Clippings by floridajane

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RE: Tomatoes in south Florida ? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: tomncath on 08.09.2010 at 06:37 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

I start them in 3oz Solo bathroom cups using expandable peat cubes under grow lights inside for 2-3 weeks, then pot up into Al's mix in 16 oz. cups and outside with morning sun and afternoon shade for 5-6 weeks, then into their final containers in the garden after that. Works fine for tomatoes but sometimes there are germination problems with peppers...they seem to start better in MG Organic Choice, a little tidbit I picked up from the Pepper forum, sometimes peppers don't like peat.

Others should be along soon with their experiences.



clipped on: 08.10.2010 at 02:37 pm    last updated on: 08.10.2010 at 02:37 pm

RE: Help with Papaya Stump Removal (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: tomncath on 03.07.2010 at 06:29 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

If you have an axe here's how to do it.

1) Rake/shovel all the rock out of there
2) Take the axe and chop a circle around the tree approximately 12-18" away from the base, chopping through the roots.
3) Chop another circle 12-14" outside the first circle, again, chopping through the roots.

Yes, this will dull the axe but I keep an axe just for this purpose and for cutting out squares of St. Augustine sod...working in soil. Works a whole lot better than initially attempting this with a shovel....

4) Use a spade shovel to trench the soil out between the two circles as you chop the roots out.
5) Once you have the trench dug out about two feet start tunneling the soil away back toward the base of the tree.
6) Once you've tunneled back in 6" remove all the dirt you can from the trench and then use a garden hose with a pressure nozzle to work further back toward the base. Once you've loosened enough soil from the roots you should be able to start rocking the tree until it's over enough for you to chop the final roots.

You would not have known to do this but it would have been easier if you'd left another 3' of the tree intact. The higher your leverage the easier it would have been to rock/pull the tree over....



clipped on: 03.08.2010 at 11:52 am    last updated on: 03.08.2010 at 11:52 am

RE: mildew control!! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: orchid923 on 05.26.2009 at 10:31 am in Florida Gardening Forum

I hope the following remedies can help. I'm a Master Gardener in Brevard County, and we give these "recipes" out to the people who call or drop into the office.
Home made soap and oil spray for insect control
Mix: 2-1/2 Tbsp cooking oil + 2- Tbsp baby shampoo. Mix well in 1 gallon of water.

Note: Shake well before and during application. Water the plant well the day before you spray. Do not spray during the heat of the day in full sun. Reduce potential injury by rinsing the plant with fresh water a few hours after the soap spray application. Thorough coverage of the pest is necessary so spray both sides of the foliage thoroughly until it drips form the leaves.
Spray every 5-7 days as needed.

If a fungus is also present then add to the above formula: 2 Tbsp baking soda

Note: Shake well before and during application. If the weather is humid or the threat of disease is high, spray every five to seven days. Spray both sides of the leaves thoroughly. Always test any spray on a small area of the plant. Can be used against blackspot and mildew on roses, powdery mildew on summer squash, early blight on tomatoes and alternaria leaf blight on melons, and who knows what else !

The use of soap or oil for insect control will control the insects but will do nothing to correct the condition that is making the plant susceptible to the insects. Using foliar applications of fish emulsion and seaweed may help ill plants do better.

Another control for the fungus Powdery Mildew
Spray a milk solution (a minimum of a 10% concentration which is 1 cup of milk in 9 cups of water) sprayed twice a week. The milk was shown to be as effective or better than conventional fungicides.
(Research conducted in Brazil and published in the journal Crop Protection vol. 18, 1999, pp 489-92)

Use aspirin to fight fungus too ! Dissolve of an aspirin in a gallon water and spray every two to three weeks. The aspirin will boost the plants defense mechanism. (Testing done at the University of Rhode Island showed that tomato and other plants tested also yielded more fruit than those treated with commercial fertilizers,.)


clipped on: 05.26.2009 at 05:12 pm    last updated on: 09.16.2009 at 01:51 pm

RE: Fall veggie seeds (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: tomncath on 08.11.2009 at 04:21 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

Hi Jen,

Keep plugging at it and you'll get better. I grow everything in containers, 5 gallons for all but the beefstake type tomatoes, they have gone in 7 gallon containers but I did have success last year with the Brandy Boys in 5 gallon containers so it can be done. Lets see if someone from down that way will chime in with varieties that do well there, if not, I think you can't go wrong with several of the Cherries; Super Sweet 100, Husky Cherry Red, Sungold, and if you want different color Dr. Carolyn or Black Cherry. As far as summer squash goes I tell everybody to try Butterstick because it's fairly easy to grow and a wonderful producer.




clipped on: 08.13.2009 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 08.13.2009 at 09:27 am

RE: Fish guts (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: thonotorose on 02.09.2009 at 09:39 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

Here is a Fish Gut Recipe from a Florida Cracker farmer.

Take a 5 gallon bucket and drill several 3/8 or 1/2 inch holes in the bottom and/or the very bottom of the sides. This lets the worms and ants get in and do their work.

Add a shovel or two of soil, a layer of FGs, another layer of soil, etc. (As if you were making a trifle or a lasagna.)

When full (or out of FGs) cover tightly with lid and place out in an area away from people if possible. It can help to bury the bottom 3 or 4 inches.

After about two weeks, sift if you used fish frames, you will have a great fertilizer.

The one time I did this it had no smell that we could detect and it was a nice fert. It did not burn but we used it only a handful at a time, here and there.


clipped on: 02.11.2009 at 02:37 pm    last updated on: 02.11.2009 at 02:37 pm

RE: Veggies not thriving (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: veggrljo on 07.14.2008 at 02:24 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

Honestly- seeds have worked best for me. I start them in small pots and transplant at the correct time. Some of them - like Okra, beans and lettuce, I seed directly into the garden.

I mainly start tomatoes, peppers and eggplant for transplanting.
Some of the seeds that have done exceptionally well for me are:
Amish Paste tomatoes- Heirloom
Cos Romaine Lettuce
Helda Beans
Yard Long Beans (Great for summer)
Danvers Carrots
Georgia Southern Collards
North and South Hybrid Okra
Country Fair Cucumbers did ok as did Broccoli raab, Baby Bok Choy and countless herbs.
This year I am adding sweet corn and spinach- so if anyone has a particularly successful strain I would love to hear about it.
Happy Gardening!


clipped on: 09.12.2008 at 08:06 pm    last updated on: 09.12.2008 at 08:06 pm

RE: Caribbean Crazy Ants (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: grega on 08.24.2008 at 08:50 am in Florida Gardening Forum

You are welcome!
Talstar is an insecticide that repels. It kills on contact but soon after application others coming into the area where product was applied will try to avoid it.
Over and Out is a non repellent. Say one month after you put it down, if they crawl over it they will pass the fipronil through the colony with their social behavior.
Keep in mind, if they are living above the ground in trees and/or shrubs and if they are trailing onto the house, it is unlikely they will come in contact with what has been applied to the ground.
Bayer, the manufacturer of Over and Out claims "season long control", whatever that means. I would think you would get 2-3 months control, outside of monsoon type rains that we have had over the last week.


clipped on: 08.27.2008 at 11:54 am    last updated on: 08.27.2008 at 11:54 am

RE: ECHO Tropical Fruit Tree nursery Ft Myers (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: happy_fl_gardener on 08.06.2008 at 10:03 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

ECHO is where I buy my papaya seeds. They have the Red Lady papaya that is a dwarf. It is a good producer and the fruit tastes good too. I start my seeds in September and keep them in a pot so I can protect them from the cold since I am in zone 9a, then I plant them in my garden in March. The seeds can be ordered by mail. I highly recommend this variety that ECHO sells.


clipped on: 08.10.2008 at 12:22 pm    last updated on: 08.10.2008 at 12:22 pm

RE: Sunshine Blueberries (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: gcmastiffs on 08.09.2008 at 09:54 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

You need to order them bare-root, in winter. Then the cost is MUCH less. This is not the right time of year to get Blues.

I get mine from Bay Laurel Nursery, in California. But there are lots of places to buy them on line.

Sunshine Blues are terrific for zones 9-10. They do well in a container, with an acidic soil mix.

Well worth growing! But get more than you think you will need. I recommend 6-10 for an average family of 4. The berries are delicious!



clipped on: 08.10.2008 at 12:15 pm    last updated on: 08.10.2008 at 12:15 pm

RE: Masters of Blueberry culture (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: dghays on 06.16.2008 at 07:58 am in Florida Gardening Forum

Soil preparation must be done 3 months ahead of time if you used wettable sulfur to allow bacteria to work it into its desired form. Additions of peat and pine bark will help since they're both very acid in nature. Commercially BB are grown often in pure pine bark beds, and the roots usually stay in the pine bark. They must be watered often until established. I planted a 42' long bed recently, so far so good, but if you don't have naturally acid soil, it can be difficult. My soil is naturally acid, but I have to plant in a raised bed due to potential flooding.



clipped on: 06.21.2008 at 03:23 pm    last updated on: 06.21.2008 at 03:24 pm

RE: Need advice on track lighting (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bob_cville on 02.01.2008 at 11:11 am in Kitchens Forum

I looked at this extensively. One thing that I found was that George Kovacs seems to be the least expensive option, however many people report that the system is dead on arrival, sometime multiple times for the same customer.

I decided to go with a line voltage monorail system rather that a low-voltage system which would require a transformer which may buzz, and which may be difficult (or impossible) to dim and which may burn out at some point in the future.

Also I specifically wanted lights that would look good hanging straight down, rather than being angled off to the side like the two images you showed.

I ended up going with Nora Rail lights purchased from arcadian lighting and used their 110% price match relative to the prices for the same set-up from Besthomesystems

Here's an image of how the lights look:


clipped on: 02.02.2008 at 09:52 am    last updated on: 02.02.2008 at 09:52 am

RE: Papayas (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: gcmastiffs on 11.10.2007 at 01:36 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

I've been harvesting Papayas daily for a month now. They are delicious, with no fruit flies at all in these crops, much to my delight! I like shorter trees (dwarf) with smaller fruits that can be consumed by one person. Some of my trees have HUGE fruits, and it is just too much. I like Solo, and Red Lady and Red Maradol.

It is difficult to pick the fruits if the trees are too tall. To harvest my big ones, I'm up on a ladder, swatting at the fruits with a broom(G).

Green Papaya Salad is another way to use this remarkable fruit.

It will take at least a year, possibly 2 years to get a fruiting tree from seed. The trees do grow fast, but the fruits take quite a few months to mature.

I bought seeds from the website below, with great success. Using seeds from a grocery store fruit is fun, but you won't know the variety usually, and you won't get "sexed" trees that self pollinate.

Papayas grow well with Bananas. They look good together and both enjoy plentiful water and lots of fertilizer.

I had a wonderful breakfast today, of a fresh, home-grown Solo Papaya,with cottage cheese, covered with juicy Pomegranate! Yummy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Great Papaya seed source


clipped on: 11.23.2007 at 08:39 pm    last updated on: 11.23.2007 at 08:39 pm

RE: Another Plea for Help with my sad Kitchen Lighting plan (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: davidr on 06.13.2007 at 03:49 pm in Lighting Forum

But flourescents? Really?

You bet. I love 'em, both for the intensity without excessive heat or electricity use, and for the smoothness of the light. At least for the linear type, the large radiating surface minimizes shadows, like working outside under a clear blue sky with indirect sunlight.

Funny, when I was much younger, I hated fluorescents. I ripped them out of one house I owned. But three things happened.

  1. I got older and my eyes got weaker.
  2. Electricity got more expensive.
  3. Fluorescents got much, much better.

A lot of people still think that fluorescents are those ghastly greenish-grey humming, flickering "cool white" tubes in offices. No more.

I'll have to admit you can still get the ugly type if you're a cheapskate. The buck-or-two lamps are the low-CRI cool white or pinkish warm white.

But for fixtures and lamps of any quality, the light is dramatically better. Tri-phosphor T8 lamps have a range of color temperatures from warm to bluish daylight, and very good color rendering index (but don't let them sell you lamps with a 7xx number - those are lower CRI).

Fluorescents come in more shapes and types (notably compact fluorescents). This makes them easier to fit into more spaces.

Finally, there are even a few decent looking fixtures if you look around. In my area the big locally owned electrical supply carries some fairly nice ones. I've seen a few online, too.


clipped on: 07.14.2007 at 11:27 am    last updated on: 07.14.2007 at 11:27 am

RE: Ixora as Hedge and/or Background Planting..?? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: longwoodgradms on 10.23.2006 at 07:00 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

It may or may not be a good choice as ixoras love acidic soil. If you don't have it (other than the larger cultivar 'Nora Grant') their leaves will be consistently and boldly yellowed from their failure to uptake iron and magnesium. Foundations and sidewalks are concrete, notorious for creating alkaline conditions.

A fantastic shrub that flowers practically year round down here and can be pruned back 2-4' (it naturally grows to 5'), is the Amethyst Star (Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum). They are making their ways into more and more regular nurseries now. Fantasic flowers, most particularly from Nov-APril, but continue the rest of year, too.

There is a true dwarf of the FL native firebush called Compacta I believe (Hamelia patens 'Compacta') that will be a great tough bloomer at hte foundation, too. Or, a hybrid firebush called Firefly Bush (Hamelia x 'Firefly') maxes out at about 4-5' and can be cut back readily. Just avoid the "African Firebush" which is from Mexico and will be up to 8' tall, and our true native firebsh will be far too tall.


clipped on: 10.31.2006 at 10:11 am    last updated on: 10.31.2006 at 10:12 am

RE: Pruning Hibiscus (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: longwoodgradms on 09.30.2006 at 07:26 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

If you're in zone 10 you can prune heavily any time of year. Last year, as a result of a very badly infested gall midge infestation, the hibiscus were cut to 12-18" in mid October (just before WIlma).

Then, the stub shurbs were showered in soap and oil to kill any bad stuff lingering. Then, as the new leaves emerged, soap was used as needed to ensure "clean" new growth. By mid December, many cultivars were flowering again.

I'd do the prune in spring, too, but I"ve noticed that new growth in March and April is really attractive to aphids and white flies. The gall midges seem to lessen (as with all the other pests) from Nov-feb. You just have to be ready for them as the heat of March takes over.

When you mention "years ago"--what do yo mean? Gall midge was introduced into Fl in the mid 1990s and its getting very progressively worse. 3-4 years ago in W. Palm it was just starting, now it's pretty widespread, and I see you've got a convincing problem with it up in St Lucie county.Each year you hear people in different parts of the state start complaining of the bud drop, so you can watch the spread around the state.


clipped on: 10.02.2006 at 09:22 am    last updated on: 10.02.2006 at 09:22 am

RE: Veggie Seedlings (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: treefrog_fl on 09.20.2006 at 05:19 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

I don't think after only 2 weeks the plants are ready to go into the ground quite yet. You could try a couple, but in my experience they'll be pretty stressed for their size and root mass.
There are all sorts of little creatures roaming along the ground, like flea beetles, cutworms, snails and such that might see the little stressed plant as an easy meal.
The heat might not be a problem.
I'd put them into a little larger pot, deeply planted, keep 'em on the drier side (without wilting), and get them slowly into more and more sun. You probably don't need the tray under them either. Let the water drain out, water again only when the top of the soil dries out (which could be every day if the rain stops and the sun is hot.)
Don't fertilize immediately after transplanting. Wait a few days, then just dilutely (half strength at most) with whatever you use. You'll probably only need to do this once.
The preferred time to plant them out is about 4 to 6 weeks from germination.

Hope this helps.



clipped on: 09.21.2006 at 09:09 am    last updated on: 09.21.2006 at 09:10 am

RE: Who is eating my hibiscus? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: solstice98 on 08.10.2006 at 05:39 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

I've had two problems with the hibiscus for the past couple years. One of them is bud drop due to the midge. Sevin dust works great. I sprinkle some on every couple weeks and it takes care of it.
The other problem has to do with squirrels! They remove the flowers and eat them like lettuce!


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 09:32 am    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 09:33 am

RE: How much to trim Peregrina (Jatropha integerrima)? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: an_ill-mannered_ache 9a (Guest) on 08.19.2006 at 03:47 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

A standard that's 7' by 7'? When you say standard form, you do mean "shaped like a tree"? It's just hard for me to picture it.

Spicy Jatropha loves to be whacked way back. My friend grows it, and cuts it to the ground every year, in order to asure a thick, wide bushy form. (I keep my big one in a pot -- it's one of the only flowering plants that can grow in a pot, full sun, and stand to miss a day or two of watering.)

If you're willing to put up with a temporarily much diminished Jatropha, you'll be rewarded in a few months by a lot of thick growth. I can't promise it will be quick, esp. this time of the year (shortening days), though. (All new growth in jatropha terminates in a bloom -- like a rose.)

BTW, Jatropha is EXTREMELY easy to start from cuttings. I am a terrible propagator, but this is the one plant that always starts for me without a hitch. So -- start the trims!


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 09:25 am    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 09:25 am

RE: Farmers Market-Immokalee (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: cindeea on 09.04.2006 at 12:13 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

floridajane - Hi Neighbor! We live just off Hwy 82 (Immokalee Road) and Daniels. We just take 82 into Immokalee, it's only about 20 minutes from here. Jane-check out the fle market Lady mentioned also. The one under the Caloosahatchee bridge on Thursdays. They usually have a lot of plants and small trees too as well as cut and dried flowers.

Lady-you could smell the ripe pineapple even with the windows closed.


clipped on: 09.08.2006 at 07:53 pm    last updated on: 09.08.2006 at 07:53 pm

RE: Key Lime Pie!!!!!! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: corar on 09.03.2006 at 01:14 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

coffeemom, couldn't find an e-mail addy for you so the whole GW gets to share this old Cracker recipe.


1 9" baked pie shell
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Key Lime juice
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon Key Lime zest
Pour milk into a mixing bowl and add lime juice. Mix thoroughly. Add lime zest and eggs and beat until thick. Pour into the pie shell.
Meringue: beat two egg whites with 3 Tbs sugar, 1/4tsp cream of tarter and 1/8 tsp salt until stiff but not dry. Spread over top of pie making sure the meringue makes contact with the pie shell. This keeps it from pulling away from the crust while baking. Bake in a 300 degree oven until the meringue is golden brown.

The acid of the Key limes is what "cooks" the egg yolks. No self-respecting Cracker would make a Key Lime pie with a crumb crust or a green pudding filling!


clipped on: 09.04.2006 at 09:22 am    last updated on: 09.04.2006 at 09:23 am

RE: low-growing plants for between stepping stones? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: juneroses on 08.29.2006 at 05:05 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

I walked through the Trial Gardens at the University of Florida in Gainesville today and saw a plant you might want to consider. It was Goldflake Mecardonia from Proven Winners . It was very low growing and its green foliage looked very fresh despite baking in the middle of the garden with no shade. There were drip hoses placed throughout the garden so I'm guessing they do get some periodic irrigation.

The link below, from Proven Winners, is about this plant. I did see some little yellow flowers in the garden but I think the picture in the link misleads as to the flower impact.

However, it is late August and in the 90's so maybe the plant does look like its picture earlier in the year.


Here is a link that might be useful: Goldflake Mecardonia


clipped on: 09.02.2006 at 09:09 am    last updated on: 09.02.2006 at 09:09 am

RE: Beautyberry Followup (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: butterflygardener on 07.14.2006 at 04:30 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

Michelle~ I will estimate this bush to be about 8 feet tall maybe slightly taller.

Amber~Thanks! This is my native bed. It has seaside goldenrod, elderberry, white indigo berry, marlberry, wax myrtle, simpson stopper, spice tree, anise bush/tree, and the list goes on.


NATIVE BED-- good mix!
clipped on: 09.02.2006 at 09:01 am    last updated on: 09.02.2006 at 09:01 am

RE: Things that won't grow in Florida (Follow-Up #46)

posted by: GCMastiffs on 09.22.2005 at 06:02 am in Florida Gardening Forum

bigpaulie, the 2 best sources for low chill fruit trees I have found, and purchased from, are Just Fruits and Exotics in N. Florida, and Bay Laurel Nursery in California.

At Bay Laurel you have many, many choices and can pick your rootstock. I grow lots of container fruit trees, so dwarfing rootsocks are important, as well as disease resistance and early bearing. The trees I got from Bay Laurel have huge trunk diameters and most produced that spring. Got them in February, had fruit to harvest in May/June.

Just Fruits has nice, healthy trees, just a little smaller and not a choice of rootstocks. But I'm very pleased with their trees as well.

I got all the low chill apples/Peach/Pear/Nectarine/Plum varieties. My favorite Peach is Tropic Snow, favorite Apple is Anna or Tropic Sweet. The Pears haven't produced yet.

Growing fruit trees in Florida is very interesting, fun and rewarding. The biggest problem I have had is the squirrels - and they destroy nearly all my hard work, every year.

So grow some dwarf trees in containers near your house if you actually want to eat the fruit(G).



clipped on: 07.19.2006 at 04:30 pm    last updated on: 07.19.2006 at 04:30 pm

RE: Planting a tomato garden in FL--need a primer (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: peggy_g on 07.12.2006 at 12:02 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

Google Fl. vegetable gardening guide. The first one listed is from the Univ. of Fl. You can print it out. I have the best luck growing varieties that have the most disease resistance as noted by the V,N,T,F,A listed after the varieties name. V verticillum wilt, F fusarium wilt, N nematodes, T tobacco mosiac virus, and A alternia. If you see two of the same letter it means the plant is resistant or tolerent to two strains of the disease. I usually set out tomato plants in Sept. and Jan.- March. Good luck and wecome to Fl.


clipped on: 07.19.2006 at 04:17 pm    last updated on: 07.19.2006 at 04:18 pm