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. 9 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 ...
Gardening: Hibiscus has tremendous flower variations
Published 01/12/2012 at 11:04 a.m.
Hibiscus plants are blooming profusely all over Marco right now. This plant seems to love the cold weather. Perhaps it is because the severe cold helps control some of the insects that constantly cause the blossoms to drop. Whatever the ...
Shift gears for the new year
Published 12/29/2011 at 5:37 p.m.
January is here and we will still experience cold temperatures since it is the second coolest month of the year. The average will be in the 65 degree range with highs in the 70s or low 80s and lows in ...
Gardening: Decorate those palms
Published 12/22/2011 at 11:54 a.m.
Christmas in Florida. The balmy weather, palm trees swaying in the gentle breezes off the Gulf of Mexico with Christmas lights twinkling on their fronds and yards with green grass and colorful flowers.
Gardening: An education on nonnative plants
Published 12/15/2011 at 4:11 p.m.
I have often encouraged Marco Island residents to become better stewards of our land by learning good horticultural practices and how to identify and remove invasive, exotic plants. When nonnative plants spread extensively and displace native plants they become invasive ...
Gardening: Your plants and the cold
Published 12/08/2011 at 2:38 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: It's not snow, it's a patch of Florida pusley
Published 12/02/2011 at 11:45 a.m.
What is that weed that reminds us northerners of snow on our lawns? The weed is Florida pusley (Richardia scabra) and is a native to Florida.
Gardening: Are the weeds invading your turf?
Published 10/27/2011 at 2:35 p.m.
Cooler weather means that it will be safe to have your lawn treated with a herbicide to try and bring those pesky weeds under control. Treating your lawn for weeds with temperatures in the 90s can stress and damage your ...
Gardening: Feeding the green
Published 10/13/2011 at 4:26 p.m.
It is time to think about fertilizing your shrubs, trees and lawns. Our sandy soil allows nutrients to readily leach from the soil so it is important to replenish these nutrients with fertilizer. You want to apply fertilizer while it ...
Gardening: Control your thatch before it controls your lawn
Published 09/29/2011 at 2:20 p.m.
Thatch is that brown layer of living and dead organic material that develops between the green vegetation and the soil surface. It imports a sponginess to the turf. Thatch consists of dead and dying leaves, stems, stolons, rhizomes and roots. ...
Gardening: Rain and heat take a heavy toll on your lawn
Published 09/22/2011 at 1:17 p.m.
September is here with another month of heat and heavy rain. This month is the height of hurricane season, so tropical rains and wind are likely. Remember all of the hurricane preparation and clean up tips to help you through ...
Gardening: Summer heat can be a killer when working outside
Published 08/26/2011 at 3:20 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. Outdoor ...
Gardening: It’s an ixora kind of summer
Published 08/12/2011 at 12:56 p.m.
The ixora are in their full flowering glory right now. During the summer months the ixora is one of the most colorful flowering shrubs in our landscapes.
Gardening: August and all the outdoor challenges that come with it
Published 08/05/2011 at 11:58 a.m.
August is here and temperatures this month will have highs of about 90-95 and lows in the mid-70’s. With more than eight inches of rain this is usually one of the wettest and most humid months. Keep in mind that ...
Gardening: Yellowing of the lawn – The problem and the solution
Published 07/31/2011 at 6 a.m.
Last year, Doug Caldwell of the University of Florida Extension Office, had a column about yellowing St. Augustine lawns. My own lawn suffers every year from the yellowing he described as being caused by excessive growth and loss of nutrients ...
Gardening: Don’t let a storm rock you like a hurricane
Published 07/22/2011 at 11:32 a.m.
With hurricane season upon us you should know how to minimize wind damage in your landscape. Trees and shrubs can grow too large or unbalanced to be able to withstand windstorms so it is wise to learn how to prune ...
Gardening: Keeping your rainy-season lawn from turning into a jungle
Published 07/15/2011 at 10:54 a.m. 1 Comment
The summer rainy season got off to a slow start with an unusually dry June. We were all hoping for rain and we got what we wished for! Last weeks’ rain caused a flush of growth in the garden that ...
Gardening: Summer rains and your sprinklers
Published 07/08/2011 at 12:13 p.m.
If you are one of the people who say it’s summer so I can turn off my sprinklers, this column’s for you. In spite of the fact that we are in the rainy season, signs of water stress can appear ...
Gardening: July is here, so what does your garden need?
Published 07/01/2011 at 10:31 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. We need the ...
Guest Commentary: Mangrove die off area can regenerate once tide flows are restored
Published 06/24/2011 at 3:37 p.m.
I was asked to stop my work so as not to increase flow into the area by opening any of the existing culverts since this would change their hydrology readings. I graciously complied.
Gardening: Controlling mosquitoes – A cause for concern
Published 06/17/2011 at 8:09 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, when we have a lot of rain the water levels will rise enough to allow fish ...
Gardening: Chinch bugs are ready to feed on your lawn
Published 06/03/2011 at 9:42 a.m.
The summer rains of June are about to begin. Our gardens will start to grow at incredible speeds as they come out of the stressful dry spring months. Lawns, shrubs, trees and weeds will seem to grow at uncontrollable rates. ...
Gardening: Caterpillars and the damage they leave behind
Published 05/27/2011 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. The caterpillars, not the moths, ...
Gardening: Our unique and diverse flora and fauna
Published 05/20/2011 at 12:27 p.m.
The flora and fauna of South Florida are quite diverse, made up of micro-climate 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: Environmentally unfriendly landscaping practices
Published 05/13/2011 at 8:19 a.m.
“Winterize your lawn,” the big sign outside the garden store commanded. I’ve fed it, watered it, mowed it, raked it and watched a lot of it die anyway. Now I’m supposed to winterize it? I hope it’s too late. Grass ...
Gardening: Seasons change, as should your lawn and garden
Published 05/06/2011 at 1:25 p.m.
The winter annuals have faded in this hot, spring weather. It’s time to remove them and think about summer color. When you replant the flower beds add some perennials in with your summer annuals for color that will live on ...