In this issue...

Alex Bolques
Editor, Horticulture Agent
Gadsden County Extension

As we enter the second half of the year, July is typically hot and humid.  You may also expect frequent afternoon thunderstorms, as we have also entered into Florida’s rainy season.  Remember to stay hydrated while working in the garden and protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet radiation (sunlight).

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new rules on rating sunscreens.  While these will not take effect for another year, (two years for small sunscreen manufacturers), the rule helps to clear up confusion about which product to use.  According to FDA, a broad spectrum SPF 15 product, if used as directed with other sun protection measures (see product label), reduces the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, as well as helps prevent sunburn.  As a general rule, sunscreen should be applied twenty minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours or after swimming or sweating. 

In this issue, you will learn about some of the easiest ways to identify the correct time to harvest your summer vegetables, tips on how to manage trees in the landscape to reduce windstorm or hurricane damage, lawn care considerations, cicada killers, Ganoderma butt rot on palms, and use of buttonbush in the landscape.