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WEEKLY MAINTENANCE TIPS

Avocado varieties ripen at different times of the year but the main season is July through February. Avocado fruit does not ripen on the tree; mature fruit ripens in three to eight days after it is picked. Store it in the refrigerator to delay ripening.

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Chinch bugs are causing St. Augustine lawns to look like straw. Damage usually begins near driveways or sidewalks where heat builds up. Use a lawn pesticide labeled for chinch bugs and apply it according to label directions. Neem oil is a less toxic alternative. Fertilizing with iron sulfate during hot summer months can green up the lawn without producing the succulent growth that is so attractive to chinch bugs.

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Black spot on roses can cause defoliation rapidly during hot, humid weather. Control by spraying with a suitable fungicide and by removing and destroying infected leaves, including those on the ground. Better yet, plant disease-resistant varieties.

Information from Carol Suggs and Theresa Badurek of the Pinellas County Extension Service. Visit the extension website at pinellascountyextension.org.

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