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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Organic Controls for Home Gardeners: Saturday, September 16th

Organic Controls for Home Gardeners
Learn details of each organic option to control insects and disease. Observe the spray being mixed and properly applied to plants. Organic controls chart provided to participants.

Saturday, September 16th
2710 5TH ST SW
Lehigh Acres

$10 adult
FREE to youth, 4-H members, 4-H parents, and 4-H leaders. 

This is an outdoor, hands-on class. Wear sturdy shoes and sun protection.

RSVP appreciated

Saturday, September 2nd: Starting Tomatoes From Seed

Starting Tomatoes from Seed
Learn everything that is put into quality potting soil for TOMATOES. Start a tray of different tomatoes from seed. Class fee includes pots, tray, soil, tags, seeds.

Saturday, September 2nd
2710 5TH ST SW
Lehigh Acres

$10 adult
FREE to youth, 4-H members, 4-H parents, and 4-H leaders. 
This is an outdoor, hands-on class. Wear sturdy shoes and sun protection.

RSVP appreciated

Friday, August 18, 2017

Lemon Guava

Lemon Guava. Psidium littorale var. littorale

My poor Lemon Guava is so weighted with fruit. In the past, I considered removing this tree because the fruit developed a tough outer skin, never changed color, or ripened. Not the case with this crop of delicious Lemon Guava fruit.

Harvest yellow and yellow-green fruit that easily comes off the tree. If you wait too long, the Caribbean fruit fly might deposit larvae inside your fruit. You can still eat them, they just have more protein. Eat them like you would a berry or grape with seeds in them. Chew lightly and the seeds won't get stuck in your teeth. To me, they have a pear-like flavor.

Lemon Guava is slow growing and smaller than the Strawberry Guava. It will take periods of cold to 20º. Not the most beautiful when branches are drooping with fruit, but we still love it at the front of our house. It needs no pollinator and once established it appears to be insect and disease-free.

The reason you don't find lemon guava fruit in the grocery store is that the skin bruises easily then browns like a very ripe pear.

I'll add a photo of the fluffy, white flowers when it blooms again.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gardening for Pollinators

UF/IFAS Collier Extension, Naples FL
14700 Immokalee Road
Naples, FL 34119

Gardening for Pollinators
November 2, 3PM-5PM

You can provide food and habitat in your backyard to help pollinators thrive, every food source and habitat provided can help pollinators rebound from the challenges they face today. Making a place in your garden specifically for native pollinators can help preserve struggling local populations.

Register Now!

Naples Yard and Garden Show, October 21-22

Naples Yard and Garden Show, October 21-22.

Orchids ❀ Tropicals ❀ Palms ❀Fruit Trees ❀ Herbs ❀ Native Plants ❀ Bromeliads ❀ Garden Art ❀ Butterfly Plants and much more!
For more information visit their website

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Growing Bananas Class: Saturday, August 26th

Growing Bananas: fertilizing, watering, care, sucker removal.

View bananas in all phases of growth and learn the care required to produce fruit and to keep at full production. Limited amount of banana suckers will be provided to paying attendees at no additional charge.

Saturday, August 26th
2710 5TH ST SW
Lehigh Acres

$10 adult
FREE to youth, 4-H members, 4-H parents, and 4-H leaders.

Wear sturdy shoes, sun protection, and insect repellent. High heels will be turned away. 

RSVP appreciated

Ground Covers Class: Saturday, August 19th

Edible Ground Covers: perennial peanut (flowers are edible), tropical cucumbers, tropical spinach, and perennial onions.

View these ground covers and learn the minimal care required. Cuttings of certain plants will be provided to attendees at no additional charge.

Saturday, August 19th
2710 5TH ST SW
Lehigh Acres

$10 adult
FREE to youth, 4-H members, 4-H parents, and 4-H leaders.

Wear sturdy shoes, sun protection, and insect repellent. High heels will be turned away.

RSVP appreciated

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Get your wasps and join the fight against citrus greening

By Scottie Andrew / Correspondent

Homeowners with citrus trees in their yards can apply online to have a vial of tiny parasitic wasps mailed to them,that can then be released onto citrus trees.

To defend the state’s citrus crop from an industry-crippling infection, scientists with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services are fighting pest with parasite.

Florida residents can apply online to the department for tiny parasitic wasps called tamarixia that hunt the Asian citrus psyllid, an invasive insect that spreads the fatal disease “citrus greening.”

The psyllid carries the infection, which plugs the plant’s phloem, starves the tree and causes fruit to drop prematurely. Tamarixia feed on the pest and lay eggs inside young psyllids, killing them and, hopefully, the bacteria that cause the disease, said biological scientist Gloria Lotz.

At a mass-rearing lab in Gainesville, one of a few throughout the state, Lotz and fellow researchers supply over 1 million tamarixia every year to commercial citrus growers and now, Florida residents who want to protect their backyard citrus trees.

The tamarixia release program is one of several tools researchers and growers use to slow greening’s spread, including pesticides to kill the disease-causing bacteria and hydroponic systems to keep infected plants healthy.

But there’s no single solution to a complex problem like citrus greening. It’s infected nearly 100 percent of the state’s mature citrus trees, said Steve Futch, a citrus agent at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.

Biocontrol methods usually operate as a “series of waves,” he said; when there are fewer pests, the parasite that hunts them starts to decline, too.

The chances of eradicating the psyllid and the infection with tamarixia are slim, he said — but it should work well in smaller, urban environments, where wasps can fly between citrus trees on different properties.

The citrus industry employs nearly 76,000 growers, truckers, pickers and packers who face job loss if crop production continues to decline. But Futch said despite the bleak prognosis, Florida’s staple crop will survive—though it may be a bit smaller.

“There will always be a citrus industry in Florida,” he said. “It will be different in the future than it is today and in the past.” Citrus tree owners can apply here to have a small vial of the tiny wasps sent to their home:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Banana Bread Recipe

Preheat oven to 350º

Mix well in bowl 1:
about 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas
Dash molasses (I use blackstrap)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter
dash vanilla

Mix well in bowl 2:
1.25 cups sugar
2 cups flour (or 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour, or 1.75 cups of a mix)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
handful of chocolate chips

Mix dry into wet:
Spray pan(s)
Fill pan(s)

Times are approximate:
350º for 65 minutes in one large bread loaf
350º for 35 minutes in two small bread loaves
350º for 25 minutes in four mini bread loaves

Use a toothpick to check on loaves until you know your oven and pans. It should feel firm and come out clean. Let cool 15 minutes then turn out onto rack.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Propagating Perennial Peanut from Cuttings


Perennial Peanut: a legume that "fixes" nitrogen from the air into the soil, aiding in fertilization of surrounding plants. The only edible part are the yellow flowers.

After trimming back an area of perennial peanut I wondered how easy it would be to get cuttings to root in water. Three days later, great roots! 

The "woodier" and brown stemmed cuttings did not root, but the green stemmed ones did.