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Timely tendings: Avocados, bananas ready to ripen

Several varieties of avocado mature during the fall and winter months. Booth, Monroe, Hall, Lula, Taylor and Choquette avocados are harvested from October through February. Avocado fruits don't ripen on the tree. Mature fruit ripens three to eight days after it is picked. The fruit ripens best at temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees. Cold storage can delay ripening.

. Perfect circles around the edges of your rose leaves and other plant leaves are caused by leaf-cutter bees. These bees do not feed on the leaves. They roll pieces of leaves into a thimble-shape to line their nests. These are harmless insects, as they don't do a lot of damage and chemical control is not necessary.

. Many banana trees have large stalks of fruit now. It takes from two and a half to six months for the bananas to mature depending upon temperatures, cultivar and cultural practices. The individual fruit should be plump with no distinct ridges. Mature fruit will turn pale green. Harvest and allow to fully ripen before eating. Bananas need fertile conditions with plenty of water for best growth and fruit production. They require plenty of potassium.

Information from Carol Suggs and Theresa Badurek of the Pinellas County Extension Service and from the Hillsborough County Extension Gardening Almanac. Go to the extension websites at pinellascountyextension. org and

Timely tendings: Avocados, bananas ready to ripen 10/15/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 15, 2010 4:30am]
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