by WILLIAM “BILL” DOTY
There are two kinds of sunshine — the radiant kind and the liquid kind — and we get plenty of both this time of the year in Central Florida. If they come in the proper proportion, we have ideal conditions for grass planting and patching, tasks that leads our lawn and garden recommendations this month. You just can’t slow the grass from growing during the rainy season. For St. Augustine lawns with bare spots to fill in, we like Palmetto plugs.
For Bahia lawns, the job is to treat for one of our worst lawn pests — the burrowing mole cricket. The young hatch in May, making this the best time to treat for cricket control. You can use baits, granules, or sprays, but water heavily first.
Other destructive insects to look for include chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass, and caterpillars, scale insects, spider mites, and white flies on plants. The plant pests can be controlled with Malathion or Acephate.
This is the time azaleas, camellias, ixoras, and gardenias need their second important feeding. Use an acid-forming fertilizer heavy in essential minor elements. This kind of fertilizer is also good for crape myrtle, crotons, dogwood, blue hydrangeas, magnolias, American holly, and podocarpus.
If not done by now, complete the pruning of your azalea bushes, and continue to feed your annuals and vegetables.
Father’s Day is June 16. If Dad enjoys working in the lawn and garden, you can’t go wrong with a gift from Doty’s.
BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty is owner of Doty Farm and Garden Supply Inc., founded in Winter Haven in 1954. Bill graduated from Winter Haven High School and Florida State University. Growing up, he learned valuable lessons in listening and asking questions and was a student of the family business. Bill shares his knowledge with his customers daily and with our readers monthly.