By Master Gardener Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

Although the Atlantic hurricane season was remarkably quiet for the continental U.S. up until the end of August, early September saw an abrupt change. As of Sept. 5, tropical storm Gordon is now moving well inland after wreaking havoc along the Gulf coast, and Hurricane Florence has strengthened to category 3; we need to pay attention (www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php).

If you are interested more generally in the weather in our state — temperatures, rainfall amounts, storm impacts — check out this website: https://tinyurl.com/y7jznm5d.

Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health

The latest issue of A New Leaf newsletter is available here: https://tinyurl.com/yc7kqfxr. As always, there are plenty of inspiring ideas and tips about what to do in the garden this month.

If you have been dealing with a bounty of produce and realize you would have found it useful to know how to preserve it, there are two canning classes in October. On Oct. 13, learn how to preserve apple wedges in cinnamon hot syrup, and on Oct. 27, you can make Chicken in a Can-Homemade Noodles. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. Each class is $20 per person. Call Jeannie at (904) 255-7450 to register. With the holiday season approaching, homemade preserves make a thoughtful gift.

The upcoming class on Microgreens and Wildflowers on Oct. 10 (cost $10, call Sarah at (904) 255-7450 to register) will likely be the last class led by Terry DelValle, our Horticultural Agent of 35 years. She is to retire in November, and I know that anybody involved, however loosely, with the Extension Service, will miss her for both her depth of knowledge and her unfailingly helpful approach to us, the public. Thank you, Terry.

Our fellow creatures are preparing for the cooler weather, and some of our birds are fattening up for the grueling task of migration. As the weather cools, suet will be a welcome, high calorie treat for residents and migrants alike, and it won’t be long before our winter visitors begin to arrive, needing a restorative meal.

Hummingbirds and pollinators alike are seeking out nectar-rich fall-blooming flowers like firespike (Odontonema cuspidatum or O. strictum), Mexican sage (Salvia leucanthum), goldenrods (Solidago spp.), asters (Aster or Symphyotrichum spp.), ironweed (Vernonia spp.), dotted horsemint (Monarda punctata, a prolific self-seeder), wild ageratum (Conoclinium coelestinum, which is an incredible insect magnet, but can spread aggressively if the roots aren’t kept in bounds), pineapple sage (Salvia elegans), and blazing star (Liatris spp.). Do your homework to determine which species suit your location, and plan to add those to your garden. Early fall is a good time to plant hardy perennials, but hold off on planting tender species until the spring.

Flowers that bloom in the fall make great decorations for Halloween. Look for autumn shades of chrysanthemums (“mums”), and other orange, red or yellow blooms and berries. If you’re aiming for a really spooky look, try draping Spanish moss around your decorations. For indoor use, freeze the moss for 24 hours in plastic bags to kill off any insects.

As you plant your cool season vegetable garden, make sure to scout regularly for insects and caterpillars. Cut worms make short work of small transplants and the problem can be avoided by using a protective barrier like a short section of kitchen paper tube around each plant. There is nothing quite as disheartening as finding your lovely new transplants completely destroyed.

Mary Puckett, the Urban Garden Assistant who has been so crucial to training master gardeners in the subtleties of vegetable gardening, and for the assistance she and her helpers have given to community gardens around Jacksonville and the beaches area, is also retiring. We wish her well, and I for one thank her for her contributions to A New Leaf, including her latest article “A successful garden takes planning.” How true that is!

  • 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
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience, complete lawn maintenance
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • 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