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EILEEN WARD

Title: Columnist - Marco Eagle
Contact: 239-394-1413

Recent Work

  • Gardening: Tropical ornamental shrubs a must have Published 04/16/2014 at 8:38 a.m.

    Tropical ornamental shrubs are an important element in the home landscapes of South Florida. Some have brightly colored leaves or flower much of the year. Almost all are evergreen, meaning they keep their leaves year round. This allows you to ...

  • Gardening: The consequences of soil compaction Published 03/26/2014 at 2:06 p.m.

    Soil compaction can bring with it serious consequences when trying to grow anything green. In fact it can be almost impossible to establish or maintain plants in compacted soil because it interferes with the movement of water, air, nutrients and ...

  • Gardening: Azaleas putting on a show Published 03/13/2014 at 1:49 p.m.

    The azaleas have been in bloom since February and will be in bloom through April. Some will bloom as early as Christmas here in South Florida. They are beautiful plants with masses of spring flowers in many color variations.

  • Gardening: Flowering shrubs and trees help make Marco a colorful place to be Published 02/26/2014 at 10:47 a.m.

    There are many flowering shrubs and trees either in bloom or just beginning to bloom right now around Marco Island. Several people have asked me about the pretty pink trees blooming in the medians.

  • Gardening: A widespread palm disease affecting trees all over Marco Published 02/13/2014 at 9:30 a.m. 1 Comment

    Ganoderma Butt Rot is a widespread palm disease affecting trees all over Marco Island and the southeastern United States. This disease has been found on about 40 or 50 species but it is thought that all species are probably susceptible. ...

  • Gardening: Conltrolling your insect population Published 02/05/2014 at 2:34 p.m. 2 Comments

    Our weather allows for insect activity year round. For those of you who prefer to try the natural way of controlling pests in your yard there is integrated pest management. When using integrated pest management in your yard proper identification ...

  • Gardening: Timing is everything Published 01/29/2014 at 8:07 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: Careful not to over water your lawn Published 01/22/2014 at 1:25 p.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: How the cold affects your lawn Published 01/08/2014 at 11:37 a.m.

    The winter cold was very late in arriving this year. As a northern transplant, I love the cold weather because it always puts me in the holiday spirit. I had to find other ways of doing that this year. It ...

  • Gardening: A you ready for a cool January? Published 12/30/2013 at noon

    January is here and we will still experience cold temperatures since it is the second coolest month of the year. The average temperatures are in the 65 degree range with highs in the 70s or low 80s and lows in ...

  • Gardening: Ridding yourself of Florida pusley Published 12/12/2013 at 7:42 a.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: Make the most of December Published 12/04/2013 at 2:02 p.m.

    I hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving with family or friends. The recent cloudy and rainy weather has put this northern transplant in a holiday mood. While after 32 years here, I still find warm sunny weather a bit of ...

  • Gardening: Are the weeds invading your turf? Published 11/01/2013 at 4 a.m.

    The cooler weather of November means 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 in the 90s can stress and damage ...

  • Gardening: Height, width and plant selection Published 10/24/2013 at 1:38 p.m.

    When choosing a plant for a particular landscaping area, the mature height and width of the plant is a very important factor to consider. Plants can become stressed when constant pruning is necessary to keep the plant at our desired ...

  • Gardening: Not all bulbous plants are true bulbs Published 10/17/2013 at 12:56 p.m.

    While we can't grow tulips or any of the other northern bulbs here in Florida we do have other bulbs that like our tropical climate. Amaryllis is one of the most beautiful bulbs we can grow here in South Florida. ...

  • Gardening: How does your garden grow? Published 10/09/2013 at 12:56 p.m.

    This is not only the season for growing annuals in South Florida it is also the season for growing vegetables. You don't need a lot of land to grow a few vegetable plants and enjoy some fresh produce from your ...

  • Gardening: Hooray fall! Come on winter Published 10/02/2013 at 11:37 a.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: The right treament at the right time Published 09/25/2013 at 8:52 a.m.

    When using integrated pest management in your yard proper identification of insects is a must. There are many books available with pictures and information on the insects of Florida. A very good one is titled "Florida Insects" and costs under ...

  • Gardening: Proper mowing, watering for your lawn Published 09/19/2013 at 9:59 a.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 make seeds. ...

  • Gardening: Keep a close eye on your lawn Published 09/11/2013 at 10:40 a.m.

    September is here with another month of heat and heavy rain. This month is the height of hurricane-season. We've been lucky so far but the season is not over yet. Remember all of the hurricane preparation and clean-up tips to ...

  • Gardening: Rain at night gives grass a fright Published 08/28/2013 at 9:56 a.m.

    Wet weather can cause many plants to develop disease. Many of these rain storms happen during the evening and overnight hours leaving plants wet for many hours. Fungus spreads rapidly when you have free water on leaf surfaces for too ...

  • Gardening: Look up and around before planting Published 08/15/2013 at 4 a.m.

    Don't ignore growth size when selecting a new tree or bush. Eileen Ward tells us what to look for.

  • Gardening: Creating a habitat Published 08/06/2013 at 10:20 a.m.

    To create an environment that suits your property, keep your environmental community in mind. Don't try to grow salt sensitive plants on the beach or plants requiring good drainage in low, boggy areas. A jungle or hammock will be cooler ...

  • Gardening: Marco's microclimates Published 07/30/2013 at 2:48 p.m.

    The flora and fauna of South Florida are quite diverse, made up of microclimate environments called communities. Each of these communities has its own plants and animals that rarely leave their own area. These are broken out as coastal dunes, ...

  • Gardening: Your guide to July Published 07/09/2013 at 10:49 a.m.

    Second only to August, July is one of the hottest months with high temperatures averaging 90 degrees and lows averaging 75 degrees. We can expect at least eight inches of rain making July a very wet month. That sounds like ...

  • Gardening: The perfect palms Published 06/19/2013 at 11:03 a.m.

    We have many different species of palm trees on Marco Island due to our favorable climate for their growth. They come in many shapes and sizes from large majestic trees to small shrubs. Some have single trunks while others have ...

  • Gardening: Without treatment, it will 'take all' Published 06/12/2013 at 1:59 p.m.

    Summer rains have begun and along with the rain is a disease that attacks lawns on Marco Island that causes them to slowly die. After treatments with the usual fungicides from spray companies failed to stop the slow death of ...

  • Gardening: Chinch bugs are coming Published 05/29/2013 at 9:51 a.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: 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 man’s 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 week’s 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 ...

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