- Saturday, April 25, all day
- Hillsborough County Extension Office, 5339 County Road 579 in Seffner
Despite a few rain dances in the backyard, the drought continues to be a topic of concern.
Residents are invited to learn how to manage their lawns and landscaping at the next Florida-Friendly 101 gardening conference at the Hillsborough County Extension Office on April 25.
For a mere $30 registration fee, residents will hear the best and the latest from University of Florida specialists and local Hillsborough County Extension horticulturists:
- How plants deal with drought
- How to choose the most drought-tolerant plants
- Smart landscape and irrigation technologies
The conference also includes a “goodie” bag with resources to take home, lunch and refreshments.
Space is limited, so register early!
The detailed agenda and link to the online registration can be found on the Hillsborough County Extension website at:
Still have questions? Call the Extension Office at (813) 744-5519 or visit http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu
We Provide Answers
Hillsborough County Extension Service offers the educational resources of the University of Florida to Hillsborough County residents. Programs include 4-H and youth development, agriculture, natural resources education, and the Master Gardener volunteer program. In addition, training and resources are available in the areas of parenting, food and nutrition, and money management.
Lynn Barber, Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Agent
The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is always a hit every spring as gardeners from around the world are amazed by the floral displays. Throughout the years the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association members and Florida Master Gardeners have volunteered at demonstrations set up for Flower Festival visitors. Nearly 1 million Florida Gardeners visit the Festival each spring and learn how to beautify their home landscape using the latest environmentally friendly practices and products.
Volunteers greet interested folks who want to learn ways to cut down on waste and save water and energy using the methods and products on display in the demonstrations.
We had the most questions from homeowners in central Florida looking for alternatives the St. Augustine grass featured at the R. U. Wasteful residence along with other good Florida plants planted in the wrong place.
The display at the adjacent I.M. Green residence featured turf alternatives like Beach Sunflower and many plants that require low amounts of water to thrive in Florida. It also featured Empire Zoysia turf that can survive without irrigation after establishment.
Rainbird staffs a booth demonstrating the proper way to set up and use efficient irrigation systems with timers, nozzles, drip emitters and rain shutoff devices. There is still plenty of time to get to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival before it ends June 1.
Here are a few links to stimulate your thinking about saving water and converting to more efficient irrigation systems. At the bottom of ths post is a site with some good graphics and kits you can study and a link to a new post from http://floridabackyard.org/ that shows you how to do it and how it actually works. Kits are available online or you can get similar kits and components at your Florida Home Depot. The water you save will be worth the effort and expense. Planning is key. You can modify these setups later and add to as you expand but it is more efficient to design it right before you start.
Typical sprinkler systems are very inefficent. The University of Florida did statewide homeowner surveys of existing systems and found that the majority of waste comes from poor design. Only 25% were designed with proper spacing and overlap. That's a lot of waste! With the cost and value of water you might consider an expert for your sprinkler, drip or micro spray design but even then it may not be as efficient as you need. Set up straight sided containers of equal sizes in grids and catch water from a 20 minute run of an existing zone just to get an idea of how to measure uniformity.
Lawn Sprinkler Selection and Layout for Uniform Water Application
Drip irrigation for individual plants is effective but you have to design it properly and calibrate run times and duration so you are not wasting water while using an efficient system. Low volume spray jets may be what you need depending on the size of your targeted plants and considering the sandy soil that lets the water seep vertically so quickly. Drip irrigation can be very effective for landscapes that are planted from gallon size containers if the drippers are properly placed.
Microirrigation in The Landscape
Landscape Irrigation and Fertilization
If you have a vegetable garden or have the bug to start one or just want to grow a few tomato plants, follow these links to the latest information. There are 4 new videos showing you how to get the most out of your gardening efforts. In the series you will learn how to use organic matter to increase yield and reduce chemical cost and inputs. You will learn how to garden in various ways that have less impact on the environment while lowering the amount of effort and increasing your harvest success. You will hear that 75% of your efforts are in the planning. Take a listen and before you know it you will be feeding the whole neighborhood and sharing new techniques and eating healthy.
Click on the videos on this page: http://webdev.ifas.ufl.edu/sfyl/hot_topics/lawn_and_garden/spring_veggie_gardening.html
You can have the best flowers and the lowest water bill in the neighborhood with a one time investment that will pay you back for years to come. This is probably the one gardening task that gets put off more than any other but is the most rewarding once you have it in place. It is one of those ‘flat rock’ chores. You won’t believe how easy it is and how much it saves. There are a lot of choices and most of them are simple and all are extremely cost effective. Check your water bill for confirmation on this. Drip Irrigation will be a catagory of focus for this blog with many more posts to follow. Help spread the word of it's value and importance to Florida and gardeners. Click the Pass it on Florida tab at the top and spread the word about water conservation and protecting our wetlands and waterways from runoff polution.
February 26, 2009 by Rick
For the 11th year, FNGLA will participate in the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival with an all-new concept and theme: Green Gardening for the family. Focusing on two typical households, the garden will focus on two “families”: the I.B. Green household and the R.U. Wasteful family and the common practices of each.
The “Green” family will showcase the concepts of “Right Plant, Right Place,” composting, water conservation, gardening for consumption and will include an area focusing on bio-fuel plants while the “Wasteful” family will highlight some commonly found non-green practices such as improper use of plant material, excess recyclable waste not being recycled and the like. This new, cutting-edge, contemporary theme showcases FNGLA as a leader in the green sustainability movement bringing easy-to-implement green practices, focused on plants.
Opening Day is March 18 of the 10½ week festival ending on June 1. We will be volunteering along with other Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Associate members to share the wealth of knowledge available to go "Green"