Gardening In The Panhandle

Small Cockroaches Flying Into Homes

Figure 1. Adult female Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai Mizukubo, carrying an egg case (ootheca). Photograph by R.W. Baldwin, University of Florida. The Asian cockroach was first identified as a newly introduced species in the U.S. in Lakeland, Florida in 1986. I started seeing this small cockroach in our area about 17 or 18 years ago. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/21/small-cockroaches-flying-into-homes/

Mowing Your Lawn Correctly

Northwest Florida has experienced an enormous amount of rain this summer. The western panhandle has received over 29 inches of rain since the beginning of May according to the Florida Automated Weather Network station at the West Florida Research and Education Center in Jay, Florida. That is 44% of average annual rainfall in less than …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/21/mowing-your-lawn-correctly/

The Grass is Getting “Hungry”

(UF/IFAS photo Thomas Wright) Northwest Florida’s weather patterns can present challenges to maintaining a health lawn. Heavy rains promote fast growth and relentless sunshine causes lawns to fade.  In the last 200 days we have received at least 68 days of rain.  While the rest of Florida was experiencing record drought, the Panhandle was experiencing …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/21/the-grass-is-getting-hungry/

The Predatory Praying Mantis

  Praying Mantis, Image Credit Les Harrison Summertime is bug time in the Florid Panhandle.  The weather has provided enough rain for the bugs which depend on a supply of foliage and the temperatures have been ideal for a population explosion. Stink bugs, leaf-footed bugs, grasshoppers, all sizes and colors of caterpillars and many more …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/14/the-predatory-praying-mantis/

Why Don’t My Plants Match?

Coontie (Zamia floridana) planted at the same time but growing at different rates. Photo: J_McConnell, UF/IFAS When designing landscapes, it is popular to create lines and masses of plants for high visual impacts. Plants are carefully selected to be similar in size and shape at the time of installation. They are all grouped together, so they …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/12/why-dont-my-plants-match/

Ponder the Antiquity of Fruits and Vegetables

The modern carrot is available in many sizes, colors, and flavor profiles thanks to thousands of years of plant breeding. Photo by Kelly Thomas. Fruits and vegetables have undergone various forms of domestication for thousands of years. Throughout this time, selective breeding of wild forages has allowed humans to develop crops with many desirable traits, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/12/ponder-the-antiquity-of-fruits-and-vegetables/

Four Must-Have Native Perennials for Summer!

Let’s be honest with each other and have a moment of transparency, one gardener to another. Even though we are plant people, most of us get a lot less enthusiastic once the mercury explodes over 90 degrees each June. All the things that were fun in the spring (watering our favorite fickle plants, deadheading spent …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/05/four-must-have-native-perennials-for-summer/

African Blue Basil: A Pollinator Favorite

Many bees and beneficial wasps will be attracted to African blue basil. Photo by Beth Bolles, UF IFAS Extension Escambia County Basil is a favorite plant in the summer herb garden and an absolute must for those who enjoy fresh leaves for a sandwich or delicious homemade pesto. While we grow basils as a food enhancer, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/05/african-blue-basil-a-pollinator-favorite/

Rain Gardens – A Solution for Runoff

This rain garden used stone for a berm and muhly grass as a decorative and functional plant. Photo credit, Jerry Patee Tropical Storm Cindy’s early arrival soaked northwest Florida this month, followed by even more heavy rain. Homes in low areas and along the rivers flooded and suffered extensive damage. That being said, we are …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/05/rain-gardens-a-solution-for-runoff/

Landscaping in Coastal Areas

Salt shear and onshore breezes often cause coastal maritime forests to grow at a slant away from the coast. Credit: Florida Master Naturalist Program People from other parts of the country often move into Florida with expectations of their landscape beyond its capabilities. Those gorgeous peonies that grew up north or the perfect tomatoes they …

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Permanent link to this article: http://calhoun.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/03/landscaping-in-coastal-areas/

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