Okaloosa County Gardening Programs

A Beautiful No-Spray or Low-Spray LandscapeA green and shady path leading to a solemn urn

Okaloosa County Master Gardener Volunteer Karen Kirk-Williams will present "No Spray/Low Spray Landscape Filled with Flowers and Wildlife" on Thursday, March 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College, Building 400, Room 302.

Registration is $25. Included in the registration fee is lunch, catered by Dan Pettis of One 20, A Modern Bistro in Niceville. Enroll in person in the students services area at any of the NWF campus centers in Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, DeFuniak Springs, or South Walton, or by mail using the form found at www.nwfsc.edu/ContEd.

Getting Ready for Lawn Growing Season

The Okaloosa County Master Gardener Association will offer a free lecture on lawn care on Wednesday, March 18 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the Okaloosa County Extension Office, 3098 Airport Road, Crestview, 32539.

Larry Williams, Okaloosa County Residential Horticulture Agent will guide you through the unique challenges of growing a lawn in Northwest Florida.

Seating is limited for this seminar and reservations are required. Please call the UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office at 850-689-5850 or email achisholm@myokaloosa.com to reserve your seat.

Monthly Plant Clinics

Master Gardener volunteers are available at the Fort Walton Beach Annex to answer your questions every Friday morning (except holiday weekends) from 9 a.m. to noon. You may bring a sample leaf or stem of your plant, grass, or weed problems to be identified, as well as solutions and suggestions on best gardening practices.

The clinic provides a place to bring samples of lawn, landscape and garden plants for diagnosis, including weeds and insects for identification. To participate, bring a fresh sample of the weed, plant, insect, etc., to the clinic. This may include a plant stem with several leaves, a 4-inch square of grass with roots attached, etc.

You also may bring a sample of soil for pH testing. Use a clean shovel, trowel or soil probe to collect a representative sample by taking thin slices or cores of soil to a depth of six to eight inches from ten different spots throughout the plant bed, lawn or garden. Thoroughly mix all the small soil slices/cores together in a clean bucket. Place one to two cups of this mixture in a closable plastic bag or small throwaway plastic container and bring to the clinic for testing. Attach a slip of paper with your name, phone number and where the sample was taken (e.g. lawn, vegetable garden, flowerbed, etc.)

For residents living closer to our Niceville office, we have Master Gardener volunteers available to identify your plants or plant diseases, conduct soil sample testing, or give you advice for your lawn care or vegetable growing. Beginning March 4, they will be at the Niceville Senior Center, 201 Campbell Drive on Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This is a change from the previous Monday time frame.

Our Crestview office is located at 3098 Airport Road, and often has Master Gardener volunteers are available during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) but be sure to call 689-5850 to be sure someone is available before going. Soil testing is offered at the Crestview office on Monday mornings. For further information, or to schedule a home visit by a team of Master Gardener volunteers, call 689-5850.

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