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Stephanie Fischetti's Blog (16)

Last night's freeze

Last night, temperatures here dipped below freezing. I had brought some plants in containers indoors, and had covered other plants that were at risk with cotton sheets that we use for that purpose and as drop cloths when doing home improvement projects. My garden is rather diverse in the number of species, and I am something of a collector of various types of plants. Since I could not cover everything, I attempted to save at least one frost-susceptible plant of each species that I have. I did… Continue

Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 7, 2010 at 2:35pm — No Comments

Florida friendly Irises and iris look alikes

The blackberry lily or leopard lily, otherwise known as freckleface is really an orange iris that will grow in Florida but is not a native plant. I am growing these from seeds.



The Spanish iris will grow in Florida, but is from the Mediterranean area. Here is a picture of two blooms on my plant.





The Walking Iris is not really an iris, but looks like one. It is also known as an Apostle's Sword or Apostle's Flower. For more… Continue

Added by Stephanie Fischetti on April 22, 2009 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Frost preparations yesterday

It was predicted to be 34F degrees last night, 32Fdegrees tonight and 28F degrees Friday night. Luckily it rained recently, which is good, because cold weather is less dangerous for plants if the soil is not dry. Yesterday we brought some frost- sensitive plants that were in containers indoors. These included some out of season tomatoes, zucchini, small turnip and onion plants, some basil, oregano, a starfish cactus, an unusual orchid, the begonias, some small pepper plants, the avocado trees… Continue

Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 15, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Butterfly Garden

Lately I have been volunteering in the neighborhood butterfly garden. Activities consist mainly of weeding, dead-heading spent flower heads and pruning. There are many varieties of butterflies and other pollinators in the garden, as well as reptiles and amphibians and birds and squirrels that visit. Generally, song birds are discouraged in a butterfly garden through the planting of wildflowers rather than berry-producing plants because they eat the larvae of the butterflies. However, I was… Continue

Added by Stephanie Fischetti on September 2, 2008 at 12:35pm — 1 Comment

Working with Native Plants

Lately I have been volunteering at the botanical gardens with the native plants. There are certain plants that we want to keep and grow and other very common plants that are considered weeds. My work has included pruning shrubs to encourage fuller growth, weeding and watering. Also, I have made a list of plant names to put on a table of information. I have plans to research each plant and find out information, such as toxicity, medicinal uses, and what types of wildlife, such as birds,… Continue

Added by Stephanie Fischetti on May 3, 2008 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Recent Gardening Activities

February 7: worked with begonias at botanical gardens



February 8: volunteered picking and washing citrus for the Rare Fruit Council booth at the fair.



February 15: volunteered weeding in neighborhood butterfly garden



February 16: installed wooden border in area where we amended the soil (Sometime before I also put in a drywell where the rain splashes down from the roof.)



February 21: worked with begonias and staked out an area where I turned the soil,… Continue

Added by Stephanie Fischetti on February 21, 2008 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Agriculture, Fairs and Farmers Markets and How I Have Gardened with Less Land

There is going to be a fair in Tampa off of Highway 301 next week. The Rare Fruit Council is going to have a booth there. From the advertisements on TV lately it seems that the fair has gone more towards entertainment and away from agriculture. There are photos of Vegas-style casino gambling and dancing girls as well as the footage of roller coasters and ferris wheels. I might visit the fair to see if the advertisements are accurate or if there is still a focus on agriculture at the…

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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on February 7, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

More Gardening Activities

  • volunteered with begonias at botanical gardens and rescued one begonia with an unknown name that is diseased and was going to be ditched. I set it out in the sun to dry it out a bit and intend to repot it.
  • buried kitchen compost
  • planted some seeds (early) for indian okra, bush beans and wong bok (late). The bok and the okra were from the seed exchange at the rare fruit council. I plan to give some seeds I saved for papaya, passion fruit and sorrow fruit to the seed…
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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 28, 2008 at 2:18pm — No Comments

Tuesday's Gardening Activities

  • Planted seeds from sorrow fruit in containers and elsewhere. Intentions are to put any trees that grow on the raffle table as a fundraiser for the Rare Fruit Council, and maybe keep one plant.
  • Discovered a volunteer bok choy plant, dug it up and put it in the garden.
  • Harvested some parsley and bell peppers.
  • A neighbor gave me a container of viola plants for the patio garden. Had a conversation with her about the neighborhood butterfly garden. The butterfly…
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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 23, 2008 at 11:51am — No Comments

Rare Fruit Council Meeting and Garden Activities

Today I went to a Rare Fruit Council meeting and learned about some fruit trees that grow in Mexico, South America and Africa. Most of the ones discussed do not tolerate Florida soil conditions. However, there were some people there who I know and one of them was selling passion fruit and another fruit called "sorrow" (see photo) because it is so bitter. You can only eat the inside of the passionfruit or use it to make a drink or in cooking. The sorrow is very bitter, and is best prepared by…

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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 13, 2008 at 6:30pm — 4 Comments

Amending Sandy Soil, etc.

NOTE: It is important to wear gloves when handling peatmoss because of danger of contracting Sporotrichosis (Skilling).

There is a dead zone near the condo where the soil has been sandy and dry. It is a patch surrounded by concrete where the only things that have survived have been one tall palm tree and a shrub, one dwarf azalea (out of four planted) and one spearmint plant (out of three planted). So, since it is a shady area protected from the harsher weather changes because it is…

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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 7, 2008 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

Yesterday evening and poinsettias

Yesterday, my husband brought home some plastic for covering the outdoor plants. We covered most of the vulnerable plants, and moved some of the plants in containers in. Later, after the sun had a chance to warm everything up, I uncovered the plants, and everything except the basil seems to have survived. I went over to the botanical gardens, but they said it was too cold to do much. We might need to cover the plants again tonight because it is supposed to get cold.

There were some…

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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 3, 2008 at 3:33pm — 4 Comments

Frost predicted Wednesday / This Weekend's and Monday's Garden Activities

NOTE:

There might be a frost in Tampa Wednesday night. Water well, mulch well, move at-risk plants indoors or cover them, leave any strings of lights in garden up and lit overnight, leave any drip irrigation systems on. (Source: Seminar at Tampa Bay Garden Club)

  • Saturday, met with a gardener interested in community gardening and toured her garden. Traded some bok (chinese cabbage) seeds for some turnip greens and a lemon.
  • Watered purple showers and dwarf azaleas…
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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 1, 2008 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Working with Begonias

Yesterday I volunteered at the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens working with begonias. I planted some seeds that had been pollinated through open pollination, and started many different varieties from cuttings. Also, there was some weeding in the outdoor begonia bed and cleaning up around the greenhouse to be done. Begonias like a well-drained soil in partial shade for outdoors or a light weight peatmoss and clay mix soil with infrequent waterings for potted plants. The worst thing… Continue

Added by Stephanie Fischetti on December 28, 2007 at 1:30pm — No Comments

This morning

This morning, after having my coffee, I decided to bury the veggie and fruit scraps that I had been storing in plastic bags in the fridge until such time as I got around to this task. So, I dug several holes in various garden spots that need richer soil. I am trying to slowly change the soil so that it is richer and less sandy by burying composting material. This method has worked well in the patio garden, which is now full of earthworms, and should work in the two west-facing gardens. We…

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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on December 26, 2007 at 3:23pm — No Comments

Today's Activities

Today's activities:

  • Noticed a problem with snails in the vegetable patch. The plants are not doing well, so I will use shallow dishes with beer in them to drown the snails.
  • moved some of the commelineaceae so that there would be more of a group of them. There is a somewhat small area I have set aside for them, so I will have to keep them somewhat contained.
  • Noticed that the tree frog chose another rooting jar to sit in. I am not going to get him out every day,…
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Added by Stephanie Fischetti on January 17, 2006 at 5:00pm — No Comments

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