helping your garden weather the big storms
Tropical Storm Fay passed us by this week, but hurricane season has three months to go. Clip and save this checklist so you'll be ready to help your garden recover after a big storm.
• Revive storm-damaged plants. Prune off torn and damaged ends to reduce stress on the plant. If roots are exposed, cover with soil, moist burlap sacks or moist sphagnum moss. Water as you would a new plant, unless it's in standing water. Don't immediately fertilize. Trim back flower beds
• Inspect root area of trees and shrubs. Look for hollowing of the soil that can occur when plants are blown back and forth. Add soil and water to eliminate air pockets around roots.
• Water plants exposed to saltwater damage. Thoroughly soak them with fresh water. Monitor them closely for the next six months, providing more frequent watering, especially during periods of drought.
• Repair turf grass. Use a flat-headed shovel to remove fallen leaves, mud or silt left by tidal surges or flooding. Grass exposed to freshwater flooding should start growing when standing water is drained. Turf exposed to salt water should be doused with freshwater.
• Water container plants. Storm winds quickly dry out potted plants, despite abundant rainfall, so water those that were left outside during the storm. Trim off dead or broken ends and delay fertilizing so as not to stress the plants further.
Try this daisy of a floral display
A few single blossoms in individual containers are a dramatic and minimalist way to display flowers. Try this display from the Flower Promotion Organization. You'll need three glass cylinder vases, about 14 inches tall and 5 inches in diameter; three gerbera daisies, same color; and food coloring to match the daisies.
Fill each vase with about 3 inches of water and add enough food coloring to match the flower color.
Cut the daisies different lengths. One gerbera reaches slightly over the rim of the vase, another one just meets the rim, and the third is cut to about three-quarters of the height of the vase.
Veggie gardening workshop on TV
A videotaped version of the Aug. 9 vegetable gardening workshop held at the Pinellas County Extension will air on Pinellas County Connection TV (PCC-TV) from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, 2 to 4 p.m. Friday and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 31. PCC-TV can be seen on cable Channel 622/Bright House; Channel 18/Knology; and Channel 44/Verizon. The program will also air throughout the month of September. Go to www.pinellascounty.org/tv for the weekly schedule. The program will be available via Internet streaming video at www.pinellascounty.org/tv.
Compiled by Times Homes and Garden Editor Judy Stark with information from Times garden correspondent Yvonne Swanson