August is usually a harsh month in the North Florida landscape. Heat and humidity take their toll on both the landscape and the gardener. But there are things to do now that can make a difference in your landscape in the near future.
Now is a good time to cleanup roses for fall flower production. Prune to remove diseased and dead shoots and prune back weak, leggy branches. An application of fertilizer is suggested for rose plants that have not been fertilized recently. Some care now can result in neglected rose plants blooming during late summer and fall. However, some old fashioned and species roses only bloom once each year, regardless of care.
You can force crape myrtles to flower again. Remove (deadhead) spent flowers or seedpods, pruning just the terminal seed cluster. This forces new growth and repeat flowering. It will take four to six weeks before you’ll be enjoying a second flush of blooms on your crape myrtle. This technique also works on chaste trees (Vitex). This practice may not be possible or practical on larger maturing trees.
The August plant clinic will be held Friday, August 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the temporary UF/IFAS Extension Annex located at the Okaloosa Technical College (OTC) in Fort Walton Beach.
The plant clinic is not a seminar or lecture type program but provides a place for individuals to bring samples of their lawn, landscape or garden plants for diagnosis, including weeds and insects for identification.
To participate, bring a fresh sample of the weed, plant, insect, etc., to the clinic. This may include a plant stem with several leaves, a 4-inch square of grass with roots attached, etc. It’s important to bring fresh samples for diagnosis/identification.
You also may bring a sample of soil from your lawn, landscape or garden for pH testing.
Our former location on Hollywood Blvd. closed. We are now in a temporary location in the back of the OTC Campus at 1976 Lewis Turner Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach.
There are two entrances to the OTC. Use the entrance closest to the fire station, not the main entrance, and follow the signs to the Extension building located in the back of the OTC campus.
Call the OTC Extension Annex at 850-651-7476 or the Extension Office in Crestview at 850-689-5850 or for directions to the Extension Annex (refer to below map) or for instructions on how to take an appropriate soil sample for testing.