Protect your palms against disease

Take a look at the photo of the Sylvester palm, submitted by a Hillsborough County resident. Does it look normal? Do the leaves appear to have a nutrient or disease problem? Many palm species are now listed as susceptible to the disease called lethal bronzing. Lethal Bronzing Disease was formerly known as Texas Phoenix Palm Decline. When we first learned about Lethal Bronzing … [Read more...]

Gifts for the garden

Wondering what to give the gardener in your life? Here are few ideas that may be helpful to you. Most gardeners have pruners they carry with them as they work in the garden. But, how often do they sharpen their pruners? You don’t need to take them anywhere or pay to get them sharpened – they are very easy to sharpen yourself. For less than $25, you can buy your gardening friend a … [Read more...]

Natural ‘enemies’ can attack garden pests

Summer months may stress plants because we often see periods of increased rainfall and then periods of drought along with intense heat. And, when plants are stressed, they may be more susceptible to pests. When it comes to combating these pests, don’t forget there are many natural enemies that eat pest insects. These natural enemies, that are considered good or beneficial, include … [Read more...]

Pointers for easy pest control in your garden

Spring gardening is upon us, a time when many Florida gardeners plant vegetables, trees and landscape shrubs. If we have turf, we pay attention to bare spots, patches and insects. As your plants and turf grow, be on the lookout for pests and problems. Try to notice issues early and get help from your local Extension office, if needed. Some of the easiest and least expensive strategies … [Read more...]

Spring is the time to plant cheerful flowers

Florida has a long warm season and a shorter cool season. We are now in our cooler months, which is a time to plant cool season annuals. An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one season. These annuals offer bright color choices. They are plants such as pansies and petunias that might remind us of “up North.” You can plant many annual, spring flowers January through … [Read more...]

Keep your lawn healthy during winter and fall

As we move into fall and winter, there are some things you can do to keep your lawn looking good. First things first: Identify the type of grass you have in your lawn. Next, read the appropriate University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) publication for your type of turfgrass. For example, Central Florida has St. Augustinegrass (the most common lawn in … [Read more...]

Gearing up for fall lawn care

As we move into fall, it’s time to review our lawn care strategies. It’s important to be proactive with lawn care, and not rely solely on fungicides or insecticides. If your lawn is regularly under stress from lack of water, poor fertilization, excessive traffic, insect damage, or injurious mowing techniques, it will be more susceptible to diseases and pests. It’s important to be on the … [Read more...]

Ways to water wisely during summer months

Water is essential — not only for life itself, but also to support Florida’s landscapes, recreational activities and beautiful vistas. Residents and tourists enjoy our waterways and participate in recreational activities such as fishing, swimming and boating. We use water from public municipalities and private wells for household, industrial and agricultural uses. Water also is … [Read more...]

Keeping cool, as temperatures soar

Florida, with its subtropical conditions, can reach temperatures that pose hazards to human health, according to the Florida Department of Health. Because of that, it’s important to take precautions to protect ourselves when doing outdoor tasks, such as gardening, during warm weather. Here are some preventative measures to keep in mind: Protect your skin with sunscreen. Be sure it has a … [Read more...]

Adding flavor to your foods, with herbs you grow

People have used herbs in cooking for thousands of years. They add unique flavors to food, as well as a touch of color to meals. Herbs grown in Florida include basil, chives, dill, mint, parsley and sage. Buying pre-packaged containers of herbs can be used in a recipe in a pinch, but why not grow your own? You can save money and enjoy a nice long season of fresh flavor. Herbs make … [Read more...]