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Briefs: Keep hands, mind busy in the garden

A vase suitable for sunflowers

You need a really striking vase to display those sunflowers you've been growing all summer. This one, in amber and brown stripes, stands 11 inches tall. It's $25 at Pier 1.

Telltale signs of whiteflies

Beware of whiteflies. Check citrus, gardenias, camellias, your vegetable garden and other host plants. The nymphs feed on the underside of leaves. One sure sign of an infestation: sooty mold on the top of the leaves. Whitefly crawlers called nymphs are very flat, almost clear and less than 1/16 inch in diameter. Adult whiteflies are attracted to yellow. Place yellow "sticky cards" near the plant so as the adults mature they will fly to the cards and get stuck. Several pesticides are labeled for whitefly control.

Manage mint with containers

Is your garden overrun by mint? It's tough and tenacious, crowding out everything else in the garden, and can even find its way around or under obstacles such as bricks placed in its path. Your best choice is to grow it in a container. There are no herbicides selective for mint, the Washington Post reports, so treat the portions of the plant that you can with a non-selective herbicide, such as Roundup. With luck, the herbicide will be drawn down to the mint's root system without harming the desired plants. It may also take hand-weeding to dig out the rhizomes (horizontal roots) just under the surface.

Hurricanes and your trees

At the Pinellas County Extension service Web site, watch a video in which horticulture agent Pam Brown offers tips on tree care before and after hurricanes. Learn how to avoid disasters and care for trees when the storm's gone. Go to, then look under "Hot Topics" on the right.

Explore your floral predilections

Planning to send flowers soon? Visit, click on "gift giving," and take the floral signature quiz to learn more about your personality or the recipient's, then see arrangements that match.

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Briefs: Keep hands, mind busy in the garden 09/05/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:49pm]
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