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I need information about sprinklers

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August is typically one of the hottest and wettest months in South Florida. To safely enjoy gardening during this period, it’s wise to avoid working during the peak heat of the day. Seek out shaded areas, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and wear protective clothing. Regularly dedicating a bit of time each week to your garden can help you stay on top of potential issues. While tending to your garden, bring a refreshing drink, engage in light pruning to keep your yard tidy, and apply fertilizer as needed.

It’s also crucial to monitor your lawn for pests early on. Addressing infestations promptly with appropriate sprays can prevent them from becoming unmanageable. Because issues tend to escalate quickly in the summer heat, more frequent checks are necessary. If you’re unsure about identifying problems, don’t hesitate to bring affected plant samples in a plastic bag to our store for assistance.

Regarding water usage, current conservation rules permit watering two days per week. This mindful approach has contributed significantly to our conservation efforts over the past months. Most pop-up sprinklers can discharge about 4 gallons per minute (GPM) with a full head, covering a radius of approximately 15 feet. Sprinklers with half head coverage output about 2 GPM. These sprinklers are typically designed to deliver one inch of water per hour within that radius. Additionally, a damaged ½ inch sprinkler line can waste between 6 and 12 GPM depending on the water pressure.

Please inspect your sprinkler system for any signs of poor coverage or leaks, as these can lead to increased water costs and waste. Such diligence not only saves money but also conserves vital resources.

How do I address insects?

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Let’s talk about our insects in South Florida. Our plants should be examined weekly during the summer and fall.

The undersides of a few leaves on each plant should be checked and the stems observed for pests. Many insects merely rest on the plant and are neither pests nor beneficial. Only about 1% of all insects are considered pests on plants. There are also many insects that are beneficial and feed on harmful insects. It is important to know these beneficial bugs, so we can delay applying a pesticide to allow the good guys to control the bad pest population. Your next step may be to choose an organic control and there are many now available to use. All of these will help keep our pest damage low. Insecticides may be required to control insects and related pests when they reach damaging levels on landscape plants.

Remember the chemical you use should:

  1. Control the insect you are spraying, so you need to know its name
  2. Be safe to use on the host plant
  3. Be applied the right way (through coverage) and the right time of day
  4. Be the recommended amount and used the correct number of times to control the pest

How do I build a Butterfly Garden?

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There are about 760 butterfly species in America and about 100 can be found in our state. Butterflies have often been described as one of nature’s most beautiful and intriguing insects. The fascinating transformation from caterpillar to butterfly can occur, with just a small amount of work right on your own balcony, patio, or in your backyard. You can create a special garden around your home for butterflies. A good butterfly habitat must provide food, water, shelter, and a place to reproduce. To be successful please try these simple guidelines:

  1. Locate the garden in a sunny area. Butterflies are cold-blooded and prefer warm sunny areas, as do most of the flowering plants they feed on.
  2. Plant nectar producing flowers, most butterflies found in Florida feed on flower nectar. Butterflies are generally attracted to brightly colored simple flowers.
  3. Plant flowers in large groups with a variety of plants, to attract a greater variety of butterflies.
  4. Provide host plants for the larva (caterpillar) to feed on. The milkweed will attract the monarch butterfly, and plants such as the passion flower can be host to many different butterflies one of these is our state butterfly, the yellow and black zebra longwing. You also must remember that these plants ultimately will be chewed when you are successful.
  5. Please avoid the use of chemicals that will be harmful to caterpillars and butterflies. Adult butterflies also need water, so a good butterfly garden will provide a proper place to drink.