The Neighborhood Gardener – May
Hi, I'm Wendy Wilber, the new state Master Gardener coordinator. Before taking this job I served as a Horticulture Extension Agent in Alachua County Florida for 15 years. In this role I was the Master Gardener coordinator and the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ agent. It was a privilege to work side by side with Master Gardeners in my county.
I now look forward to working with the Master Gardener Coordinators and Master Gardener volunteers across the state. Working with volunteers is a wonderful career because you usually end up learning more than you teach and getting back much more than you give. I am excited to support the Master Gardener program and share my enthusiasm about Florida's plants, protecting Florida's environment, and Florida's best volunteer program, the UF/IFAS Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program.
Master Gardeners remind me that: "Life is a gift and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more." (T. Robbins)
Learn more about Wendy Wilber
As they say, April showers bring May flowers. Give those flowers a nutrient rich soil by adding compost to your landscape beds. Composting is a great way to turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into what gardeners call "black gold." More
Probably the most distinguishing characteristic of the gardenia is its sweet scent. Gardenias may be a bit fussy to grow, but the effort is worth the payoff for many. A popular Mother's Day gift, gardenias can be planted in the landscape and enjoyed for years to come. There are over 200 species of these evergreen shrubs, so depending on the cultivar, they will grow in height from 2-15 feet; all have glossy, dark-green foliage. Gardenias will do best in well-drained, rich soil, so consider amending your chosen planting site with compost or peat moss. Soil pH is important and should be between 5.0 and 6.5. Plant your gardenia in full sun or partial shade. More
Watch for damage from chinch bugs in St. Augustine and begin scouting for newly hatched mole crickets in Bahia lawns.
For more month-by-month gardening tips, check out the Florida Gardening Calendar. Three different editions of the calendar provide specific tips for each of Florida's gardening regions—North, Central, and South.
Did you know that hummingbirds are found only in the Americas? It was once thought that their plumage was a source of mystical powers, but today we love them for the beautiful pollinators they are. You can plant nectar-producing plants (or install a hummingbird feeder) to try and catch a glimpse of these tiny treasures. More
Do You Have a Success Story?
We're looking for inspiring, Florida-Friendly success stories from your county. Submit yours today to Emily Eubanks.
What's Going On?
If your Master Gardener program or Extension office is having an event, be sure to share it with us.