The Neighborhood Gardener – March

Pink azalea flowers

Happy gardening!

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School Garden Wins Award of Excellence for Bay County

Student workng in garden soil with teacherThe Florida Master Gardener Award of Excellence for Service to 4-H and/or Other Youth recognizes volunteers who make outstanding contributions to youth through horticulture. The 2015 award went to the UF/IFAS Extension Bay County Master Gardeners, for their work as part of a community-wide partnership to develop and maintain a horticultural therapy garden at Margaret K. Lewis School for children with disabilities. More


Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbird approaching feeder, photo by Annkatrin Rose, cc-by-nc-sa 4.0While the best source of food for hummingbirds is one of the many nectar-producing plants they love, a hummingbird feeder can be a great way to provide extra sustenance to these fast-moving little birds. Hummingbirds need to eat a third to half of their body weight each day in order to keep those rapidly beating wings moving. When looking for a hummingbird feeder, choose one in red plastic with multiple feeding stations, and only put an unaltered sugar and water solution—no dye—into the feeder. More


Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberAs a gardener, I am always looking for inspiration for what to plant next. I'm constantly on the lookout for fresh plant varieties, fresh plant combinations, new ways of growing plants, and new ways of communicating with people about plants. When it is spring, I look forward to attending the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World. Their world-class horticulturalists plan far in advance to blow gardeners' boots off and this year is no exception. The theme is "Epcot Fresh" and there are plenty of fresh ideas there to inspire you. More


Olives

Olives, photo by Jennifer Gillet-KaufmanThink of olive trees and you may think of the Mediterranean, but did you know that you can grow olives in Florida? If you're looking for something different, an olive tree may be a great choice. Grown in small numbers here for years, commercial production of olives in Florida is still new and subject to ongoing research. While not suitable for consumption right off the tree, olives can be cured and eaten, or pressed for oil, and the tree's silvery foliage makes it an attractive addition to the landscape. More


Plant of the Month: Trumpet Trees

Yellow trumpet treeTrumpet trees are loved for their dazzling display of blossoms that burst forth ahead of their leaves in spring. The common name refers to the elongated flowers that resemble trumpets; depending on the tree, the flowers can be white, yellow, pink or even lavender. Traditionally known as Tabebuia, some of these trees are now recognized with a different botanical name. These Florida-friendly plants grow best in full sun and make a stunning addition to landscapes in Central and South Florida. More


March in Your Garden

tomatoesWe're heading into spring, which is a great time to try a vegetable garden. Warm season crops can be planted this month throughout the state, like corn, pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes.

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.


Zika Mosquito Update

Two mosqitoesZika has been getting a lot of attention in the media recently, as outbreaks of this mosquito-transmitted virus become evermore present in Central and South America. While much is still unknown about the Zika virus, one thing is for sure—limiting mosquito habitats and preventing bites are important precautions in mosquito-prone climates like Florida's. More


What's Going On?

If your Master Gardener program or Extension office is having an event, be sure to share it with us.