Gardening In The Panhandle

Echo Your Architecture

One of the most overlooked aspects of landscape design, particularly on DIY projects, is the idea of enhancing the architecture of your home by using plants that echo the shapes and features of the structure. The use of proper plant material not only shows off a home’s exterior beauty and increases curb appeal but often …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/23/echo-your-architecture/

Is It a Salamander or Pocket Gopher?

Mounds of sand made my pocket gopher along roadside. Photo Credit: Larry Williams Pocket gopher is a furry animal known by many locals as “sandy mounder.” It was given this name because of the sandy mounds of excavated earth that the gopher pushes out of its underground burrows. The name sandy mounder, with time, became …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/23/is-it-a-salamander-or-pocket-gopher/

Florida Wildflowers: Blazing Star

Monarch butterfly on dense blazing star (Liatris spicata). Beverly Turner, Jackson Minnesota, Bugwood.org The Florida panhandle has a treasure of native wildflowers to enjoy in every season of the year. In the late summer and fall, blazing star, also commonly known as gayfeather, can be found blooming in natural areas and along roadsides. You can …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/22/florida-wildflowers-blazing-star/

Saltbush–a Native Beauty, of Sorts

Saltbush seed in “bloom” stands out in a salt marsh dominated by black needlerush. Photo credit: Zach Schang, FDEP In the spring and summer, no one notices the little green shrub hidden among wax myrtle and marsh elder at the edge of the salt marsh. However, if I’m leading a group of students or a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/17/saltbush-a-native-beauty-of-sorts/

My Fall Vegetable Garden

Direct seed root crops and many leafy greens, such as arugula and spinach. Photo by Molly Jameson. Fall is fast approaching, and that means my favorite season for gardening has arrived! September is the month we get to start all of our fall favorites. For me, this means starting lettuce, kale, broccoli, and collards by …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/16/my-fall-vegetable-garden/

Attract Pollinators with Dotted Horsemint

Bee visiting Monarda punctata. Photo: J. McConnell, UF/IFAS If you are looking for a late summer blooming plant that attracts pollinators and survives in a tough spot, dotted horsemint (Monarda punctata) is for you! This native plant thrives in sunny, well-drained sites but will also tolerate moist garden spots. It grows quickly and blooms prolifically …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/16/attract-pollinators-with-dotted-horsemint/

Perennial Peanut, a Great Choice for Panhandle Pastures and Landscapes

Driving through rural panhandle counties this time of year, one finds pastures with thick green canopies, exploding with yellow-gold flowers. Perennial peanut is in bloom. This is a highly nutritional forage option for livestock and also makes for a beautiful urban groundcover alternative to turfgrass. Perennial Peanut Field. Photo credit: Ray Bodrey, UF/IFAS. Perennial peanut …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/08/perennial-peanut-a-great-choice-for-panhandle-pastures-and-landscapes/

Best Seasons for Planting Coming Up

By the look of the crowded nurseries during March and April, springtime seems to be the best time for planting. This is the case for our frost tender annuals and perennials but we are actually heading into our best seasons for planting trees and shrubs. The fact that above ground portions of trees and shrubs …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/08/best-seasons-for-planting-coming-up/

Distorted Plants

Plants can become distorted for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes nutrient deficiencies or toxicities can cause plants to become distorted. Sometimes excessive amounts of water or sunlight can cause plants to become distorted. And sometimes insect feeding damage can be the culprit. Insects can cause plant mutations by feeding alone or by vectoring disease …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/08/distorted-plants/

Welcome the Air Potato Leaf Beetle

Air potato leaf beetle. Photo credit: Les Harrison, UF/IFAS. A small, but brightly colored beetle has appeared in north Florida: the air potato leaf beetle (Liliocetis cheni), a native of East Asia. The beetle, less than half an inch long, has a candy apple red body that stands out against green leaves and the more …

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Permanent link to this article: http://holmes.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/03/welcome-the-air-potato-leaf-beetle/

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