Tag Archives: Gardening

Gardening | Weeds or Wildflowers?

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By Master Gardener Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

It’s a truism that weeds are simply plants in the wrong place, and it comes to mind especially now as spring is shifting gears to summer. It’s a time of rapid green growth, and before we know it, our beds can be overrun with weeds.

Gardening | Summer is coming

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By Master Gardener Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

Taking a look at the Climate Prediction Center on the NOAA website (http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/), it seems we may escape drought conditions, at least for the next couple of months. Unfortunately, also according to NOAA, we are likely to experience higher than normal temperatures.

Gardening | Spring greening

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By Master Gardener Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

There has been much discussion — both here and worldwide — about the effects of neonicotinoid chemicals (neonics) on bees and their colonies, and now more studies have shown that these effects are wide-ranging and very damaging. According to the European Food Safety Authority (https://tinyurl.com/yao3ynk6), not only are honey bees being harmed, but native bees are suffering too, which is problematic as they also play an important role in crop production. (There have been proposals in Europe for a total field ban of the three most damaging neonics: clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, which are already subject to restrictions.) Because they are persistent in soil for some years, neonics can be taken up by other plants well after the initially treated crop was harvested, and their effects on bees is therefore not limited to a one-time application.

Gardening | Spring is in the air

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By Master Gardener Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

As January came to a close, the weather was fairly seasonal, but we had two really cold spells. With luck and some protection many of your plants will have survived — even if their tops are looking bedraggled — so don’t give up on them and don’t prune them before they begin to flush out in spring. Clean up dead foliage of bulbs and gingers if you like, but leave any material that comes from below ground or from the neck of bulbs; we need to prevent water getting down into those bulbs and rhizomes, which would promote rot.

Gardening | Winter in Florida

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By Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

After a mild start to the season, 2018 has brought us the coldest winter snap since 1989, including flurries of snow just a few miles west and north of Duval County. While our climate is not tropical, many of the plants that grace our landscapes are from more southerly areas and will have really suffered unless well protected.