Gardener Gal: Coming Home to Florida | Home and outdoor

Leslie Derrenbacker

girl gardener

Dear Readers: Well, I’m back in my home country, and Florida greeted me with a heady mix of thick, scorching air, a tree over my barn, and waist-deep weeds.

I know better than to be surprised. It’s just Florida doing its thing, but still…the timing! I left my gardens in great shape, virtually weed free, and having to go in there and fix everything in the summer heat is no picnic. I admit it – harsh words have been spoken.

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Not everything was depressing. One of my new water lilies greeted me with a beautiful bloom, and my goldfish managed to escape the raccoons while I was away.

This is my current gardening situation, what is yours? Can I help?

Send me an e-mail, and we can solve the problems together.

Dear Gardener Gal: For years I piled oak leaves where there were low growing evergreens along the back of our pool cage. I tried various replacement plants, including pentas, but most plants died.

The floor has worms and looks healthy, but if I dig a hole in the floor there are significant air pockets. The current plants seem to be doing well (liriope and Mexican oregano, etc.) but I wonder if I have voles, and if they ate the roots of the previous plants?

How are voles detected if they stay underground? Susanna

Dear Susan: A lot of gardening in Florida is about the right plant, the right place. Whether or not voles (if you live in a housing estate, they’re much more likely to be regular mice) have had an impact on your plants in the past, it looks like you’re doing exactly the right thing: carry on to experiment with plants until you find the ones that are happy. the.

We can waste a lot of time and money fighting invisible enemies in the yard. In the process, we often cause more harm than good. There are many reasons why previous factories may have failed. Maybe a combination of factors.

Keep improving your soil (everyone should) and let me know which plants worked best for you in the end.

Dear Gardener Gal: I have a vacation rental on the chain of lakes. My recent guests have complained about wasps coming out of the ground near the dock.

I’ve tried killing them in the past by pulverizing their individual holes, but that doesn’t seem to work. Nobody got stung, thank goodness, but not good for business as you might imagine. suggestions? — Michelle in Inverness

Dear Michelle: As a retired teacher, I get excited when I have the chance to teach. You have this chance. You obviously have solitary ground wasps. If you had yellow vests, you and your guests would have been bitten. And then probably stung again.

Remember that when bees or wasps live in a colony, they are wired to work as a team to protect the nest. Wasps and solitary bees have no such motivation. Just grab one to get stung.

They are excellent pollinators and should be considered less colorful butterflies. Yes, many people fear anything resembling a wasp, but the increase in activity is likely temporary.

They only lay eggs in these holes and do not live there. You can’t really kill them by spraying the holes and all that pesticide goes straight into the lake.

Print flyers to educate your guests and know that they will leave your accommodation a little smarter than when they arrived.

I suggest “Askifas – Wasps and Bees” by PG Koehler and JL Castner.

“Gardener Gal” Leslie Derrenbacker is a master gardener and Florida native. Send your questions to [email protected]