By Master Gardener Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

Boy, has it been hot! Across the country high temperatures are breaking records. On a positive note, there is the potential for an El Nino weather pattern to build, so the hurricane season in the Atlantic could be less active than usual (https://tinyurl.com/yaxsllv4).

The July-August edition of A New Leaf is out now: https://tinyurl.com/y7bpghof. It’s a great resource for timely information on what to do in the garden, as well as activities at the Extension office. In this edition, summer vegetables are covered in detail, as well as some of the pests and diseases that we can encounter at this time of year. Lawns in particular can succumb to fungal problems when summer rains set in, so it pays to be watchful (see http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh064).

Fruit Cove Baptist Church

On Aug. 18, there will be a fall gardening class at the Extension office, offering participants the opportunity to learn what cool season vegetables grow well here, and also — the really excellent bit, in my view — they will take home a seed tray of assorted vegetables they have sown themselves. Registration and prepayment ($15) are required. Visit https://tinyurl.com/ybeo4wr3 to register and pay online. Or call (904) 255-7450 to register.

If you are buying milkweed, don’t shun plants that have a few aphids (small yellow-orange insects that cluster around stems and beneath leaves). In this instance it’s a good sign, as it means that the nursery that grew them hasn’t treated them with insecticides. Monarch butterfly caterpillars don’t survive on plants that have been treated, especially if the insecticide is a systemic like a neonicotinoid. If aphids begin to take over, simply wash them off with plain water or squash them, taking care not to damage any tiny monarch caterpillars or eggs. Interestingly, there are tiny wasps that parasitize aphid nymphs by laying their eggs in them: https://tinyurl.com/y9pn2dya. The aphids turn into empty brown husks once the wasp larvae have hatched and eaten their hosts, and the plant is fine.

If your summer annuals are flagging, either shear them neatly or deadhead them, depending on their growth habit, and give them a liquid feed. They may take time to respond, but this will encourage them to keep flowering. If you applied a slow-release fertilizer in spring it will need replenishing, so go ahead with another application after the liquid fertilizer. Alternatively, top-dress regularly with good homemade or commercial compost, spreading it over the root area, and keeping it away from the plant stem.

Why not take a break from the heat, and check out some online catalogs. It won’t be long before it’s time to plant bulbs. And if you intend to sow wildflowers in your yard, check out www.floridawildflowers.com/. Many wildflower seeds germinate better if we follow their natural life cycle and sow their seeds in the fall, whether in the ground or a seed tray, and they will get a head start next spring.

Backyard birds benefit from an uninterrupted supply of fresh clean water, and a bird bath can be as inexpensive as a trash can lid. I find that watching their antics is a relaxing way to enjoy my yard while keeping cool inside. Try it!

  • Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • I.T. Promise Inc. Computer Services Professional Computer Services business and residential
  • Pavers concrete and more Free estimates
  • Snip's Tree and stump service over 25 years experience
  • The right cleaners, LLC House cleaning services
  • Premier Homes Realty Inc. Michael Taylor and Tari Taylor
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • Vote Rod Hardwick for st johns county sheriff Working together for the strength of our community during challenging times
  • Preddy law firm estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship
  • Starling Nocatee, 360 degree virtual tour
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Support Community Journalism The Creek Line
  • Tutoring club of st johns. Text tutoring to 484848 for a chance to win one month of free tutoring
  • Being Well Florida News line is excited to introduce Being Well magazine
  • Westminster Woods on Julington creek. Live well. Be Happy
  • Ackerman cancer center. We're here for your cancer treatment
  • Anytime Fitness! Summer is Here! We Are Open!
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Forever Vets Animal Hospital coupon for free exam and discount on preventative care for dogs and cats!
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience, complete lawn maintenance
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Support Community Journalism in Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Academy of Dance Open House & Registration August 19th and 20th 3pm to 6pm Classes start August 24th! Ballet, Pointem Jazz, Hip Hop Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Music Theatre, Vocal
  • Affordable Water
  • All About Ballroom
  • Do you only want cremation?
  • Craig Funeral services, Funeral, Crematory, Memorial Park
  • Cronin Ace Hardware
  • Vote for Christian Whitehurst! for St. Johns county commissioner, District 1
  • Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,
  • Finding the right doctor just got easier, Dr. Levine Baptist primary care
  • DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent
  • Nemetz Dental Associates! Your new smile awaits!
  • Deerwood Academy register now for 2020-2021 VPK
  • Eye center of st augustine, The eye surgery Center of St Augustine
  • Famous Automotive and tire center
  • Fruit Cove Baptist Church
  • The Goddard School summer camp
  • Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs
  • Ian MacDonald Mortgage loan originator with Regions Mortgage
  • Julington Creek Chiropractic & Wellness Center P.A. serving st. johns county for nearly 21 years
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue! Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. Have you watered your birds lately?
  • Legends of Real Estate call Kim Kessler
  • Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commerical!
  • Crosswinds Veterinary Hospital. Preventative Medicine and wellness, Surgery, Dentistry, Labs and Imaging, Farm Animal Medicine, In-Patient and Emergency Care
  • Florida Waterways Inc. Your trusted Waterway Advisers
  • Harbor Chase Independent & Assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Immerse yourself in a rewarding community that enriches your body, mind, and soul.
  • JJs Bistro $10 off lunch or dinner
  • Dont Forget to vote for John Turner School Board member
  • Julington Creek Family Dentistry. Implant Cosmetic and Restoration Dentistry. We are following Advanced Safety protocols set forth by CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines for dental practices
  • Lori Hershey for School Board, District 7. A school system we can all believe in.
  • Alicia Washington for Circuit Judge
  • Matt Schellenberg. Dependable Leadership for these challenging Times. School Board District 7
  • Re-elect Mike Orfinger for circuit judge
  • Concrete Works! Free Estimates, driveways, Patios, Walkways, Concrete removal, Driveway extension, Pavers
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • Mobile Notary Service. 15 years experience, 24 hour services
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • Starlight Gymnastics! Our #1 priority is your children!
  • Chris Strickland for ST Johns county sheriff!
  • Sugar Bear Antique Mall Summer spectacular sale July 10th-12th
  • Baptist Health, Great tools for motherhood
  • A Green Cleaner, Free pickup and delivery to your home!
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue!
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • Tailored living Premier Garage solutions
  • Westminster St. Augustine. were here when you need us
  • Alive Credit Union Start banking healthier today!
  • Clara's Tidbits Now in Mandarin!
  • Brian E. Floro DMD, PA Dental services
  • JR Dental General, Specialty and Dental lab
  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • Railing Chiropractic & Acupuncture
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our may issue!
  • HarborChase independent & assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Your safety and peace of mind is always our Top Priority
  • Smart Choice Medical healthcare membership! No VoPay, No Deductibles, No Hassles
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021