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The Neighborhood Gardener – August

mandevilla flowerThis month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

  • Master Gardener Heat Safety Messages — It’s super hot out there now! Be careful when working in the yard and spending time outside. Last summer, the Extension Master Gardener blog compiled some outdoor summer safety tips from Extension programs across the country—including our own Florida Master Gardener blog.
  • Plant of the Month: Mandevilla — Perfect for trellises and mailbox plantings, mandevilla is a well-behaved tropical vine with pink, red, or even white flowers. It needs to be planted in full sun in order to flower well, and should be watered and fertilized regularly. Gardeners in colder parts of Florida might want to grow mandevilla in containers that can be brought inside during winter.
  • August in Your Garden – The hottest days of summer limit annual and perennial planting to heat-tolerant coleus, impatiens, kalanchoe, and vinca. Get ready for your fall vegetable garden by solarizing the beds and starting seeds of cool-season crops. You can also plant warm-season crops like tomatoes.
  • Pest Update: Caribbean Crazy Ant — This ant can invade buildings and produce overwhelming infestations that make the ground appear to move. The "crazy" moniker comes from their erratic movement and large numbers. Luckily,
    the Caribbean crazy ant does not sting, bite, or transmit disease. While total eradication isn’t probable, there are steps you can take to control this ant.
  • Friend or Foe? Foe: Fleas and Ticks — Fleas and ticks can be irritating pests for both pets and people, causing discomfort and sometimes spreading disease. Ticks can be removed individually, while fleas require a broader management plan. New and safe products are available that can be used as part of a reduced chemical control program.
  • Master Gardener Conference: Registration Now Open – Registration for the 2011 Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference is now open. The conference will be held October 24-26 at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, near Downtown Disney. This year’s conference features a poolside reception, Robert Bowden from Harry P. Leu Gardens, and pre-conference tours.

Read the full August issue.

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