Monthly Archive: September 2014

Watch Out for the Saddleback Caterpillar

In Florida, there are a dizzying array of caterpillars that turn into beautiful or interesting moths or butterflies. Most are harmless except to the plants they munch on. There are a few that will cause humans pain if they are handled or touched. One of these venomous caterpillars is called the Saddleback, which is native throughout …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/30/watch-out-for-the-saddleback-caterpillar/

Thinning Vegetable Seedlings

Some vegetables and herbs like lettuce, carrots, collards, basil, and radish have very small seeds. It is difficult to plant these seeds so there is space between emerging plants for proper development. These plants will often need thinning after they mature. Thinning allows for adequate space for leaf and root development during the growing season.  Crowded …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/30/thinning-vegetable-seedlings-2/

Enjoying Wildlife Safely and Responsibly

Last week, the Okaloosa County Health Department issued a rabies alert after three bats were determined to have the illness. A “drive-through” rabies vaccine clinic was organized for pets, and warnings were issued throughout the region about making contact with wild animals. One radio broadcast played an interview in which a health department staffer urged …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/30/enjoying-wildlife-safetly-and-responsibly/

Firespikes are Blooming!

  Looking to add something to brighten your landscape this autumn?   Firespike (Odontonema strictum) is a prolific fall bloomer with red tubular flowers that are very popular with hummingbirds and butterflies.  Its glossy dark green leaves make an attractive large plant that will grow quite well in moderate shade to full sunlight.  In frost-free areas firespike grows …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/23/firespike/

Preparing Your Vegetable Garden

Healthful outdoor exercise, a feeling of accomplishment, and potential saving on the family food bill are good reasons why more and more Floridians are turning to home vegetable gardening. Usually, the most physically challenging part of a vegetable gardening project is to get the soil ready for planting.  However, whatever you do, don’t give in to the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/23/preparing-your-vegetable-garden/

Florida Wildflowers: Narrowleaf Sunflower

In the midst of your September strolls through natural Florida, you may come across this native beauty, the narrowleaf sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius. Another common name is swamp sunflower. I found this gorgeous patch in the photo close to the shore of Apalachicola Bay. It occurs throughout Florida and north throughout much of the eastern United …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/23/florida-wildflowers-narrowleaf-sunflower/

When Fertilizing, Read the Label

You can’t judge fertilizer by appearance.  Fortunately, state law requires each fertilizer label to include specific content facts.  However, these can be confusing.To obtain the proper types of fertilizers for various applications, you must understand the label.  At the top you’ll find the identification of the manufacturer or distributor.  Of course, this doesn’t tell how …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/16/when-fertilizing-read-the-label/

Start Thinking about Muscadines: A Native Northwest Florida Fruit

Mother always said “never be late” but in the case of certain muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) cultivars, it’s good to be late. Although muscadine harvest can begin as early as July, gardeners with late bearing muscadines are still reaping the benefits of fruit harvest and may until early October. Northwest Florida gardeners often grow muscadines as …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/16/start-thinking-about-muscadines-a-native-northwest-florida-fruit/

Don’t Drown Your Lawn with Kindness!

Many of us have a tendency to want to spoil those we care for – our significant other, our pets, our children, even our lawns. Some homeowners who long to have a lush, green, healthy lawn tend to spoil their lawns with lots of water. Their lawns should not suffer through a dry, thirsty day! However, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/16/dont-drown-your-lawn-with-kindness/

What’s Eating My Lawn?

What’s eating my lawn? Does your grass look ragged in areas, as if someone randomly used a weed-eater here and there? Are you noticing brown patches that have a closely clipped appearance compared to other areas of your lawn? Your turf may be playing host to Tropical Sod Webworm. Sod webworm damage is subtle at first. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2014/09/09/whats-eating-my-lawn/

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