Hello -long time no post!

saintpflaJuly 27, 2014

Hello FL Garden friends!

Been crazy busy with work and house projects and my garden time dropped to non-existent, but am back at it now. What can I say, life got in the way of gardening.

I did plant moonflower for the first time - but cannot seem to stay awake late enough to see the darn blooms! I get why they call it 'moon flower' now....

Also, bought 3 types Clematis from Walmart of all places. One survived and is doing well. One is on life-support....

Planted two Fire-spike to attract more hummingbirds. Hoping it grows past my fence to block some of the neighbor view.

Growing tomatoes this year has been a disaster both from seed and from Home Depot - not sure if anyone else has had struggles with them? Seems to be the weather, bugs and viruses. Same for my cucumbers. Thank goodness for the local veggies stand....

Hope everyone's garden is thriving as we are in mid-summer and looking towards what to plant for fall!

:)

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whgille(FL 9b)

Hello Saintpfla!

Welcome back to the forum and gardening! I am glad that you had some successes in the garden now, hope that the clematis do well for you, it is a very nice flower. My firespikes are all doing good in this heat and started tomatoes for the fall season.

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:36PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Boy have you been gone a long time, course I was missing in action for almost a year myself ;-)

We suffer the same pests with veggies and for me with tomatoes what the pests don't get the squirrel do so I'm converting the veggie garden to a hummer and butterfly garden, always was trying to give the bees something to work.

I've got three types of fire spike, now only the magenta is blooming, a little. When have you seen the hummers? Here last year it was mid-August til the end of September so for me the firespike won't be of much use since the red won't start blooming til probably October at the earliest, and purple follows about January, so I'm actually thinking of pulling them out....

Glad to hear you've been busy with work!

Tom

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:22PM
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tom123_gw

Welcome back. It would help if you put your first name at the end of the post, so we would know who to address.

My red firespike have now started to bloom. It seems that they start earlier every year. I wonder if it has something to do with the age of the plants, or perhaps the weather, or maybe it's just me noticing them at different times.

Virtually all the firespikes are excellent hummingbird plants. For me the red firespike is excellent in the fall, mostly.

Tom

Clermont, Zone 9b

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:26AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

My red firespike have now started to bloom.

Wow Tom, guess I'd better wait to see if mine will bloom earlier this year too.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:58AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Mine is blooming too, just like Tom's in Clermont.

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:01PM
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ladywingr(9b/10a)

Welcome back saintp!!

I was just in Arkansas and thought of you. A hummer was teasing me, so I locked it in the trunk and brought it home with me. (Not really) Hoping it comes to visit soon though!

tomncath: My red firespike should be blooming any time now. Seems it starts blooming late summer, then off and on through spring. It is several years old and has been cut back more than once.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:25PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Will Silvia, I guess I'll leave it in for now.

...Seems it starts blooming late summer, then off and on through spring. It is several years old and has been cut back more than once.

I just gave them all a serious haircut :-( I have them grouped together hoping one of them would be in bloom at all times. The magenta is still blooming so perhaps the red will start before the hummers leave.

Tom

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:59AM
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saintpfla

Hi Guys!

It's good to hear from everyone! Yes - work is going well. I've been with the same client now close to 2 1/12 years. I spent a year and a half doing west coast work in the digital sector and now I'm in INTEL in the DC area - all virtual from Florida with some on site required travel.. Working long, long hours. I'm pooped, to be honest, but too busy to step away for time off.

I have had a lot of house remodel projects and now have my kitchen remodel on the list. But, of course, ran into a structural snaffoo, so everything is delayed until that can be sorted. I'm doing a lot of the work myself but hiring out certain things. So, it's going 'slow', but I'm not in a huge hurry anyway.

Tom- was wondering if you ever did venture into flowers as you are definitely the Veggie Pro! I always aspire to have veggies like yours and Silvia's - but alas, it's just a goal at this point!

This is the worst tomato growing year I've ever had. I think I have a virus in my soil in my pots...maybe that's the culprit? Or, it's white flies.....no telling.

Silvia: I always think of your gorgeous veggie garden...it's amazing to say the least!

Ladywinger: I thought I saw a new hummingbird in Florida! ;) So, he

I have continued to put feeders out when I see the first Hummer. I have gotten more than one Hummer in my yard the last two years. But, that could be a weather fluke.

I'm hoping with the addition of Fire Spike and a few more humming bird plants they'll stick around a bit longer.

Tom: We "should" see the first Hummer in Sept (perhaps late Aug depending on storm season) as the migration typically begins in September.

I always add red and a bit of yellow food coloring. They seem to like that deep red-orange color. They love my Cape Honeysuckle which is a deep orange.

I also have been planting Orange Justica -- apparently, it is supposed to bloom in shade....we shall see. I have in both shade and sun. It's an expensive plant ($16.95 at Lowes) so I want to start rooting cuttings once it gets established.

My Plumeria branches keep getting broken off by rambunctious baby raccoons, so I've rooted several of the broken limbs and have a small Plumeria farm now!

All my citrus trees died except for one--a white Duncan grapefruit, which is on life-support....it will probably be dead next year....

I bought a small Key Lime and Meyer Lemon Hybrid which is in a large pot on the patio.

That's how I've been keeping busy these days!

Kimberly aka: SaintPFLA

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:06AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

You've sure been busy Kimberly, I can't wait to see all that you have done.

I've just started the conversion so there is nothing spectacular at my house right now to see. Hopefully I'll be well along by next hummer season. BTW, they showed up at my place last year mid-August and were around until the end of September.

Tom

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:53AM
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saintpfla

Hi Tom - that's fantastic that you are getting hummingbirds! Is it due to the flowers you added?

Here's a pic I took of this little guy who spent about 2 weeks in my yard. I got some great shots, but this is by far my favorite.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:21AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Great picture!

They were working the tall red pentas and pink salvias, which have been in for about three years now. After my first sighting last August I decided to make the conversion but just started a few months ago, so there won't be much new for them to work here this migrating season.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:52AM
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saintpfla

Try the Orange Justica....it's bright and tubular....no caterpillars from what I can see...so Cathy should approve! ;)

http://www.exoticatropicals.com/tropical-accent-plants/justicia-aurea-yellow-golden-plume-and-justicia-chrysostephana-orange-flame/

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:04PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Try the Orange Justica....

I have four, started from cuttings Silvia set me from a plant she got from Mark :-) I just have not placed them yet, was waiting to get a little size on them.

09/28 of last year, just before they left, not the best picture...I need a new camera :-(

Tom

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:38PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Kimberly

That is a good picture! I just saw two hummingbirds today in my garden side by side, did not have the camera ready.

I hope that you will have success in your veggie garden this coming season, now that you are working from home you will enjoy gardening and the projects around the house.

For me the edible garden is a must, I enjoy growing what I am going to cook, freshness and nutrition at its best. I do love pretty plants and flowers, I wish for the best of both worlds.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:48PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Tom

Those cuttings look good! and that picture of the hummingbird is great, very clear.
I am slowly changing my garden too, when something don't do well or is not dog friendly it has to go.

Silvia

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:00PM
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saintpfla

Actually those are great photos!!!

I think you will really enjoy the Orange Justica! I'm kind of scared as to how big it will get too! The upside...it can always be trimmed!

I bet the hummers will like it!

Silvia -- try as I may...I just do not have your veggie garden green thumb! One day....I can only hope! :)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:29PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Silvia - Thanks for the kind words ;-)

Kimber - I agree about the veggie gardening! We're just too close to the water and too humid to control the bugs for very long :-(

I want to pot up the Orange Flame justicias one more time before they go into the ground, it will be too late for this hummer season but I'll be ready next year :-)

Tom

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:54PM
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