plants are busy
now putting out new green growth, flowers or both. Now is the time to
plants so that nutrition may be put to use to form healthy new foliage,
abundant flowers and healthy fruit.Always apply fertilizer at the rate
recommended by the
manufacturer then water the fertilizer in to get it into the upper few
of soil where the plant's roots can absorb it.If
your plants are mulched, simply apply the fertilizer on top of the
mulch and water it in.
Do not neglect to feed your potted
plants.The best fertilizers to use on
are either soluble fertilizers (such as Peters)
or a time-release type that
will continue to feed for several months.
Also be aware that different stages in
a plant's growth will
require the use of different types of fertilizers.Plants that are producing foliage will
benefit more from a fertilizer high in nitrogen -- the "N" value of the
product.Nitrogen is used by plants for
the normal healthy growth of green plant tissues such as leaves and
stems.Be careful though as too much
cause rapid growth of leaves and soft stems which tend to be an open
for attack by pests and diseases.Plants
in bloom will benefit from a high "P"
value."P" stands for Phosphorous.
Phosphorus is responsible for good root development, disease resistance
flower and fruit production.The "K" value--Potash--also helps
to promote disease resistance in plants as well as encouraging higher
techniques are used
for pruning shrubs. These are called heading and thinning.
Heading -- By this method, branches
are cut back to healthy buds. This leaves a cut close to a bud from
Thinning -- By this process, a shoot
or branch is completely removed either back to ground level or back to
main branch or trunk. No prominent stub remains.
When heading back, always make the cut
above a healthy bud. A
cut on a slight slant, 1/4 inch above the bud is the correct method.
bud should be located on the side of the branch that faces the
preferred for the new growth. Some plants will have two buds opposite
other on the stem. When such stems are cut, it is often desirable to
of the buds. If both are allowed to grow, a forked and often weak stem
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!:During
this terribly dry weather it cannot be stressed enough how valuable
is.Mulch preserves moisture in the
soil; protects the soil from the intense heat of the sun; provides a
supply of organic material; prevents the quick drying of the soil
and dry periods; gives some protection to plants against root knot
nematodes; and improves soil texture.
Flowers to Plant this
Amaryllis, Balsam, Cosmos, Cockscombs, Forget-Me-Nots, Gaillardias,
Gloxinias, Lilies, Petunias, Portulacas, Salvia, Scabiosa,
Zephyranthes, and Zinnias
will be on Sunday, April 21st at 1:00 at the Tampa
Metro Center. We are there to see the progress of the green space which
we have been asked to improve. We need your help with
suggestions, and a little work to get the job done. This could be
a working meeting, though on a small scale since the space isn't very
Don't forget to bring a
covered dish for the pot-luck, and something
for the plant
raffle! Also, since we still have not pot-luck committee, bring
your own refreshments. Directions to next
to Members page
If you would like to have the
the softdrinks again, volunteer to be in charge of bringing the coolers
to the monthly meetings. Please contact the president, Bud, so he
can fill you in on what is needed. In the meantime, check with
the hosts about seating arrangements. It may be necessary for you
to bring your own chair and tray table.
If you are bringing a guest let Joe know
at firstname.lastname@example.org the last Friday before the meeting and he will
preprint a name tag for them.
What more could be said about the last meeting. The day was
PERFECT! The weather was just about the best that you could want,
there were 24 people in attendance including 6 guests and
new members, there was plenty of food and plenty to see.
As is our custom, the meeting started with a lot of socializing,
meeting new people, and checking out the garden.
of our hosts, Joe, was sick in the hospital on our meeting day, but
that didn't stop Bob from putting on the mitts for us.
Randy and Shiva helped Bob by playing host in Joe's absence and met
with members old and new.
There was plenty of green in the garden and flowers, too. In
spite of the strange weather all winter, Joe and Bob's garden seems to
After the lunch
potluck, our president Bud took charge of the meeting and introduced
our guest speaker - Jan Sternal.
Joe and Bob recently met Jan at a friend's dinner party and she
informed them that she was a Master Gardener in Pasco County.
She quickly volunteered to come to a meeting and speak with us.
She presented an interesting talk on many gardening subjects and
was available to answer any questions that came up.
presentation, the raffle was held. Since our Raffleator was
unavailable due to school demands, Gary Luter assisted by creating and
distributing the raffle tickets, and Shiva called the raffle. As
usual, the variety of plants were a welcome addition to everyone's
Upcoming Rakes and
Blades Meeting Locations:
- Tampa's Metro Center in Ybor City
- Jim and Eric's in So. Pasadena
you want to host a
meeting or event, or make a presentation, please contact one of our
board members - email links below