Garden

UF/IFAS Extension Tips on How to Identify and Prevent Downy Mildew

Florida weather is democratizing in a way; whether you’ve lived here your whole life or just arrived, it can always surprise you. Case in point: this has been a very wet spring for a narrow band stretching from Brooksville to the Cape, and this consistent moisture combined with cool nighttime temperatures explains why I’ve been seeing quite a few outbreaks of one of the nastier pest fungi out there: downy mildew. Downy mildew is a water mold, which is a very special type of fungus that is actually able to swim to find its host. Symptoms tend to first show up in new growth.

UF/IFAS Extension Tips on Pernicious Fungal Pest

Florida weather is democratizing in a way; whether you’ve lived here your whole life or just arrived, it can always surprise you. Case in point: this has been a very wet spring for a narrow band stretching from Brooksville to the Cape, and this consistent moisture combined with cool nighttime temperatures explains why I’ve been seeing quite a few outbreaks of one of the nastier pest fungi out there: downy mildew. Downy mildew is a water mold, which is a very special type of fungus that is actually able to swim to find its host. Symptoms tend to first show up in new growth.

UF/IFAS Extension Recommends Inspecting Your Irrigation System Monthly

Warmer weather is arriving. For those homeowners who have an in-ground irrigation system, now is the perfect time to inspect for any problems. Irrigation systems are made up of many different components. The controller is usually located within your garage. These controllers are user-friendly, and the industry websites have plenty of information on how to program them. Some clocks may have a 9V battery. If it does, make sure to replace it at least once every year.

Normal abnormalities in palm trees

Palm trees are without a doubt one of the most popular landscape plants used in Florida. After all, what is a Florida garden without a palm tree? The famous Carl Linnaeus, The Father of Modern Taxonomy, regarded palms as “Princes in The Landscape.” 

Here in Hernando County, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County Master Gardeners receive many questions on palms. One common question we get in plant clinics is “Why are roots coming out of my palm tree?” “Is this normal?” The answer is yes. 

Keeping Your Crape Myrtles Pest Free

Crape myrtles are one of the best plants to incorporate into your landscape. We often refer to these plants as the “Lilacs of the South.” Crape myrtles come in all shapes and sizes. You can select one that matures to a height of four feet or one that may grow to 25 feet. Flowers vary in hues of pink, white and red. When established, crape myrtles require very little maintenance. However, sometimes you may see leaves turning black.

Lots and Lots of Pineapples

One of our local readers invited the Hernando Sun to come by and check out his pineapple plants.  Acy Holly, who is 89 of Brooksville has over 100 pineapple plants. He started growing them about 5 or 6 years ago.  He said he found a pot with a plant in it one day, not knowing what type of plant it was, continued to water it. One day a pineapple started to grow, and he’s been growing them ever since. In the beginning his wife obtained a few tops that Publix saved for her, and over time the plants have doubled and tripled in number.

Florida Friendly Pruning Tips

Lilly Browning is the Hernando County Florida Friendly Plant Program Coordinator

It is feeling a bit like springtime. We’ve had a fairly warm winter, and some of our spring plants are going to start blooming early. That puts us all in a mood to freshen up our yards, and start pruning for the coming season. Here are some pruning tips to remember before you pick up those pruning shears: