About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grow Your Own Tomatoes this Spring

Did you know that the number one vegetable (in this case fruit) that people grow is tomatoes? Well it is, and it's not really a surprise. Who doesn't enjoy the hearty taste of a homegrown tomato. And, now is the time to get those tomato seeds started.

Tomato Growers Supply Company, located in Fort Myers, is a great source for a variety of tomato seeds. In fact, they carry over 500 varieties of hybrid and heirloom tomatoes, peppers, hot chiles, sweet peppers, tomatillos and eggplant.
I've ordered seeds from them numerous times and have been very pleased with the outcome. They have an excellent rating on GardenWatchDog.com and are celebrating their 25th year in business. This year they are offering many new varieties - 9 tomato, 4 peppers and a lovely white eggplant.
For help in making your selections or advice on how to grow tomatoes, read the University of Florida's article entitled Tomatoes in the Florida garden.
You can visit their online catalog or request a free catalog which comes along with a FREE bonus offer.
If you have purchased from Tomato Growers Supply Company, please leave a "comment" letting us know your experience and if you recommend them or not. Thanks!
Note: I did not receive any compensation for recommending this nursery from any source.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Controlling Lace Bugs on Azaleas

Lace bugs can have a devastating effect on the leaves of azalea plants and many other ornamentals that grow in Florida. These insects suck the juice out of the leaves. The result is the leaves turn a pale greenish-gray with dry brown spots covering the surface.
Fortunately, they are easily controlled with applications of insecticidal soap, horticulture oil or neem oil. When spraying the plant it is important to spray the underside of the leaf where the lace bug resides. If you don't like sprays, you can apply a systemic such as Bayer Advanced Rose & Flower Insect Granules around the base of the plant for good results. For more information on the control of lace bugs see Lace Bugs on Ornamental Plants by the University of Florida.