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Let’s Talk About June 2016

By Pat Cordray

One step out the door and you can tell that it is June on the Gulf Coast.  Oh yes, that nice clammy feeling and a sudden drench of sweat, a great start to any day, right?  Maybe not, but it is definitely great for your skin, just keep reminding yourself of that as you melt.   Then there is the buzzing and you know that the swarm has found you and then there is the mad dash back inside to cover yourself with more clothing and an industrial strength mosquito repellent.  Yes, I do love the sport called summer gardening.

What to do this month?  The first thing to do is try to eliminate as much standing water as you can, you don’t want to be a mosquito breeder.   Look around your property and make sure that any container that can hold water is dumped out and the container is turned upside down.  If you have a birdbath replace the water at least once a week.  Do you use saucers under your flowerpots?  How about your gutters?  Are they clean?  Are you controlling mosquitoes in your ponds and fountains?  You may need to check after you water and after a rain.  There are products to help you with your mosquito problem.  Mosquito Bits is a product that controls mosquitoes “before they’re old enough to bite”.  This product can be used in water gardens, flowerpots, gutters and birdbaths.  It is safe for use around fish.  Nature’s Guide Mosquito Repellent is a ready to use repellent that has Citronella Oil, as it’s active ingredient.  This spray can be used anywhere mosquitoes are active.  Bonide Mosquito Beater is a repellent that contains Cedar Oil, Citronella Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Geranium Oil, Lemongrass Oil, as its active ingredients.  This product can also be used anywhere mosquitoes are active.  Nature’s Guide also has a Garlic Spray that works as a mosquito repellent.  These are just a few of the products that we carry to help you control mosquitoes in and around your garden and home.  For more information on these products give us a call at the nursery and   please remember to read the manufactures instructions and precautions before using.

June is the start of bug season (not just mosquitoes) in our area.  While you are out enjoying your garden and watering keep an eye out for bug damage on your plants or the bugs themselves.Mealy bug can be a problem especially on hibiscus.  Look for a white cottony little critter; caught early enough you can just wipe the bug off. If your plant looks flocked for Christmas, then you will need to spray. Scale is a relative of the mealy bug that has a hard shell. Inside this hard shell is a bug.  These insects can be any color and on any plant but we see them on sago palms quite a bit.  Another scale that we see is tea scale on Camellias.  On the top of the leaf you may notice yellow spots, if you look on the underside of the leaf you will see the scale.  Scales can be controlled with orange oil mixed with neem oil.  In extreme cases, you may need to use Tree and Shrub Drench.   Leaf miner is a pest that causes the leaves to curl up, mostly on citrus.  Spinosad is a product that controls leaf miner bugs.   With all of the rain, a number of customers are having problems with fungus in their lawns.  You can use Leaf Mold Compost and or Brown Patch Microlife to control these types of issues.  These are a few pests that gardeners deal with during the summer. So keep on the watch for bugs and changes in your plants so the problems can be easily taken care of.

Sorry for being all about bugs this month.   For a beautiful garden and lots of blooms take the time to water, fertilize and keep your plants in tip top shape this will also help keep the bugs away.

Enjoy your garden no matter the season,

Pat