During July and August we can receive between 7-8 inches of rain each month. If we get a hurricane it can be a higher amount of rain. Turn your sprinklers off. Conserve our water. Too much water can be detrimental to plants and lawns. Plants can be sprayed with DACONIL, IMMUNOX, DITHANE M-45 OR THIOMYL to prevent any fungus to occur. Lawns are under stress now. Raining during afternoon and evening will encourage fungus in your lawn such as: ANTHRACNOSE, BROWN PATCH, DOLLAR SPOT, GRAY LEAF SPOT, RUST or HELMINTHOSPORIUM LEAF SPOT PYTHIUM. For control of these fungus problems apply: BAYER Fungus Control, PROPHESY GRANULES, FERTILOME F Stop Granules or FERTILOME Liquid Systemic Fungicide. During this time of year, lawn pests are ravaging lawns. When moist areas occur look for SOD WEB WORMS feed at night and chew grass blades in localized areas. If the rain stops watch out for CHINCH BUGS. They are found in full sun and dry spots causing the St. Augustine to turn brown in areas of the lawn. They suck the juices from the St. Augustine leaf blade. For control of both pests use SEVIN, PERMETHRIN, IMIDACLOPRID or BIFEN liquid or granular. DELTAMETHRIN & ARENA is in granular and ORTHENE is a soluble insecticide. Make several applications as per label. Due to heavy consistent rain fall, you may be seeing yellow areas or streaks in your Bahia grass and St Augustine Grass. There are several reason’s why . . .
- Lack of fertilizer that includes Nitrogen and Magnesium. Rains deplete nutrients out of our lawns. Apply Howard’s 16-2-8 Turf Builder with trace elements or an Organic Turf Tone by Espoma.
- Soil pH of off – might need a soil acidifier such as Iron Plus or a sweetener such as Dolomite Limestone.
- Wet areas where water drains or where water stands after it rains several inches in an hour . . . use Pelletized Gypsum to breakup damp, wet, clay or compact areas.
ANNUALS / PERENNIALS
Remove spent blooms from your flowering annuals. For continual blooms on your annuals, fertilize with SUNNILAND BLOOM SPECIAL 2-10-10 or ESPOMA FLOWER-TONE once a month. These are difficult months to plant flowers in Florida, it is too late to plant many summer blooming annuals and too early to plant winter varieties. Besides that, it’s TOO HOT to work in the yard. ROOT ROT is a problem this time of the year but it can be controlled by the use of SA-20 Disinfectant as a soil drench. When planting flowers, enrich the soil with PEAT HUMAS or PLANTING SOIL, this will help hold the moisture around the roots. Also add a water grabber called HORTASORB to help hold the moisture around the roots. Incorporate ESPOMA GARDEN-TONE for your fertilizer to stimulate the roots. Remember plant on a slight mound and do not put mulch near the stem of the plant. Spread the mulch over the root area but not touching the stem.
Be on the look out for the RED-HEADED CATERPILLARS, they are out early this year. For control use: SEVIN, ORTHENE, CONSERVE NATURALYTE, THURICIDE or DIPEL. Another serious problem is LACE BUGS causing a silvery effect on the leaf appearance but the presence of shiny black spots of excrement are found undersides of the leaves is another good indication of lace bug infestation. For control use ORTHENE at least three times, a week a part. For a preventative for these insects, use a systemic insecticide granular such as SYSTEMIC INSECTICIDE GRANULES or BAYER TREE & SHRUB INSECT CONTROL or BAYER ROSE & FLOWER CARE (contains Merit – a systemic insecticide).
BUTTERFLIES AND HUMMINGBIRDS
Plants recently have taken off. Sure you can attract a couple of butterflies and hummingbirds just by planting a few of the right flowers in the window box or a corner of your landscaped beds. They should have plenty of sun and protection from strong winds. The south and southeast side of your house, wall, hedge or slope is excellent. If you don’t have a sheltered site, then arrange the plants in a bowl shape with taller ones on the outside, creating a sheltering effect. You need to plant nectar plants as well as larval food for them. Some nectar plants are – BUDDLEIA (Butterfly bush), HIBISCUS, LANTANA, VERBENA, HONEYSUCKLE, TECOMA, PLUMBAGO, SALVIAS (all types), PENTAS, just to name a few. Larval food plants are: DILL, PARSLEY, FENNEL, CARROTS, THISTLES, MILKWEED and CASSIA. Each larval food attracts different varieties of butterflies. Before you kill any caterpillars make sure they won’t be a beautiful butterfly. If you don’t like your caterpillars eating your foliage make a safe house so they won’t get killed. Bring them inside on the porch or in a terrarium and keep feeding your caterpillars with what you found them eating on and they will form a chrysalis on a stem or a stick. After 2-3 weeks they will hatch out and become a beautiful butterfly.
HUMMINGBIRDS are attracted by the same flowers but are a different story. You will need to designate an area with mostly bright flowers that have nectar and put out a hummingbird feeder with sweet water. Change water daily or it could sour in our heat. Then watch for them.
The Ruby – Throated Hummingbird is the native bird for this area. Their area is from Florida to Eastern Canada. Very few hummingbirds are in the Midwest. The flight pattern is in a “U” shape with the bird rising about 10 to 15 feet on either side. Size of the hummingbird length is 3.75 inches. Migration – Northward: late February to Mid-May and Southward: late July to late October.
Explore underneath the leaves for TEA SCALE or SNOW SCALE. For the best control use: ORTHENE. For future control in the summer months, use SYSTEMIC TREE & SHRUB DRENCH. This will control systemically thru the plant so you won’t have to spray for the summer. It will take 2-4 weeks to work thru the plant.
Check all citrus trees for SPIDER MITES. If the oranges on your tree are brownish red, you have rust mites and the tree should be sprayed with WETTABLE or DUSTING SULFER. Continue to spray for CITRUS LEAFMINOR using MALATHION & OIL or CONSERVE NATURALYTE INSECT CONTROL SPRAY every 10-14 days to protect the new growth. MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT FLY also known as MED FLY is a problem in Orlando area but it is not necessarily new in our area. Do your part by picking up all old fruit that has fallen on the ground and place them in a double plastic bag, so if there is any fruit fly larva in the fruit it will suffocate and die. Spray your fruit trees with MALATHION use a soil drench with IMIDACLOPRID for preventative maintenance.
CITRUS GREENING – is caused by a little bug called a psyslid that carries this disease. Greening can be controlled by using IMIDACLOPRID as a soil drench for preventative maintenance and fertilize to keep the citrus tree healthy.
Inspect your plants for WHITEFLIES, APHIDS, ANTS, SPIDER MITES and MEALY BUGS. For control use: ORTHENE or SAFERS INSECT KILLING SOAP by alternating every 3 days apart to break up the life cycle of the insect. NEVER use Malathion, Diazinon, or Cygon on Hibiscus it will defoliate them and put them into shock.
Continue to spray for SPIDER MITES – the hotter the weather; the worse it can be – use ORTHENE or. CONSERVE NATURALYTE INSECT CONTROL SPRAY every 7-10 days. BLACK SPOT on roses is caused by night rains or nightly watering and lack of fertilizer. Spray for BLACK SPOT use DACONIL, THIOMYL or DITHANE M-45 for control. These chemicals are very compatible to mix insect control and fungicide control together. Water plants well before spraying or photoxicity will happen. Rose bushes are very hungry plants; they need to be feed once a month with ESPOMA ROSE-TONE use 1 cup per bush. Apply fertilizer at the edge where the drip line is of the leaves of the rose bush.
Winter is a good time to plant or transplant cold hardy trees and shrubs. They will grow best if moved in December through February. Root pruning them now, will help them survive the move. Small trees that are 1 1/2 – 2 inch trunk needs to be cut 12-15 inch circle around the plant, by slicing the roots with a shovel to a depth of 12 inches. The root-ball of the plant when it is eventually transplanted should be 4 inches beyond the root- pruned area. Increase the size of the circle if the trunk is bigger. Prepare the new location ahead of moving with Planting Soil, Milorganite and Hort-a-sorb. Keep the trees or shrubs watered well. Water them daily for the first month of transplanting, at least ½” inch. Wet the foliage to keep the leaves from dehydrating. For small plants, drive in stakes on either side of the plant to support it from high winds. If large trees use a tree staking kit so it will be more secure. Wrap the trunk with tree wrap to protect the outer layer so the rope won’t scratch the trunk.
FARMERS ALMANAC INFO CORNER
JULY / AUGUST 2020
- PLANTING BELOW GROUND CROPS :: 7/9,10,19 – 8/5,6
- PLANTING ABOVE GROUND CROPS :: 7/1,27,28 – 8/23,24
- HARVEST ABOVE GROUND CROPS :: 7/23,24 – 8/19,20
- HARVEST ROOT CROPS :: 7/14,15 – 8/10,11
- PRUNE TO ENCOURAGE GROWTH :: 7/21,22 – 8/25,26,27
- PRUNE TO DISCOURAGE GROWTH :: 7/11,12 – 8/7,8,9
- GRAFT OR POLLINATE PLANTS :: 7/18,19,20 – 8/15,16
- DESTROY PESTS & WEEDS :: 7/11,12 – 8/7,8,9
- PICK FRUIT :: 7/23,24 – 8/19,20
With the warmth of the sun, it is a very good time to SOLARIZE your soil for your vegetable garden in the fall. Clean up your garden soil – The Organic Way. Garden soil should be cleared, tilled, leveled and moistened. The garden should be covered with clear plastic (2 to 6 mil thickness) for four to six weeks. This will cause SOLAR heat to accumulate under the plastic and soil temperatures to increase to a point where nematodes, weed seeds and soil-borne diseases will be killed or suppressed. Incorporate ORGANIC PEAT HUMAS or PLANTING SOIL if soil is sandy to help hold moisture when it is dry. Check soil Ph for your vegetables, it should be 5.8 to 6.3. The addition of DOLOMITIC LIMESTONE will help if the Ph is too low. Remember to add some kind of organic fertilizer such as: MILORGANITE or GARDEN-TONE by ESPOMA In Florida’s sandy soil they need to be fertilized monthly with GARDEN-TONE OR TOMATO-TONE for blooming vegetables to produce fruit. On leafy vegetables or root crops use 100% ORGANIC 6-6-6 FERTILIZER. Another way to feed and water your vegetables is to use a water soluble fertilizer each week such as MIRACLE GRO FOR TOMATOES or PETERS SPECIAL 20-20-20. For ANTS, APHIDS or LEAF MINOR use PERMETHRIN or CONSERVE NATURALYTE. For WORMS or CATERPILLARS use THURICIDE, DIPEL or SEVIN for control.
BULBS: AMARYLLIS LILLY, CALADIUMS, GINGER LILY, GLADIOLUS, GLORIOSA LILY, ELEPHANT EARS, RAIN LILY, UMBRELLA PLANT.
FLOWERS: (S=FULL SUN; SH=SHADE; SS=SEMI-SHADE): AGERATUM-S,SS; ASTERS-S; BEGONIAS-SS,SH; BROWELLIA-SS,SH; CLEOME-S,SS; COLEUS-S,SS,SH; COSMOS-S; DAHLIA-S,SS; DALBURG DAISY-S; GAILLARDIA-S; GAZINNIA DAISY-S; GERBERA DAISY-S; IMPATIENS-SH; MARIGOLD-S,SS; PERIWINKLES-S,SS; PORTULACA-S; PURSLANE-S; RUDBECKIA (BLACK-EYED SUSAN)-S; SALVIA-S,SS; SCAEVOLA-S,SS; SUNFLOWERS-S,SS; TORENIA (SUMMER PANSY)-SS,SH; VERBENA-S,SS; ZINNIAS-S.
HERBS: (A=ANNUALS; P=PERENNIALS): BASIL-A; CATNIP-P;CORIANDER-A (SPRING/FALL); CHIVES-A (SPRING, WINTER, FALL); DILL-A (SPRING, WINTER,FALL); LEMON BALM –P; TERRAGON-P; MINTS (ALL)-P; OREGANO-P; ROSEMARY-P; SAGE-P; THYME-P.
VEGETABLES: AUGUST PLANTING- BEANS (SNAP OR POLE), CORN, EGGPLANT, OKRA, PEAS (BLACK-EYED), PEPPERS, PUMPKIN, SQUASH, TOMATOES, WATERMELON.
- July – 7.87”
- August – 7.98”