August 2011 newsletter
Bob and Mike
Our most recent meeting
met last month for the July meeting at Bob Osswald's Clearwater home
and garden. He and Mike provided us with a guest speaker,
so there wasn't much left for us to do but set up and clear up
afterwards. Thank guys, for
providing us with a wonderful location for our Meeting!
next Meeting will be on Sunday, August 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm at Phil
Stager's in Maximo. He has a lovely
pool and patio area which will be open for all to use, so make sure
to bring your swimsuit and a towel if you want to take a dip!.
PLEASE remember to bring a chair so there
will be enough seating for
all, and bring something to share in the potluck as well as the plant
raffle! No RSVP is necessary
Directions to next meeting: Login to Members page
Florida Gardener's Almanac:
The Height of Summer! Here’s a list of things to do in your
Suncoast Garden this month.
Trees and Ornamentals. Shop for a fertilizer that contains
or timed-release nitrogen. To determine the correct amount of
fertilizer to use, simply divide the first number on the fertilizer bag
(which represents nitrogen) into 100. Apply this amount per 1,000
square feet of lawn and landscape area. Broadcast the fertilizer over
the soil or mulch and water. The nutrient and water absorbing roots of
trees and shrubs are concentrated in the upper 6 to 12 inches of soil
so there is no need to punch holes in the soil--simply water the
lacebug infestations. Examine plants weekly. These
sucking insects attack azalea, pyracantha, and sycamore producing
whitish speckling on the upper leaf surface. Shiny black spots of
excrement can be found on the underside. Treat when necessary with an
insecticide or horticultural oil.
Spray roses to
prevent black spot and powdery mildew disease.
Symptoms of black spot are dark, round spots with yellow halos followed
by dropping leaves. Purchase a fungicide labeled for the control of
these diseases and follow label directions.
muscadine grapes after harvest. Mature, producing vines
should receive 4 to 6 pounds per year of 6-6-6 or 8-8-8 with 25% to 30%
of the nitrogen from slow release sources. Split applications are more
efficient than a single application so use 1 1/4 to 2 pounds per
application and apply three times per year (recommended times are late
March, May and just after harvest).
outdoor potted plants. Soluble fertilizers should be
applied frequently during the spring and summer months. Or a slow
release fertilizer, such as Osmocote can be applied once or twice
during the season.
and cycad deficiencies. Queen palm, paurotis palm,
and king sago frequently develop manganese deficiencies. Look for
yellow, brown, or distorted growth on new leaves. Foliar sprays of
manganese sulfate (not to be confused with magnesium sulfate) at a rate
of 1 teaspoon per gallon along with one pound of manganese sulfate
applied to soil will correct this deficiency on the next flush of
matter to garden soil. Grass clippings, leaves,
manure or compost are all suitable as soil amendments. Till it in, wait
two weeks and have soil pH tested. County Cooperative Extension offices
offer soil-testing services.
vegetable seeds directly in the garden or seed bed. Sow
watermelon seeds by the 10th, but delay planting others until
mid-month. Sow seed no deeper than twice its diameter.
flower and seed heads from annuals, perennials and crape myrtle.
Prune off old flowers to encourage blooming.
Groom roses to
enhance fall bloom. Remove dead and dying twigs
and reduce length of excessively long canes. This is a neatening, not a
poinsettias for the last time. Flower buds initiate
in October. Pruning after September 10 results in small bracts
(flowers) or none at all.
Take 4 to 6 inch cuttings of tip growth. Remove
lower leaves. Dip cut ends in rooting hormone and stick cuttings in a
sterile, moist soil mix. Cover soil and cuttings with a clear plastic
bag. Place in strong, indirect light.
plants during the rainy season. June through September
are usually rainy months. New plants require frequent irrigation to get
established, but you can reduce work and water by taking advantage of
according to the needs of plants. Lawn grasses and
vegetables may need 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water twice a week in summer.
Water the lawn when 30 to 50% of the lawn shows signs of wilt
(blue-gray color, folded blades). Place a few shallow cans or glasses
in the irrigated zones and measure how much your sprinklers apply.
Adjust your timer schedule accordingly. Landscape and fruiting plants
will suffice with 1 inch of water per week. A rain shut-off device will
override an automatic irrigation system in the event of rain.
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
I'm sorry I couldn't make it to the July meeting, but I had a
bedroom accident - a fall out of bed - when my CPAP machine went
on the blink. The July Meeting was held at Bob Osswald's home in central Clearwater,
under a number of trees, which made for a lovely setting. If
anyone took photos, please send me a set of copies for the newsletter
since I don't have any.
We had our nice crowd of attendees - about 30 including guests, so
it was comfortable. We finally got our old friends John and Norm
back, who had been busy with their multiple other clubs and
organizations. We sure are glad they can make room for us again
in their busy schedules as I haven't seen or heard their latest
acquisition - the calliope!
There was a delicious selection of food, including light dishes and
summer salads. Jerry Zoppo took home first place yet again for
one of his homemade Italian delights! Three months in a row for
Jerry, we had better all take it up a notch to try and beat him.
We can't get complacent when food is in the balance!
Remember, you get 2nd choice of the plants from the raffle, which
can be quite an excellent prize!
photos not from meeting
started off the meeting by presenting our latest ideas for the approval
of the club. The board thought it would be good for everyone to
change the expiration date of dues from September to December with
memberships going from January to January. Likewise, we thought
it a good idea to make club officer's positions for the same span.
Since the majority of those present agreed to the changes, the changes
have gone into effect. Next election will be in January. I,
for one, am stepping down. I hope someone will step foreward to
take my place as the newsletter writer, and someone else will take over
the website design/upkeep, while someone else will step up to be
secretary to maintain the minutes of our board and general meetings.
I believe there are other officers who are
down from their present positions and there is an urgent need for
take their places if the Club is going to continue to thrive.
introduced his guest speaker from the Permaculture Guild who spoke
about creating a sustainable garden which includes flowers, shrubs,
vegetables and fruits. A great part of the permaculture tradition
is the idea of sharing the surplus! We try to do that too,
through our raffle, which often has seeds/ seedlings/ fruit from our
existing gardens to share with others.
meeting ended with the raffle conducted by Jim. The raffle featured worthy additions to the Florida
garden, including ferns and flowering plants.
Raffle is an important part of the club meetings. At the last
meeting we had fewer plants than people, so the variety of plants was
not as in previous months. Please remember to bring a plant or
two for the raffle so that we can continue to have the great selection
we have had in the past. If
you do not have any plants started, then you might want to consider
visit to your local nursery or home improvement store to pick up an
plan or two. Plus, participating in the
raffle is fun! Let’s all try to keep
raffle selection top-notch in terms of number and variety!
A message from
Bryan: Many of you already know that I am planning to give up my
place on the board this year. I have been writing the newsletter
almost since the club started, taking over from Jim's very capable
hands. I did give it up for a while when Brad took over for me
since I had the website to muddle through as well, which did make
things much easier for me. Now I am ready to give it up entirely.
Let's look at this as a chance for any four of you to help out
the club. Yes, I did say 4 of you because I don't expect any one
person to take over all of my duties as they didn't originate that way.
It will work better for all of you if you can work together to
get the job done.
First we need a club secretary. If you can take notes, and
maintain the key points so you can help others to understand them, you
will be a good secretary. Notes are taken at the monthly board
meetings and you should also take them at the general meeting - who
spoke, who won? what happened??? All good things to pass along to
other board members to help them get their jobs done. You also
get to read/answer the club mail.
Next we need a photographer. If you have a digital camera, and
understand the basics of photography, you could be a shoe-in for this
office! My camera is 12 years old and is only 3.1megapixel, so
size doesn't matter! Take photos of the people and setting and
you can't go wrong. I generally take about 50 - 100 photos each
month. You choose the best of the lot and send them to the person
writing the newsletter.
Next we need someone to write the newsletter. You just write
about the monthly club meeting. You can write it around the photos that
you have gotten from the photographer. You can do it the same
evening as the meeting occurred in your favorite text program.
You just email the newsletter and photos to the person who will become
The webmaster is the most daunting of my tasks according to everyone I
ask, although I don't give it a second thought. I also don't think that
I know everything that I should know, but I can hold my own as a
non-computer geek! I use only 3 programs to pull the website
together - Photoshop Elements to edit photos, Nvu to design the pages,
Filezilla to upload the completed page and photos to the website.
You don't need to use what I use, although they are free programs
and easy to use. I will show any of you how to use them, just
give me a call.
My fellow Rakes
and Blades friends:
Hopefully, as you are reading this, we are all basking in the glow of our beautiful and
fragrant gardens which we have worked on so hard for and for so
many years. All of the rain that you have been getting for the
past few weeks has been avoiding my neighborhood, so I have had to
break a few of the watering laws to keep things alive in this hot time
of the year.
This past month we had a
fantastic meeting in the home of Bob Oswald, with his partner Mike
Tobias helping. What a beautiful house! Very Frank Lloyd Wright
feeling, and the decor was fantastic as well. The kitchen was my
favorite with the tile coming down to cover the drawers. Very unique.
Also the wall that was actually all doors - the AC closet, and a door
to the bedrooms. That took some thinking and was a unique touch! And
the property was beautiful with big trees, and plantings!
Our speaker was also very
informative concerning how to plant a garden using a layered effect, to
produce a tremendous garden.
For those of you that were not
there, the general membership voted to accept the suggestions of
the board regarding membership and officers. The board
thought that we should change our membership to run from January
through December. That way dues for everyone will be due just as
the New Year settles. Likewise we wanted to change the span of
office for all the board members to the same time frame. It
is a slower time of year for the board and should make it much easier
to each of you to assimilate into an office when the time comes.
Our next big event is the Film
Festival, and I would ask that all of you please think seriously about
volunteering at the booth we plan this year. Just make it a part of the
Film Festival experience, and you will enjoy the time, as well as
getting to see some great movies. We picked up 7 new members at the
Pride event, so will proibably continue with the sign up, for new
members, at the Film Festival!
Our next meeting is at Phil
Stager's home, and you must see this beautiful garden full of Crotons,
Bamboos, and many other tropical plants! Hope to see all of you then!
Club officer contact
Click on any link to send an email to that
President - Barry
Vice President -
Treasurer - Gary
Social Director - Rich Gill
Coordinator - Rich Pollin
Editor - VACANT
Membership Directors - Joe Kosmal and Bob
Coordinator - Jim Nevers
Coordinator - VACANT
Committee - Vacant
Webmaster - Bryan Hopper