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Now's the time to plant bulbs in Florida gardens

Bulbs are nice additions to the landscape and now is the time to plant. Some you may want to try are agapanthus (left), amaryllis, caladium, crinum lily, gloriosa lily and zephyr lily. Work in a generous amount (25 pounds per 100 square feet) of organic matter such as compost, cow manure, sphagnum peat or other types of peat moss. Bulbs planted in large masses produce the best color display. For more information on choosing, planting and caring for bulbs in Florida, go to edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg029.

January is often referred to as an optional month when spraying citrus trees, but several pests and nutritional deficiencies may be need attention. Spray neutral copper for citrus scab and a light horticultural oil for scales, whitefly and mites. Micronutrients can be sprayed at the same time or added to the soil under the drip line of the tree. Micronutrients can be absorbed through the leaves and can correct the problem much faster than fertilizer added to the soil. Read and follow label directions for the correct amount to use.

Night dampness brings out snails and slugs. There are several ways to deal with these creatures.

• Spread bait near tender plants, especially seedlings, and in moist, shady spots where creatures hide during the day. Read the label for instructions before using bait around vegetables and pets as some are poisonous.

• Diatomaceous earth is a powder that contains tiny sharp bits that puncture the snails and slugs. Sprinkle lightly around plants.

• Another alternative is iron phosphate bait that is safe for use around domestic animals and wildlife.

Information from Pam Brown and Carol Suggs of the Pinellas County Extension and the Hillsborough County Extension garden almanac.

Now's the time to plant bulbs in Florida gardens 01/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 3:30am]
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