Control Winter Annual Lawn Weeds in October

During late February to mid-April, homeowners bring in bags of winter annual weeds from their lawns wanting advice on how to control them. They usually seem disappointed and confused when I tell them that it’s too late to bother with controlling winter annual weeds during late winter to early spring. Standing there holding a bag …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/10/23/control-winter-annual-lawn-weeds-in-october-2/

Caterpillars That Sting are in Northwest Florida

Did you know we have caterpillars that sting here in Northwest Florida? Well, we do and you’d be wise to learn about them and how to recognize them. These caterpillars do not sting in the same way that a wasp or bee might sting. They do not have “stingers.” But they do have spines, also …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/10/02/caterpillars-that-sting-are-in-northwest-florida/

Ground Pearls, the Peril of Local Lawns

There are numerous reasons why maintaining a North Florida lawn is challenging and ultimately frustrating. One such reason is ground pearls. Ground pearls, small scale insects that bother lawn grass roots, are soil dwelling pests that are not much of a problem in northern lawns. But they are quite the problem here in our North …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/06/05/ground-pearls-the-peril-of-local-lawns/

Best Lawn Grass and Mole Cricket Control Questions

Q. What’s the best lawn grass for North Florida? A. Choosing a lawn grass involves selecting a grass that best fits the site conditions. Is the site shady, do you have an irrigation system, is salt spray or saltwater a factor? Means of establishment should be considered. Can the grass be established from seeds or …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/05/03/best-lawn-grass-and-mole-cricket-control-questions/

When and How to Prune Roses

Many of the roses grown in Florida require regular maintenance. Part of this maintenance includes pruning. But new gardeners sometimes have a hard time getting up the nerve to cut their rose bushes back. Matt Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension Agent in Washington County, provides the basics on rose pruning in today’s article. When and how do …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/02/16/when-and-how-to-prune-roses/

Pruning Oleander, Hibiscus and Azalea

Q. I have large oleanders that need to be pruned. When should they be pruned and how drastically can they be cut back? A. The best time to prune oleanders is during late winter just before new growth occurs (February – March). Oleanders flower on current season’s growth. So if you prune at the above …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/02/16/pruning-oleander-hibiscus-and-azalea/

Is it Winter or is it Spring?

Northwest Florida winters can be a rollercoaster ride of temperatures. One week it dips to freezing for a short time and the next week it rises to spring-like temperatures. We need to hold on for this ride of up and down temperatures but not over react too soon. Following the sudden ride down to the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/02/16/is-it-winter-or-is-it-spring/

Overseeding and Dealing with Thatch in Lawn

Q. During late fall I put down some centipedegrass sod. Will it harm my centipede sod if I overseed my new lawn with ryegrass seed? A. The ryegrass can compete with the permanent grass. I have seen centipede lawns that were weakened during spring green up, attempting to outcompete the ryegrass. The extra fertilizer also …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/02/16/overseeding-and-dealing-with-thatch-in-lawn/

Enjoy Japanese Magnolias While They Are In Bloom

Japanese or Saucer Magnolias, Magnolia × soulangiana, are known for their display of flowers in late winter and early spring. This has been one of the best seasons that I’ve seen in a while to enjoy these early flowering Japanese Magnolias here in Northwest Florida. They are in bloom now. Because they bloom so early, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/02/06/enjoy-japanese-magnolias-while-they-are-in-bloom/

Now is the Time to Control Lawn Burweed

Lawn burweed is a winter annual weed that becomes problematic in spring. It is a low growing weed in lawns with leaves somewhat resembling a miniature version of parsley. If you had a problem with this weed and missed the narrow window to apply a preemergence herbicide back in October, you still have an opportunity …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/02/03/now-is-the-time-to-control-lawn-burweed/

Ideas for Gardening in January

Happy New Year! January may seem like a downtime in the landscape and garden. But there are many jobs to perform this month to get the landscape and garden off to a good start for a new year. In today’s article, I’ll share some gardening ideas from the UF/IFAS Extension North Florida Gardening Calendar (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep451) …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2017/01/04/ideas-for-gardening-in-january/

Gardening is a Healthy New Year’s Resolution

With 2017 almost here, I have an idea for a New Year’s resolution that is healthy, provides exercise and is a fun outdoor activity for the entire family. Vegetable gardening can be an excellent activity to try this New Year. For the beginner or experienced gardener, there is always something new to learn from the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/28/gardening-is-a-healthy-new-years-resolution/

Christmas Tree Facts

With today being Christmas, I thought it would be fun to look at some Christmas tree facts in today’s article. Nearly 350 million real Christmas trees are currently growing on Christmas tree farms in the U.S. alone, all planted by farmers. Approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year. North …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/28/christmas-tree-facts/

Mistletoe Can Harm Trees and People

Despite the fact that mistletoe remains a popular Christmas decoration with its bright green leaves and white berries, it is a parasite of trees. As a result, it can harm trees. Mistletoe also has poisonous properties and should be kept out of the reach of children who may be tempted to eat the berries. Mistletoe …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/19/mistletoe-can-harm-trees-and-people/

Christmas gifts for the gardener

Do you have that hard to buy for person on your Christmas shopping list? I have an idea, especially if that person enjoys gardening. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Bookstore offers a wealth of books, CDs, DVDs, identification decks and manuals. These resources include gardening, lawn and landscape …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/christmas-gifts-for-the-gardener/

Acorns abound this fall

Do you have more acorns than you know what to do with this fall? When oaks produce loads of acorns, it sometimes is called a “mast” year. Do you remember the oak tree pollen and all those catkins that fell from oaks earlier this year? Catkins are the male flowers in oaks. Some people refer …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/acorns-abound-this-fall/

Can tulips be grown in North Florida?

Q. I see advertising now for planting bulbs but I wonder if this is correct for here in North Florida? Are tulip bulbs a good choice here? A. Some of the northern bulbs are poor performers this far south. Tulips are in this category. It’s not only the lack of sufficient cold weather to meet …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/can-tulips-be-grown-in-north-florida/

Sandbur control and white specks on magnolia leaves

Q. I have an infestation of sandburs. Is there anything that I can use in my lawn to get rid of this weed? A. Sandbur or sandspur is a warm season (summer) annual grass. As such, it comes up from seed during spring. In the seedling stage it blends in with the lawn grass. Later …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/sandbur-control-and-white-specks-on-magnolia-leaves/

Reduce 100 bags of fall leaves to ten

Billions of leaves blanket the fall landscape and are bagged by hundreds of homeowners to be placed curbside for local trash pick-up. Many of these leaves could be easily turned into valuable mulch or compost. Why do all those fall leaves end up in bags to be discarded? It’s probably because the homeowner is overwhelmed …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/reduce-100-bags-of-fall-leaves-to-ten/

Water management during dry weather

So far our fall has been unusually dry with warmer temperatures. Even though our average annual rainfall is around sixty-two inches per year, we don’t always receive rain exactly when we need it. There are times when we need to apply additional water. During dry weather, implement the following water management practices to improve the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/water-management-during-dry-weather/

Winterizer fertilizer, not for Florida

Many people fertilize their lawn too late with too much nitrogen. They wrongly call this practice “winterizing.” The word “winterizer” is misleading. Many of the so-called winterizer fertilizers available in our area can cause more damage than good. The time to fertilize our warm-season grasses in Florida is during the growing season, not when the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/winterizer-fertilizer-not-for-florida/

Leaf spots abound on hydrangeas this time of year

It is not uncommon to see leaf spots on your hydrangeas during late summer and fall. These spots are caused by a number of fungal diseases. Plant fungi and wet weather go hand-in-hand. In the Southeast U.S. we have high humidity, heavy dews and frequent rains during spring and summer. This provides perfect conditions to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/leaf-spots-abound-on-hydrangeas-this-time-of-year/

Glistening web on tree bark is harmless

Many people notice fine silken webbing on the trunks and branches of their trees and assume that this is a problem. But the insects that cause this webbing are not harmful to trees. They could even be considered beneficial. The tiny insects that make the webbing are called psocids (pronounced so-cids). They are sometimes called …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/glistening-web-on-tree-bark-is-harmless/

Small branches dying in some local trees

Q. What’s causing small branches to turn brown and die in some of my trees? A. More than likely this is caused by the Black Twig Borer. This very small beetle, about 1/16 inch long, has been active in some local trees. This is an interesting insect with a wide host range. Trees attacked include …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/small-branches-dying-in-some-local-trees/

Don’t blame pests for dry spots in your lawn

Every time we have a dry period in spring or summer, I get those predictable calls about some mysterious pest that’s playing havoc in lawns. Without realizing it, the caller usually describes a textbook example of dry spots in a lawn. And many times that’s what the problem areas are – dry spots. Dry spots …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/12/13/dont-blame-pests-for-dry-spots-in-your-lawn/

Trees for Fall Color in North Florida

Florida is not known for the brilliant fall color enjoyed by some of our northern neighbors. But, we do have a number of trees from which to choose to provide some fall color in our landscapes here in North Florida. Our native flowering dogwood provides some change in color before dropping its leaves. You can …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/11/28/trees-for-fall-color-in-north-florida/

Blame Ragweed Not Goldenrod for Fall Hay Fever

Goldenrod is easily recognizable this time of year with its showy yellow flowers held high on stems moving back and forth by autumn winds. A field full of these vivid yellow blossoms is a sight to see with a bright blue fall sky as a background. But too often this plant is blamed for the sneezing, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/11/22/blame-ragweed-not-goldenrod-for-fall-hay-fever/

Why worry with fall webworms – attend plant clinic

Fall webworms are normally observed during late summer and fall when people notice the unsightly whitish or light gray webs in certain trees. Webworms enclose leaves and ends of branches with silken webbing. The worms (caterpillars) are found in this protective webbing consuming leaves. Although they can defoliate branches on which they are feeding, very …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/10/13/why-worry-with-fall-webworms-attend-plant-clinic/

Fall vegetable gardening and September plant clinic

We are fortunate to be able to grow some sort of vegetables year round in Florida. But not all vegetables will grow year round. Planting time is critical. Cool-season crops tolerate and require lower temperature. Many of these cool-season vegetables, sometimes called fall or winter crops, can be planted this month. The below recommended planting …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/09/06/fall-vegetable-gardening-and-september-plant-clinic/

Tropical Sod Webworms Active in Local Lawns

Q. I noticed small brown moths flying low to the ground in my lawn. Should I be concerned about this? A. Yes and no. These are probably adults of the tropical sod webworm. Moths have a wingspan of about ¾ inch and are a dingy brown. Moths do not cause damage. So don’t bother trying …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/08/22/tropical-sod-webworms-active-in-local-lawns/

August Landscape Chores & Plant Clinic

August can be a tough month in the North Florida landscape. Heat, humidity, insects and diseases can take their toll on both the landscape and the gardener. But there are things to do now that can make a big difference in your landscape in the near future. Now is a good time to cleanup roses …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/08/10/august-landscape-chores-plant-clinic/

UF/IFAS offers solutions for your landscape and more

Perhaps we spend too much time concerned with what’s wrong in our landscapes. Though, we can learn from our mistakes. It’s helpful to identify why a plant failed or gain correct identification for a weed in order to better control it. Maybe we should spend more time learning why other plants performed so well. Could …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/07/24/ufifas-offers-solutions-for-your-landscape-and-more/

Apply lawn preemergence herbicide now, if needed

We are quickly approaching the window of opportunity to use a preemergence herbicide in lawns. But not every lawn needs an application of preemergence herbicide – only those lawns that have a history of summer annual weeds. When used correctly, preemergence herbicides form a chemical barrier on the soil surface that prevents annual weeds from …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2016/02/25/apply-lawn-preemergence-herbicide-now-if-needed/

Control winter lawn weeds early & attend Plant Clinic

Timing is critical when it comes to weed control. The mistake most homeowners make is to wait too late to treat winter weeds. If you plan to use a preemergence herbicide in your lawn to control winter annual weeds, you need to apply the product during October when nighttime temperatures drop to 55° to 60° …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2015/10/08/control-winter-lawn-weeds-early-attend-plant-clinic/

It’s wise to prepare for a storm

Tropical storm season officially ends November 30. I’m not predicting a storm but even with our average winds during a typical thunderstorm, you’d be wise to prepare. Falling trees and flying landscape debris during a storm can cause damage. Evaluate your landscape for potential tree hazards. Pruning or removing trees once a hurricane watch has …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2015/09/09/its-wise-to-prepare-for-a-storm/

Reestablish Old, Declining Lawn and Attend Plant Clinic

Many older, thinning, declining lawns need to be reestablished. Sometimes we waste time and money attempting to rejuvenate an older, thinning, weedy lawn when the best solution is to start over. Common causes for lawn decline include soil compaction, nutrient imbalances, tree competition, root pests and improper lawn maintenance practices.  When less than sixty percent …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2015/07/08/reestablish-old-declining-lawn-and-attend-plant-clinic/

Brighten Bare Spots in Landscape with Container-grown Annual Flowers

There are areas in most landscapes where it just is not practical or possible to bring in the tiller and create a flowerbed. A little imagination, a decorative container and appropriate plants can turn a bare spot into a splash of color. Consider using a container of annuals to add color to a backyard deck …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/2015/04/13/brighten-bare-spots-in-landscape-with-container-grown-annual-flowers/

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