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TIMELY TENDINGS

Published Apr. 17, 2010|Updated Apr. 19, 2010

Magnolia trees are called broad leaf evergreens but they do shed their old leaves during spring. These leaves turn pale green or yellow and drop, but the trees do not become entirely bare. Occasionally a magnesium or iron deficiency will cause yellow leaves but they have a distinctive pattern that can be identified easily.

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Bahia grass is one of the better drought-tolerant grasses for this area and can survive our driest month easily. It may be a bit brown, but it does not die. Bahia grass can be started from seed or sod, but it is best to wait until the rainy season to plant or rejuvenate this type of lawn. Seeding can be done until about mid September.

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Roses are growing and flourishing after their winter haircut. New leaves often mean powdery mildew and black spot. Fungicides are necessary to keep most roses in good shape. Weekly applications of Dithane M-45, Funginex, basic copper or other labeled fungicides will help with disease control. The Cornell formula is a less toxic method of control, but you need to start applying it before you see signs of disease. Add 1 tablespoon each of baking soda and oil (either a light horticultural oil or regular vegetable oil) to 1 gallon of water. If you use vegetable oil, add a bit of insecticidal soap (the amount recommended for mixing with 1 gallon of water). Shake well before and during application with a sprayer. Spray both sides of the leaves thoroughly every five to seven days. Antique and English roses are more resistant to these diseases.

Information from Pam Brown and Carol Suggs of the Pinellas County Extension Service. Visit the extension Web site at pinellascountyextension.org.

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