met last month for the August meeting at Phil’s beautiful
home and lush
gardens in South St. Petersburg.Thanks,
Phil, for providing us with a
wonderful location for our Meeting!
Our next Meeting
will be on Sunday, September 18 at
at Radhames Senior's home in Tampa. Radhames is our visually impaired member, so I am
expecting a very scented garden. PLEASE remember to
bring a chair so
there will be enough seating for all, and bring something to share in
potluck as well as the plant raffle!No
RSVP is necessary.
Directions to next meeting: Login to Members page
Florida Gardener's Almanac:
September in the Florida Garden:
September marks the starts of
Florida’s Fall gardening season.
If you are a keen observer of nature, you will begin seeing the shadows
getting longer and longer in the afternoon and the first swallows of
the season from up north flitting around on their way south.
"Continued warm and scattered showers" will be a familiar refrain from
the TV weathermen and we will be hearing more and more about tropical
storms and hurricanes since we are now in the thick of their seasonal
activity. Despite the feeling that this month sometimes seems
hotter than last, make no mistake about it, there are only twenty-two
more days left of summer then the cooler, dryer weather will be upon us. September also
tends to be one of Florida's wettest months.
Because of this, lush growth can be expected from many of your plants,
but flowers will not be so evident. This is the month, however,
when mangos, avocados and guavas ripen. And now is the time to
begin starting vegetable seeds throughout much of the state. Make
sure that you have enriched your gardening plots with peat, composted
products, or animal manures before you put your seedlings out! If
your land tends to flood during the heavy seasonal rains, consider
building raised beds and run your beds east and west to take advantage
of the sunlight as we move into the winter season. If you have a
black thumb when it comes to starting seeds many garden centers and
nurseries will have transplants available. If you do
decide on trying to start seeds, make sure not to plant them too
deeply--follow the recommendations on the packet -- most seeds need
only to be barely covered with soil to sprout successfully.
Additionally, be sure to water daily if for some reason the rains do
not do it for you. If you are a
gardener who chooses to live in an area with zero lot lines, consider container
Make sure to use big enough containers for large vegetables like
peppers, tomatoes and squashes so they do not become pot-bound. A
four to five gallon sized container is usually what they require. Consider
mulching planted beds.
Mulch is also an important consideration this time of the year to help
keep weeds in check, to help enrich the soil and to prevent the soil
from drying out when we get into the dry season. Pests are also
of major concern when growing vegetables.
You may not see stinkbugs, cabbageworms, tomato hornworms or big-legged
bugs all year, but as soon as their favorite vegetables begin growing,
they know it and will be in your garden before you know it. Hand
picking the insects may solve the problem, but if not, please read all
the directions and take the proper precautions when applying pesticides
for control. Pesticides are, after all, poisons and they can take
a toll on more than just the bad bugs in your garden.
Insecticides do not differentiate between good bugs, bad bugs, birds,
fish, pets or you. They can and will harm all of the above
if not used with due care. If you are
growing bougainvilleas this is the last month to prune them and only
for the removal of awkward growth.
Do not water or feed them again until the early part of next
summer. If you do not follow this advice it may negatively effect
flower production next season. This is also
the last time to prune poinsettias. Poinsettia
flower buds begin forming after the middleof October. If you
desire a nice show for the holiday season, do not prune them after this
month. Because the best flowers on poinsettias are produced at
the tips of healthy branches, encourage your plants to make as many
branches as possible with judicious pruning. Small, spindly
plants will require more pruning than plants with large trunks and
strong branches. After pruning you may give your poinsettias a
shot of general-purpose fertilizer then some high potash fertilizer at
the end of October. When new foliage begins to show after
pruning, watch out for hornworms, which are fond of the new tender
foliage. Also be careful of where your poinsettias are planted as
they rely on the shortening of the daylight they receive as a cue to
begin budding. Car lights, porch lights and streetlights will
throw this timing off. Poinsettias bloom when they enter a
reproductive state when the nights are 12 hours long or longer.
This reproductive state can be interrupted by even small light sources
that shine on the plants when they are supposed to be in the dark of
night. If this reproductive state is interrupted the plants will
not bloom. Best bets for
starting a traditional garden this month are: Vegetables:
Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage,
Carrots, Cauliflower, Collards, Cucumbers, Eggplants, Escarole, Kale,
Lettuce, Mustard, Onion Sets, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Romaine,
Rutabagas, Spinach, Squash, Strawberries, Sweet Corn, Swiss Chard,
Tomatoes and Turnips. Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage,
Chervil, Marjoram, Parsley, Sesame and Thyme. Flowers:
Asters, Baby's Breath, Bachelor's Buttons, Balsam, Calendulas,
Candytufts, Carnations, Cosmos, Cockscombs, Daisies, Dianthus,
Forget-Me-Nots, Gaillardias, Globe Amaranth, Hollyhocks, Lace Flowers,
Lobelias, Lupines, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Salvias, Scabiosa,
Snapdragons, Statice, Stock, Strawflowers, Sweetpeas, Sweet William,
Verbenas and Zinnia.
Home Grown; Florida Gardening Month by Month
August Meeting was held at Phil's home and tropical gardens in St.
wonderful venue to enjoy a steamy summer afternoon!
Joe welcomed everyone to the house and gave out badges.
The pool and patio were very
inviting and we
had a nice group of about 28 people for the Meeting. A few took a
few minutes to enjoy the pool before the meeting started, while others
just sat out around the patio catching up with old friends.
The potluck was set up in the garage, so after the food judges did
their taste test, everyone got into line for the dinner. There
were salads, casseroles, pasta dishes, plenty for everyone.
started the meeting shortly after everyone finished eating. He
announced that the board voted to move the membership period to January
- December, and then to have the election of officers in January as it
is a less busy time of year for the club. We then voted on
changing the start time for meetings for the Winter months. Bryan
said there were people who asked for a later start time to allow for
those who like to go to church. He also pointed out that for late
sleepers, the 1pm start time is too much of a rush. Everyone
voted and it was decided to keep the current 1pm start time for the
announced the winning dishes for the month. Don and Jose's
Mediterranean Salad took first prize, and Bryan's seven layer salad and
Eric's Pasta Carbonara took honorable mention.
Bryan talked about some of the changes he has been making to the web
site. He asked for suggestions on what we can do to better
it, and opinions on how it works for everyone.
introduced his guest
speaker - Bruce Turley from Wilcox Nursery in Largo. Bruce talked
about Florida Natives that crave shade. We all trouped to the front
yard to see his presentation. He brought a pickup truck full of
plants to make sure we had plenty of variety and offered them for us at
a discount after his talk.
meeting ended with the raffle conducted by Jim.The raffle featured worthy
additions to the Florida
including Pride of
Message from our
Club officer contact
Click on any link to send an email to that