarch hot water bath with water covering the top of the jars. For ½ 1/4 tsp. salt pints - process jars in hot water bath for 15 minutes. For pint jars 1/4 tsp. ground ginger - process jars in hot water bath for 25 minutes. Remove jars from 1/2 tsp. nutmeg hot water bath and let cool. 3/4 tsp. cinnamon Serve with toast, scones, over ice cream, and between layer 1/2 tsp. vanilla cakes, or just eat from the jar. This recipe I invented has high 2 tbsp. lemon juice fiber, and lower sugar than marmalade but much more flavor. 5 cups sliced raw pears Healthier is good. Enjoy! 3 tbsp. butter, cut up An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

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September, 2016


M. Stewart —Editor S. Farrell , K. Harper, V. Graham and S. Berry—coeditors

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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.

LAST WORD Let me explain something. For the most part, I pay attention to instructions and I do try hard to be safe when using any type of power/lawn tool. Sure, I’ve nipped a finger (or three) when not paying attention and pruning a hedge. And yes, I’m guilty of leaving a rake laying there, tines pointed up...and yes I was the doo-doo who stepped back onto it. But like I said, for the most part, I’m pretty good about using tools the way you’re supposed to. I don’t use the mower without wearing shoes and make sure to check for twigs, rocks, small rodents...anything that could get ‘flung’ by the mower. Likewise, once I’m finished with the weed whacking and the mowing, I will use my leaf blower to clean off the patio, driveway, etc. Just to make sure there’s nothing left behind to create a slipping/tripping hazard. Keep in mind that my leaf blower is a little thing. It’s not one of those 3,000 decibel-blow over a small bus-smelly-gas-poweredbackpack jobs. Nope, mine is a cute little guy, operated by a 9.2 volt battery. If I’m careful I can actually get everything blown off on one charge. Once everything dried out, I decided it was time to get the yard in shape before I needed a hay baler to do it. Everything went along fine. I didn’t spill any gasoline when filling the mower. I hadn’t missed anything during the debris walk and there was a delightful breeze to boot! Weed whacking also proved to be uneventful. The line didn’t run out and I didn’t try to chop anything that wasn’t supposed to get chopped. I know, I know...I should have quit at that point. Too many things were going right! The sky is still clear so might as well blow the clippings off of the hard surfaces. I get out the leaf blower and begin. Everything is progressing swimmingly. What’s that sound? Laughter? Is the Universe laughing at this point? Oh yes, laughing indeed, because suddenly there is this horrible noise coming from the leaf blower and my right leg is starting to lift...I’m not lifting it. What the????????? Now normally I would consider myself to be a fairly bright person. Not at this point I wasn’t. For some reason my brain was not processing the fact that the leaf blower has suddenly become possessed and has become the whirling vortex of death! Finally some brain cell fired appropriately and I managed to hit the off button. Still in the what the???????? phase, I am attempting to figure out what the noise has to do with the leg lifting phenomenon that I just experienced. Lo and behold, somehow the string of my cargo shorts has been sucked into the intake of the blower. Folks, I kid you not I could not

An Okaloosa County Master Gardener Publication

by M. Stewart get the darned thing out! It wasn’t wrapped around anything and I can see the whole thing but it won’t come out! Now, I’m in the middle of the driveway with the man-eating leaf blower still attached to me and I realize that I only have about 5 more feet to go and I’m done. Really--just 5 more feet! Cautiously, I turn the machine on and immediately I can tell it’s sucking the string higher into the whirlpool of doom because sure enough, leg is heading up. Turn off. But there’s only 5 feet left! I figure if I hold the other side of the cargo shorts really tight and maintain tension on the string, it won’t get sucked into the impellor and I should be able to shuffle along and get the job finished. Yes, that’s exactly what I did and thank goodness no one had a camera handy. No witnesses. However, I’m still left with the body-part snatching mechanical nightmare still attached to me. I can’t exactly strip in the driveway and (a) I like the shorts and (b) I still need the leaf blower for other days. I do the only thing left, head into the house with the leaf blower still attached and call for Happy Hubby to come ‘help’ me. I won’t go into detail about the puzzled look on his face as he is trying to figure out why I have the leaf blower in the house. Nor will I bore you with the fact he actually asked, “How the heck did you do that?” (seriously?) In my defense it took HH some hefty yanking to get the string out of the intake. And no, it still wasn’t wrapped around anything. Happy, thankfully, had the good sense not to laugh (well--he did but it was covered up enough with a ‘cough’ that I’ll let him have that one). I took the demon infested leaf blower back out--removed its battery and put it away. I swear that I’ve heard evil hissing as I walk past now. I wonder if it is like some of the horror movies--you know--once something tastes a human they go nuts. Spandex will be the uniform of the day for the new leaf blowing expedition! I’m not taking any chances.

Plentiful Plantings

September, 2016

Nlseptember16  

Growing blueberries in containers. Information on herbs and how to use them. What chores should you be paying attention to this month. Yummy...

Nlseptember16  

Growing blueberries in containers. Information on herbs and how to use them. What chores should you be paying attention to this month. Yummy...

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