Gardening In The Panhandle

Camellia Flowers that Fail to Open

Do you have camellia plants with flower buds that fail to open? Here are possible causes for this problem. Stress – Drought is the primary stress that inhibits buds from opening. Too many buds on a plant results in the plant not having reserves for each bud to open. Warm weather during fall may inhibit early …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/27/camellia-flowers-that-fail-to-open/

Dormant Oil: Apply in Late Winter for Spring Benefits

The magnolia white scale, Phenacaspis cockerelli, is also called false oleander scale. Image credit http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/scales/false_oleander_scale.htm Many fruit and ornamental shrubs and trees suffer from scale insects throughout the year. Most of the time home gardeners notice these insects in the spring or summer, because their exudate is the primary substrate for sooty mold growth. Although …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/27/dormant-oil-apply-in-late-winter-for-spring-benefits/

Get an Early Start on Spring Veggies

  Raised bed spring vegetable garden in NW Florida – photo credit: Blake Thaxton Growing spring vegetables in northwest Florida can be challenging!  Sometimes failures seem more numerous than successes.  Extreme cold events in the winter and blistering hot summer days make it tough on vegetables.  One suggestion is to get the garden started earlier than usual! …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/27/get-an-early-start-on-spring-veggies/

Leaf Litter: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Work?

Fallen leaves add much to the landscape. They feed the plants and many insect, retain water, and help stabilize the soil For the homeowner who feels the need to rake leaves and pine needles, the task can be something of a minor nuisance. The showers of earth-toned leftovers appear suddenly and at inconvenient times, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/23/leaf-litter-do-the-benefits-outweigh-the-work/

Soil: What’s Alive Beneath Our Feet?

You’re digging up a ridiculously stubborn patch of Florida betony when an earthworm crawls across your path. As you break apart the soil in your hands a world of active organisms is being sifted through your fingers. Fertile soil is teeming with beneficial microbes. It is estimated that there can be billions of microbes in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/23/soil-whats-alive-beneath-our-feet/

What To Do Before and After a Hard Freeze

Florida homeowners enjoy a wide range of landscape and citrus plants and often times desire a tropical or semitropical appearance to their landscapes. Many landscape plants are often planted past their northern limit such as here in Northwest Florida, although microclimates differ dramatically. Tropical and subtropical plants can be used in the landscape, but they …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/22/what-to-do-before-and-after-a-hard-freeze/

How Dead Trees Benefit Wildlife

This dead oak tree was trimmed up to make it neater. It is ready for a wildlife resident!   Photo: JMcConnell, UF/IFAS One of the management issues that any landowner will face at some point is what to do when a tree dies in the landscape.  The logical response is “cut it down,” but depending …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/13/how-dead-trees-benefit-wildlife/

Start the Year Off Right — Plant a Tree!

Planting a tree is an excellent way to insure clean air and water in the future. Photo credit: Carrie Stevenson Most of us begin a new year with resolutions–to exercise more, to eat right, to spend our time more productively–but few things have as many lasting impacts for the future as the simple act of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/13/start-the-year-off-right-plant-a-tree/

Chinese Privet

The Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, is a plant that is well known to many people as a great nuisance in the landscape. It is also a Florida noxious weed because of its invasive nature. Originally grown as an ornamental that formed a hedge and tolerated poor conditions, the Chinese privet has now spread to natural …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/13/chinese-privet/

Time of Reflection and Resolution

  It’s December!  2014 is coming to an end, and with it, our success and failures with our gardens and lawns are in our past.  Maybe your garden or lawn experienced a great resurgence this year or was set back by the floods of April and the record low temperatures of November.  Time to sit back, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/12/23/time-of-reflection-and-resolution/

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