Tag Archives: herbs

Rain Just Won’t Go Away

Rain Guage - site

We’re still in the middle of Florida’s rainy season. For days, it rained buckets every afternoon, and most evenings. On the day this post was originally written, we had 8/10 (0.8) inch by midday. The next day we had 2.2 inches.  Since then, we had 2 days without rain. Then, on Friday, August 7,  we had a half-inch in less than a half-hour. That’s a hard rain, folks. More came that evening, and even more on Saturday. So far, no rain today — at least not in my neighborhood. Earlier this week, my yard and garden  had just begun to dry out a bit, and now are are soggy and mushy again. I keep reminding myself that, a couple of months ago, we were desperate for rain, so we should be thankful.

Herbs are mostly from the arid regions of the world, so they are drought-tolerant. Of course, it follows that they really don’t care for a lot of water. To date, my other herbs are doing fine. I have already lost my parsley plant, and my squash leaves are turning yellow — a sure sign of too much water. The tomatoes seem to appreciate the rain, but they are growing so fast the skins are splitting. I have some rooted cuttings of coleus I would like to get in the ground, and some volunteer vinca I would like to relocate, but it’s definitely too wet to dig. I just can’t seem to win this summer.

One Good Thing – The Residential Areas Here Have Never Flooded

In Full Pond at Mallory

This is one of the larger water hazards on one of the championship golf courses. Those Washingtonian Palms Should not be in the water, and they normally aren’t. The False Cypress on the far right will be okay in the water but they were planted on the banks of this pond. If they stay in water they will develop “knees” just as Cypress trees do.

One good thing about living in this very well-planned community is that all the lakes and ponds (mostly golf course water hazards) are connected underground. When the ponds get too full, the sprinklers are turned on to draw water out of the ponds and give it a chance to soak into the ground, sand traps and all. This means this community has never flooded, and may never flood. Even when much of central Florida was under water the summer of 2012, and again last week, we had no problems.

Mushrooms, Mushrooms, Everywhere!

Mushroom EnlargedThere are mushrooms everywhere. Here’s half of a fairy ring. They look so innocent, but they’re deadly. They are also interesting to me because of the unique shapes and patterns they have.

 

Mushroom Underside - mlm c @Each day I go out to pour off the excess water that has collected in my few container plants — sometimes twice a day. They have drainage holes, of course, and saucers, but these days the saucers are overflowing.  Even my container-planted lemon tree has little mushrooms growing on top of its soil. Over the last few days, I have measured a total of 3.8 inches. We are most thankful for the free water, but enough already!!

 

What’s Eating My Basil?

Gina's Basil copyrighted

My friend and neighbor, Gina, texted me some photos of her basil leaves this week. Unfortunately, the first one didn’t come in right away, so I saw only the 2nd and 3rd ones until just now. The above photo (the 2nd one to arrive) shows leaves with holes in them. The 3rd photo, below, shows a worm or caterpillar on a basil leaf. Here’s that little critter:

Gina's Basil Worm copyrighted

My Suggestion: insecticidal soap

Insecticidal Soap

GardenSafe is the brand I use, and is the same photo I texted back to Gina. Normally, I use Neem Oil because it doesn’t wash off  with rain, but this time of year it is so hot around here, the oil melts and slides right off the plants. Both of these products are safe to use on vegetable plans as well as flowers. I insist on organic gardening in my kitchen garden, and these products are perfect for that. The only down-side of the soap is that, after a rain, you will need to spray again. I got this insecticidal soap at Lowe’s, and my Neem Oil at Ace Hardware, but most any good garden center should have them.

Because I missed that first photo — it was late arriving in my in-box —  I didn’t see the whitish squiggly things that Gina mentioned, and told her it was probably mealy bugs. Now that I have seen it, I see I was wrong. The squiggles she mentioned appear to be trails left behind by slugs. For more information see my April 20, 2015, post entitled, Amy Asks What to Do About Snails.

Something weird is going on in cyberspace yet again:  I emailed all the photos to myself to get them on the computer, and again, the same one is the only one that hasn’t shown up yet. Those white squiggles Gina mentioned can be seen in the top photo above on part of a leaf showing out from the main one with holes in it. Looks like slug trails to me.