We met at John and
Norm's last month in Palm Harbor. The day was perfect, as was the
welcome setting. Thanks for allowing us to invade your haven once
will be on Sunday, September 16th at 5:00.
We will be heading closer to home, to
Pinellas Park this month. We are invited to Islands Bamboo, 6540 85th
Avenue Pinellas Park, FL 33781. This is a business,
so we will have to bring our own chairs if you plan to eat sitting
down! They will be providing the program this month on - you
guessed it! BAMBOO! Bring
enough to share in the potluck and don't forget the plant
raffle! Directions to next
meeting: Login to Members page
Florida Gardener's Almanac:
monthly timetable of gardening chores:
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.
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.
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
I was lucky enough to get to this meeting, and am very glad I did.
The weather was perfect, with the nicest breeze off the pond.
There were about 20 of us, including several new faces., so
hopefully they will be joining us regularly.
Randy and Shiva arrived a few hours early to set up and enjoy the pool,
so everything was all arranged when we arrived. You guys don't
get enough credit for all that you do! For instance, did you know
that Shiva takes most all of the photographs that appear here and on
John eagerly led everyone around the house for a meet and greet
of the children - the musical instruments., offering to demonstrate any
that struck the eye or interest.. Of course the newest acquisition -
the calliope - was played often!
After dinner, it fell on me to lead the business meeting. You all know
how much I love to do that and how comfortable I am at public
speaking! I told the group that our next big event was the Tampa
Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival in October. I
discussed how we have participated in different ways in the past, from
assisting in the theatre to running an ad in the program. I gave
everyone a rundown on the prices for ads and we decided that it was
more than we could currently afford. I asked if we had any
volunteers to help us if we manned a table and assisted the festival
folks at the theatre. It was nearly 100% opting to participate this
year, so there will be more information to follow on the subject.
We then headed out to hear the presentation.
Our guest speaker
was Gregory Sytch, the president of the Begonia Society and an avid
horticulturist specializing in begonias. Since we have seldom
ever talked about begonias, this was a very welcome program. Greg
brought many different examples of begonias, including several
varieties that are still in the hybridization process and not ready for
mass production. He gave a fully rounded talk about how to
propagate - including his recipe for his lighter than air potting mix -
how much to fertilize and how to recognize growth problems. He
then offered the majority of his samples at very reasonable prices.
1 even bought one, and you all know how tight I am with a dollar!
After the presentaton, we moved around the house to the front side to
hold the plant raffle. Since our Raffleator was unavailable-
preparing for school, we held a very informal raffle without the usual
plant identification process. It made for a bit of a problem
trying to decide which plants to pick! Jim, you were sorely
are for the calendar year and now due.Pay
online, or pay at our next meeting.