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Leave that lichen alone

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Some folks think lichen is bad for their trees. Those people can be spotted standing out in the hot sun picking little gray-green tufts off their tree trunks like a woodpecker hunting for bugs. But it’s completely unnecessary.

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The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall – Hurricanes and the Home Garden

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Each year South Florida braces for the “big one”. Churning its way across the Tropical Atlantic, a major hurricane exacts a toll on life and property like few other natural disasters can do. Damage to the home landscape can be considerable and long lasting, even with a smaller category 1 or 2 storm. And, for many of us, the dread associated with an approaching storm revolves around fears over the loss of our landscape and not the loss of life...   

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Palms that break the rules

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Most plant lovers are knowledgeable about palm habit. It is uniform — a trunk with one crown of green, folded leaves and flowers borne below or within the crown. This most common growth habit gives the best support, with the greatest chance of survival for a majority of palm species.

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Terrariums bring the outdoors inside

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oh terrarium, how I love thee! Why? Because terrariums might be the perfect way to garden — you can make them indoors sans mosquitoes and heat, maintain the entire area in just minutes and create your own perfect little garden utopia in a jar.

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A new generation of jackfruit includes smaller varieties

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a tropical tree native to western India that has been cultivated in Florida for more than a century. But now, with superior varieties available and growing techniques updated, it’s time to take advantage of its potential for production.

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The honeybees in the house had to be evicted — humanely

Saturday, August 30, 2014

We’ve been hearing a lot about honeybees dying en masse, about Colony Collapse Disorder, even predictions that the honeybee is headed for extinction. There is no doubt that beekeepers as well as farmers who require bees to pollinate their crops are losing lots of bees — entire hives in fact. Some beekeepers have reported that 30 to 90 percent of their bees have died.

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Beating the bugs: marauding mosquitos

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I’ve never met anyone with any compassion for the mosquito. Besides serving as food (not often enough) for birds, bats and frogs, their only asset is their role as pollinators. Now more than ever, especially as gardeners, we need to be aware of the diseases mosquitos spread and how to avoid them while managing not to poison ourselves and allied insects.

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Dragon fruit surprisingly easy to grow

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dragon fruit: The name alone is mysterious and intriguing, and its appearance does not disappoint. The fruit itself looks like it’s straight out of a video game. It has a flame-red, egg-shaped body and what looks like reptile scales tipped in yellow-green. The fruit may look like exotic, but you can grow it in a typical South Florida garden.

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Going exotic in summer vegetable garden

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Just because the tomatoes stopped producing and the cilantro went to seed long ago doesn’t mean we can’t grow edibles in the summer in South Florida. In fact, there’s lots we can grow in the dead of summer. The key is looking to parts of the world with similar climates — very hot, humid and rainy summers. Surely some edible plants have evolved to live in such conditions.

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Mango trees and South Florida are a nice fit

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Growing, blooming and fruiting in the heat of summer, enduring the cold of winter and the fury of hurricanes, mangoes have made this land their home — the warm, southern extreme of South Florida between the ocean and the great expanse of the Everglades.

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