Here’s a list of things to do in
heat-loving annuals as well as perennials, especially those
that may be showing signs of heat
stress.Make sure to fertilize azaleas,
camellias and hibiscus for Spring color.
a compost pile or add to your existing pile. Recycle grass
clippings. Leave grass clippings on the lawn
or use them as mulch or compost.Each
full bag of clippings equals 1/4 pound of organic nitrogen fertilizer
be recycled on the lawn, in flowerbeds or in compost.
for lacebug infestations.This insect loves heat and humidity!
outdoor potted plants,
especially those that show signs of heat stress or yellowing.
Check lawns for
palm trees now.The summer rains will help the palms
establish a sufficient root system to thrive in our cool, dry Winters.Yes, it will be cool again!
landscape plants.Prune lightly to shape plants and
branching. Never remove more than 1/3 of a plant’s foliage at a
flowering plants like hibiscus, oleander and crape myrtle will produce
blooms if old blossoms and seedpods are removed.This
should be the last pruning of the year
for azaleas, as flower buds will form soon.
your vegetable garden.
Clear, till, level, and moisten soil, then cover with 2 to 6-mil clear
Mound soil over the edges of the plastic to retain heat. Leave covered
to six weeks. Solar heat will accumulate under the plastic and soil
temperatures will increase to a point where nematodes, weed seeds and
borne diseases will be killed.
Check citrus trees
for rust mites, greasy
spot and melanose diseases. Heavy
Rust Mite feeding will blemish citrus fruits by causing a brownish
discoloration of the peel. Interior quality of the fruit is not
affected. Leaf spots can be signs of greasy spot or
melanose diseases. Prune out all dead
wood and spray with copper fungicide and summer oil emulsion.
This spray will control all three problems.
iron deficiency of plants.Symptoms appear on the new growth of
Leaves are yellow, but veins appear as fine green lines. Applications
chelate or iron sulfate are effective. Check soil pH to determine if an
alkaline soil is causing the problem.
a rain shut-off device.This gadget overrides an automatic
system when rain occurs. It is inexpensive, easy to install and quickly
for itself with savings on your water bill. Florida law requires a rain
shut-off device on
new irrigation systems. HillsboroughCounty requires them on
all irrigation systems.
Contact an irrigation supply store for more information.
back poinsettias and chrysanthemums.
Poinsettias and chrysanthemums should be cut back several times through
growing season. New growth on poinsettias should be pinched back a few
when it is 12 inches or longer, 6 to 8 inch cuttings can be rooted to
potted plants for Christmas. Pinch Chrysanthemum tips when stems are 6
the season following an El Nino is ripe for
hurricanes.That's what happened in the
1926 hurricane that struck Miami and in 1992 with
Hurricane Andrew, which devastated the
southern part of Miami-DadeCounty. Check your
trees now to minimize
possible damage from these
devastating storms. Remove
dead wood, crossing limbs, stubs and weak wood from your
trees.When you hire a professional, use
only certified arborists.
Bugs are at their
particularly active on jatropha. Be alert for scale, whitefly, mites,
aphids, caterpillars, chinchbug, sod webworms, beetles and weevils.
will be on Sunday, July 21st at 5. We
will be joining our infamous Vice President Barry and his lovely
husband Barry at their garden. The are just across the river
from South Seminole Heights in Tampa.
forget to bring a
covered dish for the pot-luck and something
for the plant
raffle! Starting this month, we will have to have each of you
bring your own drinks since we currently don't have a potluck
committee to handle bringing the drinks and coolers.
to Members page If
like to help the
club by being responsible for the coolers or tables or anything else,
please contact Bud so he
can fill you in on what is needed. In the meantime, check
the hosts about seating arrangements. It may be necessary for
to bring your own chair.
of the month
This month’s jewels are Plumeria (frangipani) and their
relatives, the apocynaceae, or dogbane family, which includes oleander,
Allamanda, desert rose, confederate jasmine and Madagascar palm. This
family was recently combined with the asclepiadaceae, or milkweed
family, to include butterfly weed, Hoya, Stapelia (starfish flower) and
Stephanotis (Madagascar jasmine). The relationship can easily be seen
in the flowers and seed pods. All members of this big, happy family
have 5-petaled flowers fused at the base to form a cup or trumpet
shape.* Most are fragrant, though in the case of Stapelia, the
fragrance is attractive only to flies and carrion beetles! All have
elongated, oval seed pods that come to a point, filled with seeds
attached to silky filaments that are carried by the wind.
So far, every plant from this family that I’ve noticed growing
here is very happy in the climate and soil of coastal Florida. They are
all relatively care-free, and most are drought tolerant (an important
consideration right now!). Most provide several months of bloom and
fragrance. The only negative that comes to mind is toxicity – as
far as I know, all members of this family are poisonous, although
Hoodia gordonii extract is now being sold as an appetite suppressant
for weight loss.
Plumeria, of course, is one of the easiest plants to grow here, since
all you have to do is break off a branch and stick it in the ground.
You will have the best chance of success, though, with branches larger
than 8” long, and should let them callous in a dry, shady spot
for 1-3 weeks before putting them in soil. The leaves tend to get
covered with a fungal rust late in the summer, which can be treated
with powdered sulfur or liquid copper spray – or you can just
wait for them to fall off for the winter!
Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is a great vine for
covering a fence or arbor, and will give you 3 months of delicious
fragrance. Stephanotis flowers are equally fragrant, but much larger
and showier. Allamanda is a much shorter growing vine, and not
fragrant, but will provide color for a much longer season. The various
species of butterfly weed, or milkweed (Asclepias spp.), are care-free
plants that will seed themselves all over your butterfly garden.
Oleander, equally care-free, makes a great hedge or foundation plant
that blooms most of the year, and requires only a little annual pruning.
My new favorite milkweed relative is Cryptostegia grandiflora, the
purple allamanda or rubber vine. It has gorgeous lavender flowers over
a long season and grows easily from seed, up to 15’ long. It
requires full sun or partial shade and consistently moist, rich soil.
*Spanish jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) and other true jasmines belong
to the olive family, as seen in their 4-petaled flowers.
Last month's meeting was held at Phil;s incredible tropical garden in
the Maximo neighborhood of South St. Pete. From the inviting
pool, to the rustic boardwalk you couldn't ask for a better location
for a meeting. Add to that the beautiful weather, it was paradise!
Everyone met around the pool after being
welcomed by Joe and Bob and getting their name tags. As always,
Phil proved a very welcoming host and was happy to talk about his
garden to anyone who asked. He invited everyone to stroll through
the yard before dinner and his post dinner tour of the garden.
Bud gathered everyone together to conduct our meeting. Mike Gray talked
about the success of the Sunken Gardens
trip, happy that we had 15 people attend. He is planning more
side trips for us to participate in.
Phil led a tour of his garden,
answering all questions and explaining how he came to plant things the
way he did.
The meeting ended with our usual plant
raffle. As always, most everyone went home happily with their new
- Phil's in Maximo July
- Barry and Barry's in Tampa August
- Bud's house in Tampa September
- Donn and Jesse in Sarasota October
- Ron's in Roser Park, St. Pete November
- John and Norm's in Palm Harbor
you want to host a
meeting or event, or make a presentation, please contact one of our
- Bud Gunter Vice
- President - Barry Campbell Secretary
- Ken Nichols Treasurer
- Gary Raush Membership/emails
- Joe Kosmal and Bob Conner Raffle
Coordinator - Jim Nevers Social
Chair/Club Outings - Mike Gray Metro
Courtyard Project - Michael Schine Newsletter/Webmaster
- Bryan Hopper
I hope everyone had a great and momentous Pride Day in St. Pete and
weren't too wet from all the rain.