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All Florida Chit Chat #5
Please join us, it does not matter if you live in our lovely state are not, everyone is welcome
We have a bunch of I believe swamp mallow along the road in wet area near my house. Do butterflies like them? They are blooming now and look as big as a desert plate. Don't think I'll dig them up cause they are on a really blind curve in the road but I admire them every time we drive by. Your plant is beautiful. Your butterflies are lucky.
Bonnie I have never seen butterflies on my swamp mallows or Hibiscus
Linda Brandy found them at Earth Works on Beach Blv. and told me. I think they have a couple of more.
I've tried the giant milkweed, but haven't been able to get it to survive the winters in my garden, but I know that margaran in Jax/Mandarin area has grown it. She is nearer the river so her garden climate would be somewhat warmer in winters.
Oh, I live only ten minutes away from Lukas gardens, I must go get some of that milkweed. Hope they still have some. I sometimes find unusual finds there. It has been so hot I haven't stopped in lately, and I need another plant like I need a hole in my head. ☺
sunkisse they had a number of them, they are not cheap but nice big plants.$24.99.
Jeremy I am a little warmer over here than you are, plus I put one in a large pot so I can move it.
Hi Guys and Gals,
I am trying to start working on two projects, 1. Drip Irrigation & 2.Start a Garden Journal to get organized
1. Has anyone tried drip irrigation in their yards ? How were the results ? I need all the pointers I could get.
I have read about them from various websites including the irrigation supply websites. I am trying to see one to feel comfortable before I start building one myself.
2. How to stay organized, to remember all the days and ways to fertilize etc...etc..., it is easy to get overwhelmed.
What works for you a Notebook and a pencil, or did you buy one which is already built for you.
Or did you go to a website to work or did you buy a software ?
Any and all ideas, suggestions or help towards easing into the above two tasks which have got me stumped for the moment will be very much appreciated.
Thanks & regards
This message was edited Jul 24, 2012 6:41 PM
check with your local county extention office regarding drip irrigation. Here in manatee, they provide an excellent free class, they even offer free items, they will even come out and check your existing system to see if you have the right heads to do the right jobs at the right areas of your yard. They also offer us a free rain eyes that if you use them helps with water bills. The eyes will keep your irrigation system from running should it have already or is currently raining at the time your system would come on. They will also help with laying out plans for a new systems. I've been to a number of the classes and the speakers are excellent. So check in your county for this free service. FL is all about conserving water.
As far as garden journal, I use Excel to track everything I do and when something will be due.
Thanks Jan, I will check with our Fl Ext Office, I am still not Excel Savvy yet .
Thanks for sharing
disneydoc, My husband put in a drip irrigation system about a 2 years ago. I was a bit leery of it at first but now I really do like it. There is less disease on my plants now, and the flowers pots get much better watering without a big waste of water. And everything isn't turning orange from our well water, since no overhead watering. The greatest thing I like about it is the drought tolerant plants don't have to have irrigation but the water hogs can have their own water supply and be next to each other. So after a good season and half of using this kind of irrigation system my garden has never looked better.
The only problem we've encountered with it is wildlife. In drought conditions the squirrels have chewed the ends off. But easily can be fixed. They only seem to bother with it when no rain for awhile. Sometimes garden debris will plug up the little sprinklers, or a head pop off and too much water in one place and reducing water in other areas. So I do a good bi-monthly check of the system to make sure everything works, the fixes take only a few moments of your time.
My husband bought most of the stuff at Home Depot or Lowe's, but also found some good things at a local irrigation supply. He did most his research on-line and said the local University has quite a bit of info. and offered classes, although he didn't take classes.
As far as the journal I love using Dave's Garden now. I use to use excel, but I find this website much more user friendly. You really just have to play around with it for a bit to figure it out, but once you get the knack, you can set it up just about anyway you want. This thread will help you out and you can ask questions. Good luck and have fun. It was good winter project for me.
Was at Lowe's today while nursery truck was unloading. Boy did I get a bargain. 3 - 8 foot weeping willows for $12.98 ea. And of course some sick ones from discocunt racks. With my TLC they will come alive. Have 3 hanging baskets that need replacements.
Now I will have weeping willow at ea. end of my pond. I am so happy. I paid $40. ea. for the ones I bought from Just Fruits & Exoxtics up in N. Fl. for my dgt. She has very wet low ground so they are doing well for her.
Also, tried out my irrigation system in front yard and yippy our canal now has enough water to run it again. What a blessing. We have been getting little rains in the afternoons but we are going on vacation Aug. 1 so I wanted to make sure it would work. The rain sensor will shut it off so it won't come on during a rain. Disneydoc. this is not the drip irrigation system I discussed with you in back yard in other thread.
Happy gardening to all.
I spotted this flower a few days ago near the Winn-Dixie grocery store where we shop (only store within walking distance now that Food Lion went out of business, and we rely on the city bus service since we still lack a working vehicle). I thought the flower might be Cardinal Guard (Pachystachys coccinea) http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/67588/ but it doesn't seem to match up with the photos I see in Plant Files and elsewhere. It definitely looks like a Justicia or Pachystachys, but I'm open to suggestions as to its I.D.
How would you REMOVE JUNIPERS ? Need help with any and all experiences/ ideas for removing these 10yr old Junipers.
I learnt via Google that they have a deep root system, some people have used come along or chain tied to the back of a vehicle to yank them out and some just old fashioned labor intensive dug them out.
Thanks and regards
I've never removed deeply rooted junipers, but have tried to dig out Japanese Yew (Podocarpus) which also have a long tap root. My suggestion would be to dig down far enough to reveal the central root stem (probably about 2 ft), then use a saws-all tool to cut the root below the soil surface. The remaining root will probably rot in the ground within a few years.
Don't use a chain saw to cut the root. Nothing dulls a chain saw blade faster than being exposed to sand/dirt. The saws-all (demolition type reciprocating saw) can be used to remove any thick roots in soil. The blade is easily replaced. You can find the saws-all tool for about $10 - $15 at most pawn shops.
Couldn't get to sleep last night for some weird reason. Was up til about 4 AM, kept eating because I thought I was hungry, finally took a pill to knock me out. I didn't wake up until about 1 PM, so the day has mostly been shot. I did get to the grocery store (walking in this heat, not a fun jaunt), and got the battery out of the wrecked Mustang to see if the engine will still start. It was running o.k. before the battery died. I may try to do the body work to get it back on the road again.
Your post was very informative, and I learnt a lot from the DG link you sent me, thanks for sharing.
Please pardon the rant.
I feel cheated to the core today. It's not a good feeling.
While I was in the hospital, the caterpillars defoliated 97% of my passionflower vines. Last time I tended them, they were growing 2 feet thick on each side of the trellis, 6 feet wide and 8 feet high: 192 cubic feet of luxuriant passionflower vines, with blooms everywhere. They stopped traffic on our street. That was 6 weeks ago.
Now, there's nothing left but basically bare stems, save for a few occasional half-munched leaves and the trellis itself. OK... you got the picture. So, you ask yourself: "Why does he feel cheated?" I tell myself that those cursed caterpillars ate to their heart's content. Logic would dictate that with a full belly, they probably metamorphosed into butterflies. So, we should be knee-deep in butterflies by now. Well, think again, my friends: not a butterfly to be seen. I have been swindled! Vengence will be mine, eventually!
Considering all the grief those passionvines put me through, I should rip all that out, thereby shutting down the catterpillar's free candy store. My friend Nancy has a glorious rangoon creeper that the caterpillars seem to leave alone. I should plant that on the trellis, or a blue sky vine, a queen's wreath, or a dutchman's pipe, or something else altogether. Back to the ol' drawing board.
Take care, all.
Sylvain do you have any plants for the adult butterflies to feed on? Just plant more passion vines and the adults will return to lay their eggs. Besides it takes time for the cats to turn into butterflies. LOL
The Dutchman's pipe vines have 2 butterflies that feed on them but they grow so fast it is not a problem.
I have a few butterfly plants and my neighbor, 30 away from me has lots in that category. The butterflies should be fluttering by. Great info re dutchman's pipe. Note to self: Scratch that dutchman's pipe idea off the drawing board.
Will if you get the Giant one you would only have to worry about one kind of butterfly and the fact that the darn vine will try to take over your yard!!!!
Thankfully mine is killed back each winter. And the butterflies do very little damage to it.
Sylvain -- sorry for the loss of your passionvines to the eternally hungry caterpillars. Especially sorry that you don't have halos of thousands of butterflies to swaddle you on each excursion out the door. Having devoured your passionvines to the nub, the adult butterflies probably recognized the scarcity of food for the next generation and moved on to the passionvine larder of some other gardener. Providing lots of nectar plants for the butterflies will at least give you the satisfaction of seeing the metamorphoses of plant into butterfly and the whimsical delight in their flight.
Did the red passionvine (P. vitifolia) that I sent you survive? The caterpillars will usually leave it (and the other red-flowering species of passionvine) alone unless there is no other passionvine available.
The photo I posted above (July 25) of the unknown plant was identified by a botanically erudite friend as Orange Shrimp Plant, Justicia fulvicoma http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/114847/ Odd that I had never seen it in any of our obsessive plant collections (or have you all just been hiding it from me???!!!) LOL
Jeremy that is a oldie, I have seen it growing around here but I do not have any, but want some
I have a pale blue that the GF will not lay eggs on. I have watched them fly around it but they do not land
Hi Sylvain - I have a Queen's Wreath and a pipe vine that grew together. I think this kind of provides a little shelter as well as a food source. the butterflies munch on the pipe vine, but not down to stubs. I planted a Rangoon Creeper this year and the cats for the IO Month chewed on it a little.
Wren - I googled frog fruit as I had never heard of it before, I think it's kind of neat - and surely a plus that it invites butterflies.
makes a great ground cover also. And a plus butterflies like to feed on the tiny flowers
Down one side of the back yard is a Dutchman's Pipe and a Red Passion Flower. The red HAS kept all of its leaves but the the blue ones across the back have been quite the buffet! The Dutchman's Pipe shows no damage at all from the caterpillars and I just hack away at it occasionally. As I have been away from home for 11 weeks I cannot wait to see how all of the rain has affected everything. My husband says that everything looks great-- we shall see. He has hacked away at the bleeding hearts-- hasn't mentioned the others!
Jeremy, P. Vitifolia was planted, but doesn't seem to have made it; so sorry.
Completely off-topic here: Did you watch the opening ceremonies of the London Olymics last night? We did, and were sorely disappointed with the whole show. We kept expecting they would do something that would make us say: "Wow!". That moment never came. It was like a glorified high school play. You could scale it down a bit and produce that show in a Vegas venue, or even a cruise ship's showroom. I fell asleep. Did you fall asleep, too? I've been in the house too long.
Take care, all.
I couldn't very well turn it off because Gail, a saint walking among us, kept hoping that they would do something REALLY BIG "any moment now". Well, guess what: that REALLY BIG moment never came. But Gail was definitely rooting for the show.
I watched until Paul McCartney came on singing so off tune... should have lip-synced. Agree that I kept waiting for the wow factor. Obviously enough money was spent to feed two or three small countries for at least 10 years. The Olympics have become just another commercial vehicle and that is too sad.
Sylvain - no regrets on the loss of P. vitifolia. There are plenty of replacements available (though it is one passionvine that doesn't tend to stray much at all). I'm sure we will be in the same place/time in the future and I will bring along some P. vitifolia.
I didn't watch the Olympics opening (nor have I tuned in for any of the competitions). I did see John Stewart's "Daily Show" report on the differences between the Bejing opening ceremony and what seemed to be a more than mediocre presentation by the English. But as Mr. Stewart so aptly noted, it makes it easier when you have tens of thousands of "willing" participants at your command, as did the Chinese.
Does anyone recognize this weedy grass? Is it the dreaded, invasive Cogon Grass (Imperata cylindrica)?? I encountered in my garden for the first time this afternoon. Whatever it is, it is really a royal pain. It sends up shoots all along the root that runs for yards and splits and splits and runs some more. It is only in one area by the curb -- a spot that I weeded very completely a few months ago and left the soil bare (which, as we know, any square inch of bare soil in our climate won't be bare for long). It must have found the freshly disturbed sandy soil the ideal spot to germinate. Fortunately, it is thus far only in about a 10 ft x 10 ft area and I think (with a great deal of effort and repeated checks to ensure eradication), I can pull up all the roots. It has just started creeping under the fence to enter my actual garden plantings (the curb area is a no man's land that I am slowly landscaping, but like to keep in an unkempt weedy state to annoy the city nuisance abatement inspectors).
Wren - I have seen the butterflies hanging on the purple springs of my QueensWreath. I was luckyy enough to catch this guy below resting on my pipe vine Sunday. Of course I had to chase him around the yard with my phone to get the picture - lol.
Sylvan - you are not the first person I've heard say that the opening ceremonies were a bore. I've heard a lot of people say that this week.
Jeremy - I feel your pain about the weeds. My neighbor has a bad case of dollar weed and it has found it's way under the fence and into my flower bed. She is gone for a couple of months so I guess my husband will have to weed and feed their yard to keep it at bay. . . I don't understand why they can't make grass this determined! You can hardly kill some of these weeds, but have to baby the grass to get it to grow!