Categories
Talks

Better Blooms at the Naples Botanical Gardens

Plant 'em high, keep 'em dry, they won't die.Thanks to Dr. Doug Caldwell, Collier County Extension Agent, for inviting me to speak about bringing out the best in your bedding plants.  On Friday, October 11th we were able to draw a crowd of nearly 70 interested gardeners.

It’s fun to encourage people to expand their horizons by considering some old-fashioned flowers in the landscape: zinnias, cosmos, nicotiana (flowering tobacco) and Four O’clocks. And think about non-flowering but colorful plants like ornamental peppers.

Medusa
Medusa

My friend, Jim Pugh of American Farms, Naples completed the program and offered seasoned advice about the best annuals to plant now.

Categories
Gardening Talks

High on Hibiscus

I enjoyed speaking to the James Hendry chapter of the local Hibiscus Society. These people are passionate about their plant(s)!

We met at Famous Dave’s in Fort Myers on the 13th of this month. In the past they met at Terry Park but won’t any more due to Lee County budget constraints.

hib flwr2I spoke about all the various mulches available for landscaping, then wrapped it up with a rogues gallery of sucking insects and their control.

What's bugging your plants?
What’s bugging your plants?
Categories
florida gardening Gardening

Diggin’ in the Dirt

In October there is a flurry of intense activity in the garden. Making your bed takes more time, money and perspiration than the easier step of planting.
“Plan in September, plant in October”. So before tearing open the seed packet there is soil preparation.

Over the years I have various organic fertilizers in the garden. I used to buy separate bags of bone meal. greensand, and dehydrated manures. Espoma makes a ready to use blend with those elements and more.

This year I am using Verdanta, a blended, organic granular that is homogenous and complete.

Feed the soil. Organic "Verdanta" 7-6-12.
Feed the soil. Organic “Verdanta” 7-6-12.
Prevent nematodes with Rootguard: crushed crab shells.
Prevent nematodes with Rootguard: crushed crab shells.
Broadcast evenly.
Broadcast evenly.
Incorporate thoroughly.
Incorporate thoroughly.
Categories
florida gardening In Your Face Planters planter box raised planter

In Your Face Planters

I made the first “In Your Face Planter” because the area I wanted to landscape was full of tree roots and it was below the view from a deck. So I made a 3’x3′ box, 12″ deep and mounted it on a pressure-treated 6″x6″ post, set in concrete. Problem solved; now we could see low growing plants at eye level, where no plants could grow before.

The next five planters I made were for a rocky slope where not even weeds could grow. Twice a year I change them out and plant them with seasonal bedding plants, vines and vegetables. Now these planters are popping up around my landscape like mushrooms.

Hanging baskets and window boxes serve the purpose of bringing plants closer to viewer. These planters do the same in a larger scale. Gardeners with bad knees no longer have to crawl around on the ground to tend their plants. These elevated planters are also wheelchair accessible if built at the correct height.