june 2014 newsletter
Our Oasis in Tampa
Florida gardener's almanac
two days are the same in one garden!
monthly timetable of gardening chores:
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
mid-May and lasts weeks past the autumnal equinox. The reason
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
the sun seems to be almost directly overhead at noon.
is also the
first month of the official Atlantic hurricane
season. If you did not prune your trees and palms in May, now
when you should do it. Trim back dead or weak branches from
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
(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
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
nothing to fool with—if you have lived here for the last five
years, you already KNOW that. Be prepared!
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
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
and will be until the cool weather sets in. Be aware and you
be able to end infestations of bad bugs before they begin. If
are still hoping to plant a traditional vegetable, herb or annual
garden this month these are your best bets:
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.
Chives, Dill, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Sage and
Caladiums, Cat's Whiskers, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos,
Cockscomb, Dianthus, Gaillardia, Ginger, Impatiens, Lantanas,
Marigolds, Melapodium, Moon Vine, Pentas, Periwinkles,
Portulaca, Purslane, Salvia, Strawflowers, Sunflowers,
Torenia and Zinnias.
African Iris, Caladiums, Cannas, Crinums, Daylilies,
Eucharis Lily, Gladioli, Gloriosa Lilies, Society Garlic and
Zephyranthes (Rain Lilies).
Gardening Month by Month
further interest to
1825 4th Street N, St Pete.
County Extension Service calendar
for lots more gardening
in St. Petersburg
Kopsick Palm Arboretum
in St. Petersburg
meetings at Moccasin
Park Trail Ln., Clearwater:
Monday, October – May, 7:00-9:00pm.
Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
Wednesday of month, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Our next meeting is on Sunday,
June 15th at 5pm. We are back to our Summer hours this month, so
please make note. We are in Pinellas County this month, in Clearwater,
at Frank's home just north of Countryside Mall. Most of you have never
been to Frank's so be aware that his garden is a combination of
ornamental and vegetable.
Frank has a terrific pool/patio, so if you want to swim, bring a suit
and towel. You will need to bring a chair this month. Water and
ice will be provided. We will have our usual pot-luck, so try
cooking skills on this appreciative audience. Don't forget to
bring a plant for the raffle and maybe a few dollars for the 50/50
If you plan to
bring a guest, please email
Joe so he can make your guest a nametag.
to Members page
These are some club favorites.
Not a hibiscus! This is the crepe ginger, Costus speciosus (unknown
variety – the 2nd photo shows the species). It sports the largest
flowers of any Costus, sometimes 2 or 3 open at the same time from a
single spike. The flowering spikes of red bracts continue to produce
flowers that last a single day over a period of many weeks. The
6’ – 10’ tall stalks quickly form a large clump.
Costus grows like a weed in Florida, and is very easy to propagate from
divisions or cuttings. Performs best in fertile soil with regular
water, and a few hours of direct sun each day.
Clerodendrum incisum ‘Musical Notes’
A bushy shrub 4’ tall by 3’ wide, with small leaves. The
white flowers form delicate shapes with their long tubular and rounded
structure. They appear in large masses. The unopened flowers resemble
musical notes in the bud stage - opening to showy flowers with red
stamens. Blooms on and off all year. Does best with fertile soil and
ture meeting locations
June - Frank G.
September - Dan B. in Sarasota
October - Jesse and Don in Sarasota
November - John and Norm in Palm
December - Albert and Alfred's in St. Pete
Now is the time to volunteer
your garden for a meeting. We still have a few open months this Summer,
so please consider hosting. Send
your emails to Mike G.
*** special announcement