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					                                                                                            Santa Rosa
                                                                                              County
                                                                                            Extension

                   Green Garden News
Wait to Prune Cold Damaged Plants                                                                             Volume 5, Issue 1


                                                                                                                   January 2007
    Most winters we go back and forth with            On some woody plants, pruning too
freezing weather for a short time followed by     soon will stimulate young, tender growth.                 Inside this issue:
spring-like weather for a while. This cycle       The typical scenario is that we have a
will occur numerous times during an aver-         freeze in late fall or early winter. The
age winter here in North Florida. When            homeowner notices cold injured areas                      January Gardening              2
warm weather returns following a freeze we        (usually on new growth) on some tree or                   Tips
have a tendency to think spring is here. And      shrub as a result of the brief freeze. He or
the first impulse of many gardeners is to cut     she then prunes out the cold injury. Then                 Selecting Firewood 3
away the dead leaves and branches from            we have warm weather for a week or two,                   and Use of Fire
cold injured plants. But this really isn’t a      which stimulates new growth just behind                   Ash
good idea.                                        the pruning cuts. The next freeze then kills
                                                                                                            Upcoming Events                4
    As a result of the first killing frost or a   all of the young, tender shoots. The plant
freeze, some popular                                                    now looks bad and the
landscape plants will look                                              homeowner prunes                    Horticulture                   4
like dead sticks. An exam-                                              again, followed by                  Classes at PJC
ple is Mexican Heather.                                                 warmer weather, new
The plant goes from hav-                                                growth, another freeze.             Questions &                    5
ing green leaves and pos-                                                    As a rule, it’s difficult      Answers
sibly some flowers to sud-                                              to tell how much dam-
denly having nothing but                                                age has been done un-               Master Gardeners               6
brown leaves and stems.                                                 til plants start new                Honored
    It suddenly is no longer                                            growth in the spring. If
attractive in the land-                                                 you prune immediately
scape. It could even be                                                 after a freeze, you may          The Institute of Food and Agricul-
                                                                                                         tural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal
described as an eyesore.                                                cut away live wood that          Employment Opportunity Institu-
Of course the plant’s care-                                             doesn’t have to be lost.         tion authorized to provide re-
                                                                                                         search, educational information
taker wants to solve this                                               Also, leaves and                 and other services only to indi-
problem by taking out the                                               branches, which have             viduals and institutions that func-
                                                                                                         tion without regard to race,
pruners and removing the                                                been killed, can help            color, age, handicap or national
dead tops.                                        protect the rest of a plant against further            origin.
                                                                                                         U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRI-
    With many tender ornamentals such as          cold injury.                                           C ULTUR E, COOPERATIV E
tropical hibiscus, Mexican heather, many of           On average, our last killing frost occurs          EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVER-
                                                                                                         SITY OF FLORIDA, IFAS. FLOR-
the ornamental grasses including Gulf             around the middle of March. As spring ap-              IDA A.&M. UNIVERSITY COOP-
                                                                                                         ERATIVE EXTENSION PRO-
Muhly, gingers, banana plants, etc., severe       proaches, you’ll have a better idea of what            GRAM, AND BOARDS OF
cold may kill them all the way down to the        survived and what did not. In the mean-                COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
                                                                                                         COOPERATING
soil line. Don’t give up on them too soon.        time, try not to do anything to stimulate
Allow enough time for them to revive after        new growth too soon.                                   The use of trade names is solely
                                                                                                         for the purpose of providing
warm weather returns in spring. At that time,                                                            specific information. It is not a
carefully remove the dead shoots and              —by Larry Williams, Extension Faculty, UF/IFAS Oka-    guarantee, warranty, or endorse-
                                                  loosa County Extension.                                ment of the product names.
leaves.
  January Gardening Tips
  Flowers                                                  peas, Irish potatoes, radishes and turnips.
  • Refrigerated bulbs such as tulip, daffodil and hya-    • Irish potatoes can be started from January
  cinth should be planted in prepared beds.                through March by planting seed pieces 3 to 4
  • Start seeds of warm season flowers late this           inches deep in rows. Always purchase certified
  month in order to have transplants in March.             seed potatoes.
  • There’s still time to transplant some cool season
  annuals such as carnations, foxglove, pansies, petu-     Lawns
  nias and snapdragons.                                    • Check soil moisture during winter and water as
  • Re-fertilize cool season flowerbeds using a liquid     needed.
  or dry form of fertilizer. Be careful not to apply ex-
  cessive amounts and keep granules away from the
  base of stems.
  • Finish dividing crowded perennials. Don’t wait un-
  til spring for this job.                                                     Stinkhorns
  • Plant bare root roses immediately after they are
  purchased.                                                       Noticed an awful smell in your yard
                                                              lately? It could be due to stinkhorn mush-
  Trees and Shrubs                                            rooms. The stinkhorn fungus is a decom-
                                                              poser. From this view point it is considered
  • Plant trees and shrubs. This is an ideal time of
                                                              beneficial because it helps break down de-
  year for transplanting larger specimens.
                                                              caying plant material. Management options
  • Plant bare root plants such as deciduous orna-
                                                              include:
  mental shrubs and trees.
                                                                   Tolerance: Learn to live with them as
  • Prune dormant shade trees, if needed.                     they do represent beneficial organisms to
  • Stick hardwood cuttings of fig, grape, honey-             the soil ecology in Florida. Keep windows
  suckle, althea, Catalpa, Forsythia and Wisteria.            closed during periods of mushroom produc-
                                                              tion to minimize the odor problem.
  Fruits and Nuts                                                  Eradication: Hand-pick the "egg" stage
  • Apply dormant oil spray to peach, plum, nectarine         before it ruptures and put it in a zipper bag in
  and other deciduous fruit trees. This practice is nec-      the garbage. Small or new colonies may be
  essary when growing the stone fruits in locations           eradicated through the complete removal of
  along the Gulf Coast. Note: This applies to the flow-       an area of mulch to the depth of the native
  ering peaches and cherries since they are suscepti-         soil. No guarantees with this method.
  ble to the same pests as their fruiting cousins.                 Environment alteration: Use of non-
  • Plant bare root deciduous fruit trees.                    mulch ground covers, such as ivy, jasmine,
  • Prune dormant fruit trees if needed.                      liriope, mondo grass, etc., will serve to re-
                                                              duce stinkhorn incidence in a landscape.
                                                              Distance large
  Vegetable Garden                                            mulched areas
  • Start seeds of warm season vegetables late this           away from the
  month in order to have transplants in March.                house. There
  • Lime (if needed), and begin preparing vegetable           are no legal ef-
  gardens for the spring planting.                            fective or practi-
  • Cool season vegetables that can still be planted in       cal chemical
  the garden are: beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots,          control options.
  cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi,
  leek, mustard, bunching onions, parsley, English

Page 2
                                                                                                Green Garden News
    Selecting Firewood-Use of Fire Ash
        The weather in North Florida doesn’t get as cold           Once you have selected your wood, cut it,
    as it does further north, but every once in awhile         stacked it, burned it in your fireplace or wood
    there is a nip in the air and a toasty fire in the fire-   stove, what do you do with the ash? Numerous
    place feels mighty nice. How do you choose the             gardening books and news articles suggest incor-
    best wood for your fire place? What can you do             porating these ashes in the garden or landscape
    with all the resulting ash?                                soil.
        In Florida, we have a number of native and in-             Wood ash does have a nutrient value, but the
    troduced species of trees to choose from. Pound            amount depends on the species of wood. Gener-
    for pound all wood burns about the same. A pound           ally, wood ash contains less than 10% potassium
    of good dry hardwood will produce about 8600               (K), 1% phosphate (P) and trace amounts of micro-
    B.T.U.s of heat energy when burned. Because of             nutrients such as iron, manganese, boron, copper
    high resin content, some pine wood may produce             and zinc. Wood ash does not contain nitrogen (N).
    over 9000 B.T.U.s. Hardwood and some tropical                  Wood ash contains about 25% calcium carbon-
    woods are denser than pine, and on a volume ba-            ate, a common liming material used to raise soil pH
    sis contain more heat value.                               or soil alkalinity. Wood ash has a very fine particle
        The denser (heavier) woods have                                           size, so it reacts rapidly and com-
    the highest energy values so choose                                           pletely in the soil. Although small
    from the high-density group. Species                                          amounts of nutrients are applied
    with high-density wood are: live oak,                                         with wood ash, the main effect is
    red oaks (including water and scrub                                           that of a liming agent. As soil alkalin-
    oaks), white oaks, hickory, dogwood,                                          ity increases and the pH rises above
    Eucalyptus, and Australian pine                                               7.0, nutrients such as phosphorus,
    (Casurina). Species with medium-                                              iron, boron, manganese, copper,
    density wood are: beech, cherry, ash,                                         zinc and potassium become tied up
    sycamore, elm, Magnolia, gums, and red maple.                                 in the soil and less available for
    Species with low-density wood: willow, cotton-             plant use.
    wood, and tulip poplar.                                        It’s difficult to make recommendations for the
        Most people have a personal preference when            use of wood ash because soil varies from garden
    it comes to choosing firewood. Oaks, hickories and         to garden. Before adding wood ash, do a pH test
    ash are usually preferred. Live oak is one of the          on your soil.
    heavier woods. It burns well, stores well and is               In general, acidic soils (pH less than 5.5) should
    widely available. One problem is that it’s difficult to    improve by adding wood ash. Soils that are slightly
    split. Red oaks are plentiful and easy to split. They      acidic (pH 6.0 to 6.5) should not be harmed by the
    often have a sour odor when freshly cut. Ash has           application of 20 pounds per 100 square feet annu-
    often been called the best firewood. Blackjack and         ally. Till the ash into the soil to a depth of about 6
    other scrub oaks are preferred by some almost to           inches. Do not add wood ash to soils that have a
    the exclusion of other woods.                              pH 7.0 or above.
        Dead, damaged and diseased trees along city                Plant tolerance to alkaline soil also should be
    streets are commonly felled by city crews but left         considered. Some plants, such as asparagus and
    for removal at the owner's expense. This wood is           juniper, are more tolerant of slightly alkaline condi-
    often available to the person who is willing to sacri-     tions than "acid-loving" plants, such as potatoes,
    fice an afternoon or weekend. Utility companies            azaleas and blueberries. Don’t use wood ash on
    trim trees along right-of-ways which sometimes             acid-loving plants.
    produces a good supply of wood available to an             —Source: Selecting Firewood, D. Mitchell Flinchum, Sept.,2006, Dis-
                                                               trict director, and professor in Forest Resources and Conservation
    alert public. Check with local utility companies on        Dept., UF/IFAS. Wood Ash in the Garden, B. Rosie Lerner, Nov.,
    their policy for removing wood.                            2000, Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist, Purdue University.


Page 3
                                                                                                               Green Garden News
    Upcoming Events
    Every Tuesday: Plant Diagnostic Clinic. This
    free clinic is open to the public from 9 a.m. to         January 15, 2007: Extension Office Closed
    1 p.m. on Tuesdays at the South Santa Rosa Ser-
    vice Center at 5819 Gulf Breeze Pkwy.                    January 19, 2007: Florida Arbor Day

    January 1, 2007: Extension Office Closed




    Horticulture Classes at PJC
       Pensacola Junior College will be offering            • Turfgrass Management and Lab.
   classes geared to landscapers and horticulture pro-      A twelve week basic course in the establishment
   fessionals starting the week of January 8, 2007.         and maintenance of turfgrass areas. Considers
   Please call 850-484-4433 or e-mail to acomp-             soils, fertility, drainage, grasses and mixtures,
   ton@pjc.edu for more information.                        maintenance and pest control; includes use of turf
       Spring course areas are: plant identification,       grasses in residential and institutional lawns, ath-
   pest and plant disease identification, greenhouse        letic fields, and golf courses. Several field trips will
   crop production, turf/golf course management, and        be taken to local golf courses, residential and insti-
   soil science.                                            tutional lawns. Students are expected to partici-
       Classes are offered as either evening, late after-   pate in practical exercises.
   noon-evening, or day classes to fit the needs of all     • Greenhouse Crop Management and Lab.
   students. All classes run for a semester--16 weeks.      Greenhouse production and marketing of foliage
       Invest in your future! Taking college classes at     and flowering house plants, holiday pot plants,
   PJC is very affordable. There are scholarships           bedding plants, and cut flowers. Construction,
   available for horticulture students and you might        maintenance, and utilization of various types of
   qualify for financial aid (please call 484-4410 for      greenhouses and related plant production struc-
   more information).                                       tures.
       You may enroll as a certificate seeking student      • Pest and Pest Control and Lab.
   (certificates require only 4 or more classes and do      This course is designed to provide information on
   not require math or English classes), as a degree        identification and control of plant diseases, insects
   seeking student, or you may audit the courses            and weeds in woody ornamentals. Information on
   (which means you can take the course for educa-          fungicides, bactericides, insecticides, nemato-
   tional purposes for non-credit but you are not re-       cides, herbicides, EPA regulations and prepara-
   quired to take tests or exams).                          tion for licensing exam will be included. Study and
       Course descriptions: for more information visit      use of equipment and chemicals for their preven-
   our website at http://itech.pjc.edu/acompton/ and        tion and control. Students are expected to partici-
   follow the links for the individual course websites.     pate in use of chemicals and spray equipment. Oc-
   • Plant Materials for Landscape Use and Lab.             casional field trips are required.
   Ornamental trees, vines, shrubs, and ground cov-         • Introduction to Soil Science
   ers for landscape use with emphasis on their identi-     A study of the relationships of soil water, fertilizers
   fication, characteristics, adaptability and use.         and plant roots. The course will include soil prop-
       You may request permission to have the pre-          erties, classification, management and use. The
   requisite waived for this course so that you may en-     social issues surrounding soil water use will be
   roll without having taken the pre-requisite course.      covered. The laboratory period will give students
   Call 484-4433.                                           practical experience in the above areas.

Page 4
                                                                                                    Green Garden News
Questions and Answers
Q: I have heard that poinsettias can                    miliar with (sometimes described as laundry lint) is
                                                        seen in severe infestations when crawlers, imma-
be successfully planted outdoors af-                    ture males and females cluster together. Depend-
ter the holidays. Is this true?                         ing on temperature, the tea scale’s life cycle takes
A: Yes, but only after we’re through with freezing      between 45 to 65 days. In warmer climates like
weather. For complete information on how to care        Florida, scales reproduce continually throughout
for you poinsettia, check out the online publication    the year.
Poinsettias for Florida, Indoors and Outdoors at            Because their piercing-sucking mouthparts
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/MG352 or call your local Ex-   drain the plant of nutrients, the most common
tension Office and request a copy.                      symptom is a yellow stippling (chlorosis) of the
                                                        leaf’s upper surface. Heavy infestations can result
Q: My Camellia leaves are turning                       in unsightly plants, fewer and smaller blooms, twig
                                                        dieback, and eventually plant death. Controlling tea
yellow and there is a white cottony                     scale can be particularly problematic because it is
looking mass on the underside of the                    hard to get an insecticide on the scale itself. Fac-
leaves. What is it?                                     tors that make spray contact difficult include:
                                                        • The tea scale’s habit of heavily colonizing the
A: The tea scale, Fiorinia theae, is probably the
                                                             undersides of older foliage
most common and damaging pest of camellias and
                                                        • Their protective waxy covering
dwarf burford hollies. It is also a pest of many
                                                        • A year-round life cycle makes targeting the vul-
other ornamental and fruiting crops. The tea scale
                                                             nerable crawler stage difficult
was first discovered in 1900 on tea plants collected
                                                            Control measures include cultural, chemical and
in India, thus its common name. It was probably
                                                        biological methods. If only a few leaves are in-
introduced into the United States when the de-
                                                        fested, hand picking and destruction of infested
mand for ornamental camellias resulted in plants
                                                        leaves is very effective. For camellias, pruning diffi-
being imported from Asia. By 1908, tea scale was
                                                        cult-to-penetrate canopies is an effective way to
already a pest on camellias in South Carolina. The
                                                        provide for better coverage of chemical sprays. Be
tea scale is found primarily in the southeast but
                                                        sure to prune appropriately. We are also fortunate
has spread west to Texas and California.
                                                        to have several wasps that have been reported to
     The tea scale’s development depends upon the
                                                        parasitize tea
climate where it lives. Here in Florida, the tea
                                                        scale in both Flor-
scale remains active throughout the year. The
                                                        ida and Georgia.
adult immobile female lays her eggs under her pro-
                                                        The female wasp
tective armor. Females lay eggs for several weeks
                                                        will insert a single
and eggs hatch continuously. This results in over-
                                                        egg into the tea
lapping generations almost year-round. Within 10
                                                        scale. Parasitized
days, the first nymph hatches and is called the
                                                        scales have de-
“crawler” stage. The crawler leaves the protection
                                                        tectable holes
of the mother’s armor and moves about the plant
                                                        chewed out in
looking for soft tissue into which they insert their
                                                        their armor by the emerging wasp. If a spray is
piercing-sucking mouthparts. The crawler is the
                                                        necessary, consider using the least toxic alterna-
only stage in which the infestation is actively
                                                        tive of horticultural oil. It is essential that thorough
spread. This is also the easiest stage in which to
                                                        coverage of the leaf’s under-side is achieved. Re-
kill the tea scale. When they find a good location,
                                                        peated applications (2-3) made between seven to
they settle down and will molt several times. The
                                                        10 days apart may be necessary to manage a tea
adult female remains immobile and her soft armor
                                                        scale infestation.
hardens in time. The fuzzy appearance we are fa-

                                                                                                              Page 5
Volume 5, Issue 1
Master Gardeners Honored
    The Santa Rosa County
Master Gardeners are
trained volunteers who pro-
vide research based horti-
                                                       Santa Rosa County Extension
culture information to the
residents of this county. They are an important                    Service
component in meeting the needs of a fast grow-             6263 Dogwood Drive
ing county.                                               Milton, FL. 32570-3500
    In 2007, they volunteered a total of 7934
hours in various projects including plant clinics,          Newsletter compiled by:
public gardening classes, demonstration garden
maintenance, the Panhandle Butterfly House
and much more.                                                   Theresa Friday
    Recently a banquet was held to thank them                   Extension Agent I
for their generous service to the community and           Environmental Horticulture
their ongoing support of UF/IFAS Santa Rosa                   Phone: 850-623-3868
County Extension.                                     E-mail: theresaf@co.santa-rosa.fl.us
    Special honors went to:
                                                     Website: http://www.santarosa.fl.gov/
• Larry Busbee: Master Gardener of the Year
• Clarence Frontz: Master Gardener of the                extension/horticulture.html
     Class
• Norene Gideon: Evergreen Award for de-
     pendable Service.




 SANTA ROSA COUNTY EXTENSION SERVICE                             NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
 6263 DOGWOOD DRIVE                                                  US POSTAGE PAID
 MILTON, FL 32570-3500                                                  MILTON, FL
                                                                       PERMIT NO. 68

				
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