june 2011 newsletter
One of the treasures to be found at Crowley's!
Our most recent meeting
month Joe and Bob opened their beautiful home and garden to us once
more, and it just keeps getting better! Thanks for making us feel
so welcome, guys!
next Meeting will be on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm. Our
hosts are Jim and Eric, and the meeting in their tropical
setting should be a delight. It is always a great pleasure going
back to our roots, and since Jim and Eric hosted the very first
official Rakes and Blades meeting, it's like coming home again.
Remember to bring a chair since they don't have a lot of outdoor
seating unless you want to soak your feet in their
lovely pool which you are welcome to enjoy, just please remember to
bring a towel.
Directions to next meeting: Login to Members page
Florida Gardener's Almanac:
First Month of Summer (and Hurricane Season!)
begins on the Summer Solstice (around June 22, the longest day of the
year when the sun is furthest north) and ends around September 24 (the
autumnal equinox). But in Florida, summer practically begins in
mid-May and lasts weeks past the autumnal equinox. The reason for
this is our close proximity to the Tropic of Cancer (23° 27'
latitude, the northern border of the tropics)--the point on Earth where
the sun appears the furthest north latitudinally. In our case,
the sun seems to be almost directly overhead at noon.
June is also the first month of the official Atlantic hurricane
season. If you did not prune your trees and palms in May, now is
when you should do it. Trim back dead or weak branches from trees
and make sure that you have all the limbs and fronds hauled off so that
they do not become dangerous projectiles in the event that a hurricane
approaches. While hurricanes have been rare in the month of June
(the busiest part of the season is August, September, and October), it
is not too early to prepare for one's approach. Before a
hurricane arrives is the best time to prepare your home and yard for
one. If a hurricane does approach, be sure to bring in outdoor
objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor
objects that cannot be brought inside. Secure buildings by
closing and boarding up windows. Be sure to remove outside
antennas and anything else that may have the potential to become a
lethal projectile. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones in which
winds reach constant speeds of 74 miles per hour or more, and blow in a
large spiral around a relatively calm center—the eye of the
hurricane. Stated simply, hurricanes are giant whirlwinds in
which air moves in a large tightening spiral around a center of extreme
low pressure, reaching maximum velocity in a circular band extending
outward 20 or 30 miles from the edge of the eye. Hurricanes are
nothing to fool with—if you have lived here for the last five
years, you already KNOW that. Be prepared!
This month, and all through summer, continue to fertilize since
Florida's sandy soils do not hold nutrients well and your plants may
begin to show signs of nutritional deficiencies. The heavy rains
and consistent watering help to leach away the foods plants need to do
their best. Pay special attention to plants that are heavy
feeders such as palms and cycads. Insects are still on the prowl
and will be until the cool weather sets in. Be aware and you will
be able to end infestations of bad bugs before they begin. If you
are still hoping to plant a traditional vegetable, herb or annual
garden this month these are your best bets:
Vegetables: Boniato, Calabaza, Chayote, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,
Cowpeas, Dasheen, Okra, Peanuts, Roselle, Seminole Pumpkin, New Zealand
Spinach, Southern Peas, Squash, Sweet Cassava, Sweet Potatoes,
Yard-long Beans and Yautia.
Herbs: Basil, Chives, Dill, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Sage and
Flowers: Begonias, Caladiums, Cat's Whiskers, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos,
Cockscomb, Dianthus, Gaillardia, Ginger, Impatiens, Lantanas,
Marigolds, Melapodium, Moon Vine, Pentas, Periwinkles,
Porterweed, Portulaca, Purslane, Salvia, Strawflowers, Sunflowers,
Torenia and Zinnias.
Bulbs: Achimenes, African Iris, Caladiums, Cannas, Crinums, Daylilies,
Eucharis Lily, Gladioli, Gloriosa Lilies, Society Garlic and
Zephyranthes (Rain Lilies).
Sources: Florida Home Grown; Florida Gardening Month by Month
Garden in Sarasota
1825 4th Street N, St Pete.
County Extension Service calendar for lots more gardening
Beautiful Commission in St. Petersburg
Kopsick Palm Arboretum in St. Petersburg
Monthly meetings at Moccasin Lake
2750 Park Trail Ln., Clearwater:
1st Monday, October – May, 7:00-9:00pm.
Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
First Wednesday of month, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
3rd Thursday, 7:30-9:30pm
We met on a truly lovely afternoon in Odessa, at
Joe and Bob's, for our May Meeting. Just seeing the banks of
color as we drove down the approach to their home was enough to put us
all in the mood for a great Meeting!
There was a good turn-out with about 30 members and
guests. Sandy Huff, our guest speaker, arrived early and made the
rounds meeting everyone there, and taking some of the photos here.
The potluck was a delicious mix of salads and
casseroles, with a few surprises mixed in. Jerry Zoppo's Lasagne
was the prize-winner, though he and Ron left for church before they
knew he had won. The most unusual dish was Don and Jose's Curried
Chicken Spring Rolls, and the recipe is located here: click here
Summer can be such a sad time since so many of
my friends head off for parts far and wide. Vince and Ron slipped
out of the meeting before I could give them their seasonal good-bye
hug! You guys know I will want to hear about your travels when
you get back!
After dinner, Barry took the floor to bring the club up to speed.
He talked about St. Pete Pride and our booth. He told us
that we have an electified booth #414, which is in the 24th
Street block of Central Avenue. He asked for volunteers to staff
the booth since we definitely need to build up our membership.
The schedule is here
Set up 8am -10an: Jim Nevers, Bryan Hopper, Chip Hopper. If
you have large green fronds, and any tropical flower bracts, please
bring them to the booth to be incorporated into the design.
10 - 11:00:Scott Baker and Jim Nevers
11 - 12:00
12 - 1:00 Don and Jose, Carlos, Ezequiel
1 - 2:00 Dan Brown
2 - 3:00 Larry Hughes and Michael Collin
Tear down - Barry Campbell and Joe Hiatt
Others of you volunteered to help when you arrive- Ken Custer, Brad
Hissing, Gary Peele.
If you are manning the booth, you will be talking up the club to your
customers, offering flyers and seed packets, and hopefully signing up
new members. Membership kits will be available to anyone who
joins at Pride.
People asked if we could have new club shirts in time for the booth, so
Bryan (me) sent out order forms and collected money so your shirts
should be available at the next meeting, although I am worried since
they haven't arrived here yet- so little time, so much to do!!!
Barry introduced his friend Margarita who makes mini movies about the
Tampa Bay Area that are nothing typical. She offered to make a film
about us and managed to take some footage very unobtusively at the
meeting. I have seen the finished product and it is wonderful!
Next Barry introduced Sandy Huff, our guest speaker. She is a
Master Gardener from the Florida EXtension Service out of Gainesville,
and she proved to be extremely knowledgeable and entertaining.
She spoke on propagation of plants found in a typical Florida
garden. She arrived with a garbage back of what looked like weeds
- cuttings from pruning - and finished with about 40 plants ready to
start rooting! Thanks so much, Sandy, for this excellent
presentation, and Thanks to Rich for arranging for her to come to us
while he and Austin were spending all those Euros!
meeting ended with the raffle conducted by