Monthly Archive: July 2017

The Grass is Getting “Hungry”

Northwest Florida’s weather patterns can present challenges to maintaining a health lawn. Heavy rains promote fast growth and relentless sunshine causes lawns to fade.  In the last 200 days we have received at least 68 days of rain.  While the rest of Florida was experiencing record drought, the Panhandle was experiencing torrential downpours.  With every …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/21/the-grass-is-getting-hungry/

Mowing Your Lawn Correctly

Northwest Florida has experienced an enormous amount of rain this summer. The western panhandle has received over 29 inches of rain since the beginning of May according to the Florida Automated Weather Network station at the West Florida Research and Education Center in Jay, Florida. That is 44% of average annual rainfall in less than …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/21/mowing-your-lawn-correctly/

Small Cockroaches Flying Into Homes

The Asian cockroach was first identified as a newly introduced species in the U.S. in Lakeland, Florida in 1986. I started seeing this small cockroach in our area about 17 or 18 years ago. They’ve done well recently with the rains and their numbers are probably higher now as a result. They prefer warm, wet …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/21/small-cockroaches-flying-into-homes/

The Predatory Praying Mantis

  Summertime is bug time in the Florid Panhandle.  The weather has provided enough rain for the bugs which depend on a supply of foliage and the temperatures have been ideal for a population explosion. Stink bugs, leaf-footed bugs, grasshoppers, all sizes and colors of caterpillars and many more have been enjoying the lush and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/14/the-predatory-praying-mantis/

Why Don’t My Plants Match?

When designing landscapes, it is popular to create lines and masses of plants for high visual impacts. Plants are carefully selected to be similar in size and shape at the time of installation. They are all grouped together, so they must be getting the same care, but why do they look different years later? There are …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/12/why-dont-my-plants-match/

Ponder the Antiquity of Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have undergone various forms of domestication for thousands of years. Throughout this time, selective breeding of wild forages has allowed humans to develop crops with many desirable traits, such as increased size, higher sugar content, more nutrition, and brighter colors. If you ate a carrot 5,000 years ago, you would be in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/12/ponder-the-antiquity-of-fruits-and-vegetables/

Rain Gardens – A Solution for Runoff

Tropical Storm Cindy’s early arrival soaked northwest Florida this month, followed by even more heavy rain. Homes in low areas and along the rivers flooded and suffered extensive damage. That being said, we are just entering our summer “rainy season,” so it may be wise to spend extra time thinking about adjusting your landscape to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/05/rain-gardens/

African Blue Basil: A Pollinator Favorite

Basil is a favorite plant in the summer herb garden and an absolute must for those who enjoy fresh leaves for a sandwich or delicious homemade pesto. While we grow basils as a food enhancer, an added benefit is that those basil selections that form flowers are very attractive to pollinators.  If you would rather not …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/05/african-blue-basil-a-pollinator-favorite/

Four Must-Have Native Perennials for Summer!

Let’s be honest with each other and have a moment of transparency, one gardener to another. Even though we are plant people, most of us get a lot less enthusiastic once the mercury explodes over 90 degrees each June. All the things that were fun in the spring (watering our favorite fickle plants, deadheading spent …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/05/four-must-have-native-perennials-for-summer/