Is It a Salamander or Pocket Gopher?

Pocket gopher is a furry animal known by many locals as “sandy mounder.” It was given this name because of the sandy mounds of excavated earth that the gopher pushes out of its underground burrows. The name sandy mounder, with time, became “salamander.” This animal is not a salamander at all. Salamanders are slimy amphibians …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/23/is-it-a-salamander-or-pocket-gopher/

Florida Wildflowers: Blazing Star

The Florida panhandle has a treasure of native wildflowers to enjoy in every season of the year. In the late summer and fall, blazing star, also commonly known as gayfeather, can be found blooming in natural areas and along roadsides. You can also add it to your landscape to provide beautiful fall color and interest …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/22/florida-wildflowers-blazing-star/

Echo Your Architecture

One of the most overlooked aspects of landscape design, particularly on DIY projects, is the idea of enhancing the architecture of your home by using plants that echo the shapes and features of the structure. The use of proper plant material not only shows off a home’s exterior beauty and increases curb appeal but often …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/22/echo-your-architecture/

My Fall Vegetable Garden

Fall is fast approaching, and that means my favorite season for gardening has arrived! September is the month we get to start all of our fall favorites. For me, this means starting lettuce, kale, broccoli, and collards by seed in flats indoors. I use full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs, which mimics natural sunlight. In a couple of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/16/my-fall-vegetable-garden/

Saltbush–a Native Beauty, of Sorts

In the spring and summer, no one notices the little green shrub hidden among wax myrtle and marsh elder at the edge of the salt marsh. However, if I’m leading a group of students or a Master Naturalist class through the same area in the fall, it’s the first plant people ask about. The saltbush …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/16/saltbush-a-native-beauty-of-sorts/

Attract Pollinators with Dotted Horsemint

If you are looking for a late summer blooming plant that attracts pollinators and survives in a tough spot, dotted horsemint (Monarda punctata) is for you! This native plant thrives in sunny, well-drained sites but will also tolerate moist garden spots. It grows quickly and blooms prolifically – attracting pollinators by the dozens. A plant …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/16/attract-pollinators-with-dotted-horsemint/

Best Seasons for Planting Coming Up

By the look of the crowded nurseries during March and April, springtime seems to be the best time for planting. This is the case for our frost tender annuals and perennials but we are actually heading into our best seasons for planting trees and shrubs. The fact that above ground portions of trees and shrubs …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/08/best-seasons-for-planting-coming-up/

Perennial Peanut, a Great Choice for Panhandle Pastures and Landscapes

Driving through rural panhandle counties this time of year, one finds pastures with thick green canopies, exploding with yellow-gold flowers. Perennial peanut is in bloom. This is a highly nutritional forage option for livestock and also makes for a beautiful urban groundcover alternative to turfgrass. Perennial peanut was introduced from Brazil in the mid 1930’s. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/08/perennial-peanut-a-great-choice-for-panhandle-pastures-and-landscapes/

Distorted Plants

Plants can become distorted for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes nutrient deficiencies or toxicities can cause plants to become distorted. Sometimes excessive amounts of water or sunlight can cause plants to become distorted. And sometimes insect feeding damage can be the culprit. Insects can cause plant mutations by feeding alone or by vectoring disease …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/08/distorted-plants/

Go Native: Rainlilies!

Florida is home to many gorgeous and desirable native plant species. One to consider for your landscape is the rainlily, Zephyranthes and Habranthus spp. They are easy to care for and are bothered by few pests. As the name implies, rainlilies do thrive when getting consistent rain or watering. A good soaking rain event will …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/09/02/go-native-rainlilies/

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