Gardening: The brilliant bougainvillea
Published 05/22/2013 at 3:51 p.m.
When the bougainvillea is in bloom, everyone wants to know what the beautiful flowering plants seen all over the island are. This plant is without a doubt one of our most bright and colorful tropical plants. While they will flower ...
Gardening: Helping yards survive hot, dry weather
Published 05/01/2013 at 8:25 a.m.
Well it looks like we are going right from winter, of which there wasn't much, to summer. We seem to be in a summer-like rain pattern. The recent rains and late fertilizing, due to cold March temperatures, had lawns, shrubs ...
Gardening: Prepare your lawn for drought and save our valuable water resources every day
Published 04/19/2013 at 4 a.m.
You may have noticed that your lawn is drying out much faster these last few weeks. April is a very dry month averaging only 2.03 inches of potential rain fall. Add to that fact the higher temperatures and wind and ...
Gardening: The 411 on IPM – Integrated Pest Management
Published 04/10/2013 at 10:23 a.m.
The harmful effects of pesticides and other toxins on our environment are increasingly in the news. Because of our tropical climate we have more pests and diseases than most areas and therefore use more pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers. A new ...
Gardening: It's time to fertilize lawns, plants and trees
Published 04/05/2013 at 4 a.m.
April has arrived. It's time to fertilize lawns, plants and trees. While this was a very warm winter some winters are very cold and this fertilization helps plants recover from any cold damage done in the winter months. In fact, ...
Gardening: The pH of your soil can affect your yard
Published 03/14/2013 at 7:59 a.m.
The pH of your soil can affect plant growth and health. If you have an area in your yard that doesn't seem to respond to your fertilizing efforts, check your soil pH. Soil pH is the measure of acidity (sourness) ...
Gardening: Planting the proper tree
Published 03/07/2013 at 7:19 a.m.
When deciding to plant trees on your property proper tree selection is very important. You should plant the right tree in the right place. Always consider the mature size of a tree when planting. Pay particular attention to the location ...
Gardening: Spring fertilizing is important
Published 02/27/2013 at 2:41 p.m.
March is here. It is usually the start of our dry season but, unfortunately, we have been in a dry season for a while. Spring time can be very hard on our lawns and shrubs as the temperatures will begin ...
Gardening: The calm before the storm
Published 02/20/2013 at 3:24 p.m.
Toward the end of February temperatures will begin to warm a little. However, as we just saw, temperatures in the 30s and 40s are still quite common. The little rainfall we get in February will come off the Gulf of ...
Gardening: Snails and cutworms
Published 02/06/2013 at 9:56 a.m.
It is nice to see the flower beds full of annuals like begonias and petunias in yards around the island. The impatiens are noticeably missing this year due to a mildew disease which has prompted a warning about planting them
Gardening: 16 known elements required for healthy plants
Published 01/30/2013 at 5 p.m.
There are 16 known elements required for healthy plants. Three of these, carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) all can be obtained directly from air and water. The other 13 elements are supplied through the soil. These are
Gardening: Cut down on those water bills
Published 01/23/2013 at 8:12 a.m.
This is the time of year that you can damage your landscape by watering too much. Water comprises 80 to 90 percent of the fresh weight of grass and it also plays a fundamental role in the plant metabolism. Only ...
Gardening: Planting your poinsettias
Published 01/17/2013 at 10:08 a.m.
Our weather feels more like March than January! I think we are in for a warm winter this year. Many plants will be confused by this and can produce tender new growth or begin flowering early which could lead to ...
Gardening: Managing invasive plants
Published 01/10/2013 at 12:24 p.m.
I have often encouraged Marco Island residents to become better stewards of our land by learning good horticultural practices and to learn to identify and remove invasive, exotic plants from our landscapes, vacant lots and n
Gardening: The price of a beautiful lawn
Published 12/26/2012 at 4:41 p.m.
Following is a satirical look at mans environmentally unfriendly landscaping practices. It was sent to me many years ago by customers from both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do: Winterize yo
Gardening: Protecting you plants from the cold
Published 12/19/2012 at 5:57 p.m.
The winter cold has not really arrived yet this year! As a northern transplant, I love the cold weather because it always puts me in the holiday spirit. It makes my work a lot easier as well and this is ...
Gardening: Getting to the root of the problem
Published 12/13/2012 at 1:40 p.m.
Remember all of the rain we had in September and early October? We needed the water to replenish our aquifers before people arrive for the season but our plants would prefer it not come all at once. This weeks heavy, ...
Gardening: In the weeds to save your lawn
Published 11/08/2012 at 4:48 p.m.
What is that weed that reminds us northerners of snow on our lawns? If I have had one person ask me, I have had a dozen. The weed is Florida pusley (Richardia scabra) and is a native to Florida. This ...
Gardening: Multiplying your blessings
Published 11/01/2012 at 4:01 p.m.
Learning how to propagate plants is an exciting way to share with others. Plants can be propagated by sexual or asexual means. Sexual propagation is starting plants from seed. Multiplying of plants from vegetative plant part
Gardening: How much mulch do you need
Published 10/25/2012 at 1:37 p.m.
[No Paragraph Style]BC BodycopyThis is the time of year when snow birds and tourists return to the island. Everyone is busy cleaning the last of the summer growth from their landscapes. Many people will begin mulching their gardens as mulching ...
Gardening: When it comes to fertilizer, moderation is best
Published 10/18/2012 at 1:16 p.m.
You want to apply fertilizer while it is still warm, as the plants won't take in the nutrients if they become dormant with the cold weather. It will be important for your plants to be strong and healthy going into ...
Gardening: Ready for the fall
Published 10/04/2012 at 1 p.m.
Fall is here and the month of October will bring cooler and dryer weather to our gardens. The month begins with high temperatures in the 90s but ends with highs in the mid-80s. Lows will be in the mid 60s ...
Gardening: Ridding the weeds
Published 09/27/2012 at 12:36 p.m.
Are the weeds invading your turf? The cooler weather of October will mean that it will be safe to have your lawn treated with a herbicide to try and bring them under control. Treating your lawn for weeds with temperatures ...
Gardening: Watching the grass grow
Published 09/13/2012 at 11:24 a.m.
The summer rainy season got off to a slow start with an unusually dry June and July. We were all hoping for rain and we got what we wished for! The last several weeks of rain has caused a flush ...
Gardening: The mow and grow scenario
Published 09/06/2012 at 4:52 p.m.
Proper mowing of your lawn can kill weeds and chinch bugs, cure disease, save water and provide fertilizer. However, improper mowing can be harmful. Mowing is stressful to grass because it is meant to grow tall, mature and m
Gardening: September welcomes more chinch bugs
Published 08/30/2012 at 1 p.m.
September is upon us with another month of heat and heavy rain. This month is the height of hurricane-season, so Tropical Storm Isaac was right on time. And, there are more on the horizon which will hopefully go elsewhere.
Gardening: Be safe when working outside
Published 08/23/2012 at 2:48 p.m.
Whew! Summer temperatures are here. Just walking from the house to the car is grueling. If your job involves work in that grueling environment for eight to 12 hours, every day it can become dangerous enough to kill you.
Gardening: Sod webworm takes a bite out of Marco
Published 08/09/2012 at 2:08 p.m.
Walking through lawns right now causes large swarms of small, dingy moths to fly up all around you. These moths will turn into caterpillars which are the immature or larval stages of the annoying moths.
Gardening: Welcome to unbearable August
Published 08/02/2012 at 12:44 p.m.
August is here and temperatures this month will have highs of about 90-95 and lows in the mid-70s. With more than eight inches of rain this is usually one of the wettest and most humid months.Keep in mind that though ...
Gardening: Striking the right balance
Published 07/26/2012 at 11:33 a.m.
As we get further in the summer season heavy rains can flush nutrients from the soil. Following is a guide to help you with the symptoms of various nutritional deficiencies you might see. There are 16 known elements required
Guest Commentary: Nuisance, swale parking in Olde Marco
Published 07/19/2012 at 11:12 a.m. 12 Comments
The problem of nuisance, swale parking by restaurant patrons in Olde Marco is not a new one. In the early 90s the Snook Inn expanded its outdoor seating and the Old Marco Pub opened. Patrons of the Snook Inn and ...
Gardening: Watering your lawn during rainy season
Published 07/05/2012 at 11:32 a.m.
If you are one of the people who say its summer so I can turn off my sprinklers, this columns for you. In spite of the fact that we are in the rainy season, signs of water stress can appear ...
Gardening: Rainy days bring more mosquitos
Published 06/29/2012 at 8:37 a.m.
Mosquitoes! With the dry start to the rainy season this year, the mosquito outbreaks have not been as bad as in years past. However, our recent visit from Debby has created a lot of standing water in our neighborhoods created ...
Gardening: All or nothing: Summer rains bring new threat
Published 06/14/2012 at 2:48 p.m.
Summer rains have begun. Along with the rain is a disease that attacks lawns on Marco Island and causes them to slowly die. After treatments with the usual fungicides from spray companies failed to stop the slow death of many ...
Gardening: Readying your lawns for storm season
Updated 06/01/2012 at 10:16 a.m.
With two named storms before the official beginning of hurricane season, we could be in for a busy season. With that said you should know how to minimize wind damage in your landscape.
Gardening: The return of the royal palm bug
Published 05/25/2012 at 2:17 p.m.
I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to Switzerland. Spring was just budding forth when I arrived so the fields were full of wild flowers, tulips and daffodils. The climate there is similar to Vermont where I was born and ...
Gardening: Rains are good, but they bring a pest
Published 04/26/2012 at 1:49 p.m.
The recent rains may have been enough to be somewhat of a relief for our parched lawns. While this rain will help to slow the damage caused by the drought it is also going to cause a population of chinch ...
Gardening: Bougainvillea in bloom
Published 04/12/2012 at 2:17 p.m.
When the bougainvillea is in bloom, everyone wants to know what the beautiful flowering plants seen all over the island are. This plant is without a doubt one of our most bright and colorful tropical plants.
Gardening: The water we need to feed our lawns
Published 04/06/2012 at 9:43 a.m.
It’s spring and we need rain. This much needed water would help to refresh our drought stricken lawns and gardens. It would also activate the fertilizer applied this spring which will add strength to help them better survive the rest ...
Gardening: Preparing for summer growing season
Published 03/30/2012 at 8:26 a.m.
After our colder winter months it is time to start thinking about pruning the shrubs in the yard to remove any cold damage or just to renovate, reduce size and prepare them for the summer growing season. We were lucky ...
Gardening: Many methods to manage pests, less pesticide
Published 03/22/2012 at 3:26 p.m.
The harmful effects of pesticides and other toxins on our environment are increasingly in the news. Because of our tropical climate we have more pests and diseases than most areas and therefore use more pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers. A lot ...
Gardening: The fruit of our labors
Published 03/15/2012 at 2:47 p.m.
So many fruit trees are flowering and setting fruit right now. Citrus, mango, avacado, pineapple, and many more. Two of my favorites are the jaboticaba and surinam cherry.
Gardening: There are poisonous plants on Marco
Published 03/08/2012 at 3:29 p.m.
Many shrubs and trees we plant in our landscapes can be poisonous to humans and animals. Some are toxic if ingested and others may be irritating to the skin.
Gardening: Winter recovery calls for fertilization
Published 03/01/2012 at 2:03 p.m.
March has arrived. It is time to fertilize lawns, plants and trees. While this was a very warm winter some are very cold and this fertilization helps plants recover from any cold damage done in the winter months.
Gardening: Spring harkens hot and dry ahead
Published 02/23/2012 at 3:34 p.m.
March is here. It is usually the start of our dry season but, unfortunately, we have been in a dry season for a while.
Gardening: Do you have snails or cutworms
Published 02/16/2012 at 4:59 p.m.
It is nice to see the flower beds full of annuals like impatiens, begonias and petunias in yards around the island. Unfortunately, some voracious flower eaters are also delighted to see the flowers. If you have holes in the flower ...
Gardening: Hissssss-teria over snakes
Published 02/10/2012 at 3:21 p.m.
Snakes and alligators are two of the most feared species we live with on the edge of the Everglades. According to National Geographic News, Florida has unfortunately developed an established population of three large, alien constrictors or snakes.
Gardening: Learning how to propagate plants is an exciting way to share your plants with others
Published 02/02/2012 at 2:12 p.m.
Plants can be propagated by sexual or asexual means. Sexual propagation is starting plants from seed. Multiplying of plants from vegetative plant parts such as shoots, roots and leaves or bulbs and corms is called asexual propagation. Asexual propagation will ...
Gardening: Fruit trees ... the bear essentials
Published 01/28/2012 at 12:19 p.m. 1 Comment
Blossom and fruit drop and fruit splitting are fairly common problems for fruit trees. While losing blossoms and small fruit from your fruit trees can be disturbing it is usually a natural process.
Gardening: Protecting your pink hibiscus
Published 01/19/2012 at 3:56 p.m.
As I mentioned in my last column, many pests can feed on hibiscus making this a very high maintenance choice for your landscape. Chewing insects include caterpillars, grasshoppers, snails and slugs, beetles, cut worms and leaf miners. Piercing-sucking insects include ...