Medfly: State of Florida Removing All Fruit From Trees in East Boca Raton and East Delray Beach(0)
The Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Medfly) infestation has caused State of Florida Department of Agriculture officials to remove all fruit from a zone in East Delray Beach and East Boca Raton, Florida.
All fruit is being removed from any type of fruit related plant or tree in the Eastern sections of both cities State Agriculture officials advised. The fruit fly impact is a great concern for fruit growers not only in South Florida, but in all of the US. These fruit flies have to be stopped.
Residents so far have been cooperative as teams of State Agriculture Department employees have been showing up all over the neighborhoods and removing all fruit from trees. Many neighbors are disheartened as this is currently mango season. All mangoes, limes, papaya’s, oranges, everything is being removed.
This hearkens to the days of the citrus canker and the removal of all of the citrus trees.
The East Delray Beach medflys found have also complicated issues. These flies are separate from the East Boca Raton fruit flies in that they are in an isolated area which was 3 miles from the Boca infestation. How did the fruit fly’s get over to Delray? That is a major concern for the State Department of Agriculture.
South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Ikea Review(0)
I just came back from a trip to our South Florida Ikea. I was very excited to go there as I have heard so much about it.
The sheer size of the building and parking garage is incredible. They are located off of Interstate 595 West of Fort Lauderdale. I believe the city is Sunrise.
I would have never imagined that we were still in a recession as I could barely find a parking spot. After finding my way in to the building I followed the arrows and started my way through the store with my shopping cart.
Looking around at the products, many of them looked very interesting. I was excited that I found a better store than Target.
Stepping away from my cart for a few feet, I turned in time to see someone grab my cart and walk off. Ok, no problem. Comes with the territory of shopping in one of these big stores in an area packed with people.
I continued on. I actually found some very nice lighting systems that on first inspection looked great. Closer inspection revealed that they were made in China and a piece actually broke off in my hand as I was holding it.
After spending another hour in the store, I couldn’t wait to get out. I was trapped in the Ikea maze. There is no easy way to exit once you enter. You have to follow through to the end. I also came to the conclusion that the items looked really nice on first look. They just turned out being very cheaply made. I found all tags from China. I also realized why so many people in a recession where shopping. The items are so very inexpensive.
The main problem with buying these inexpensive items is that they are also cheaply made.
One final note, I did buy some glassware. As I was leaving the maze, I needed a bag to put my glassware. I found one next to the register, loaded up my items and headed for the door. An employee stopped me from walking off. I thought she wanted to check the contents of my bag. She actually wanted to tell me that I had to pay .50 for my bag.
I don’t think I will be shopping at Ikea again.
Citrus Greening Disease(0)
Citrus greening disease is a disease has been around since the early 1900’s. It is starting to make a very large impact in the home landscapes of Florida.
The disease is very hard to detect. A bug called the Asian Citrus Psyllid has a bacteria on it that infects the citrus trees. I have found that Grapefruit trees are very susceptible to this disease.
The disease can go un-noticed for up to two years until it is too late. At that point there is nothing the home grower can buy to kill this bacteria.
Symptoms include: Yellowing of leaves, fruit drop, fruit remains small, and twigs die on the tree.
I have had this on my Meyer Lemon and two grapefruit trees. I noticed the yellowing of the leaves and thought that I had a problem with over watering the citrus trees. When providing to much water to citrus the leaves turn that light yellow color. After making sure to water my plants sparsely, I thought I had a minor element issue. It appeared that the tree was dying off.
It wasn’t until I was visited by the Florida Department of Agriculture until I learned that I had Citrus Greening Disease. The Florida Department of Agriculture was in my area due to a Med Fly problem (Mediterranean Fruit Fly). They recognized my problem immediately and advised this problem with the greening could wipe out the citrus industry in Florida. There is no known cure for this greening and it eventually cuts all fruit production and kills your citrus tree.
I have a picture of the leaves on a citrus tree with the greening disease at the top of this article.
How To Grow A Lychee Tree(2)
For the past few years I have been growing a few lychee trees on my property in South Florida. See a picture of one of my lychee trees below.
As you can see by the picture above, my current lychee tree is very small. It is only about 4 feet tall, but very lush. I purchased this plant from the Pine Island Nursery in Homestead, FL. They have a great assortment of Lychee trees, mango plants, jackfruit trees, dragon fruit trees, jaboticaba plants, etc. They have a great selection of fruit trees except for citrus. Citrus trees in Florida have numerous problems including citrus greening disease, citrus canker and med fly problems (Mediterranean fruit fly). It is best to stay away from growing the citrus trees in South Florida. It is too heartbreaking to watch your citrus trees go to waste and dye when they get a disease like citrus greening.
Lychee trees are best purchased from growers that use air layering. I again recommend the Pine Island nursery for this. I do not recommend lycheesonline.com. I have found their plants substandard and over priced.
Here is an interesting video on air layering if you would like to try it out yourself.
Lychee trees typically flower in the spring. They create beautiful golden flowers. Here is a picture of one of my lychee trees flowering earlier this year.
As you can see from that picture, the flowers look gorgeous. The bees that show up during the flowering of my lychee trees are also fun to watch. Hundreds of them come out of seemingly nowhere.
Fruit drop is a major issue with young lychee trees. I lost all of my fruit this year and only had one piece set. The trees are very susceptible to winds, especially when they are setting fruit. If possible put up blocking around the plant. Springs in South Florida are very windy and are a cause of a lot of fruit drop.
In June when the lychees are ready in South Florida. Make sure you have watered your plant copiously throughout the time of the fruit set until harvesting. The more water the better. This will make your fruit more juicy. The more juicy the lychee fruit the better!
Good luck in growing your lychee plants if you want to give it a try.
Turnkey Log House to Ireland!(0)
Turnkey Log House to Ireland!
Decorative Concrete gives new Life to Driveways(0)
Among the hundreds of exhibitors at the local home and garden show last weekend, only a handful stood out in my mind. Buried in the sea of roofers and storm shutter vendors, trying to capitalize on hurricane paranoia, were some truly unique products. Among them was a European Sculptured Stone. Don’t be fooled by the name however, they don’t sell stone, but your neighbors won’t know. Business owner, David Machado, explained how he converts ugly concrete into beautiful ‘faux-flagstone’ driveways and patios using a simple and inexpensive technique of scoring and staining concrete.
The job takes no more than a few days and jobs start at around $500. David says his customers are always thrilled with the work and the results are guaranteed. The idea of decorating concrete goes back to ancient Rome but only now have methods been developed to make the concrete resistant to daily use. Looking at the samples at David’s booth, you would really need to look closely to tell that it’s not real flagstone. He also showed me a before and after album with hundreds of completed projects. The results are amazing.
After that, I saw a few more booths and then made the mandatory stops at the amazing folding ladder guys, the mop guys, and the incredible revolutionary cooking systems. Left empty handed though. Let’s see what the next home show has in store for me.
West Palm Beach Home Garden Show(0)
The largest Home Garden Show for South Florida is scheduled to start on February 17, 2005 in West Palm Beach. There are over 450 exhibitors which makes it the largest Home and Garden Show in South Florida.
home garden virtual tour provides further information on the show with lists of exhibitors and their wares. There is a virtual tour of the show with photographs and contact information. If you cannot make the show, consider checking out this website for some good contact information.
Guest coupons for the show can be found at: west palm beach home and garden show official site. The coupon is for one dollar off the price. Admission is $8 dollars for adults and $6 dollars for seniors. Children 6 – 12 are $3.50.
The address for the show is the South Florida Expo Center At the South Florida Fairgrounds 9067 Southern Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33411, Contact phone number 561-793-0333.
Enjoy the show.
How To Install Brick Pavers(0)
Here is a great “How To” install brick pavers.
Brick pavers are starting to be a top choice for home renovating of patios and porches.
You should start out by checking the major chain stores, Home Depot & Lowes to compare prices. I then had luck stopping at smaller stores that concentrate on pavers and tile. I found that these smaller stores often beat the price of the Home Depot’s and Lowes superstores. Oftentimes their overhead is less and they concentrate on helping individual consumers moreso.
I chose the half pavers for my screened in porch area. These are pavers that are sliced down the middle. There really is no need to use the full brick pavers for patio’s and porches.
When starting installation, make sure that you have a small electric cutting saw. This was the life saver as far as my installation was concerned. It only cost one hundred dollars and with a diamond tipped blade, it cut right through the half pavers.
Step 1 of installation is to lay down approx 1/8 of an inch of thinset. Thinset is a cement type powder substance. Mix it with water until you get a thick paste. Let it sit for 15 minutes and you are ready. Lay down the thinset with a grout tool. One side is flat and the other side has ridges. Use the ridged side to run up and down the thinset prior to lying the paver on it.
After setting up the thinset, you are ready to lie the paver down. Put the paver down and press gently to the proper level. Clean up any over run for the thinset. Then do the next with your next paver.
You can make multiple designs with the pavers. Also use different colors. I kept it simple with my job as I did not want to do a lot of cutting and switching of the pavers.
After you have placed all of your pavers down, let them sit overnight.
In the morning, it is time to mix the grout. Grout comes in many colors. Make sure you pick the color you want to show up in between the pavers. I chose white.
Mix the grout the same way that you mixed the thinset. Then, with a rubber bottomed hand tool (they will show you which tool at the store), push the grout down between the pavers. As soon as it is built up, move all along the pavers.
This can be a long and tedious process. Stick with it as it will be well worth it. After you have chosen a sufficiently large area (approx 5 square feet), you will need to clean off the pavers with water and a sponge. This is VERY tedious. Try and get as much of the grout off the pavers as possible.
I did this by constantly switching out the water. Then, in the morning, I had to do it again. In the end it came out very nice.