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EILEEN WARD

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

Recent Work

  • 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. 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 it’s 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 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: 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, ...

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