Webinars to Keep You Growing

Here at the Master Gardener Volunteer Program, we support lifelong learning. For many of our volunteers and other friends of the program, continuing education is a high priority. In unprecedented seasons of life, a gardener may find themselves stuck inside and searching for a new source of engagement. If a move, illness, or change in lifestyle leaves you with a new normal, don't let it stop you from expanding your horizons. We have an archive of garden-related webinars that can keep you in the classroom, wherever life takes you.

We regularly host educational webinars as a part of our Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) training program and to support volunteers' continuing education requirement. These presentations, direct from scientists, professors, researchers, and extension agents with UF/IFAS help MGVs stay up to date on the latest research and methods.

Whether or not you're an MGV, this spring we're inviting you to enjoy our archive of webinars! Below are ten of our favorites from 2017-2020. We hope you find something you enjoy! Never stop learning.

Macro view of orange butterfly wingWings Over Florida: Butterflies Program (2018) – Have you ever sat and watched the birds and butterflies fly across your yard? Wings Over Florida is a free program that can help you learn to recognize them and make an impact on their preservation, too. Dr. Jaret Daniels and Samm Epstein, specialists in the ecology and conservation of pollinators, will walk you through the program and help you get started.

One green olive hanging in treeOlives in Florida (2019) – From peace treaties to winner's laurels, history certainly has a favorite plant. This presentation covers the botany, ornamental use, potential pests, and even commercial production of olives in Florida. Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman, UF/IFAS Extension scientist, is an expert in both Integrated Pest Management and olives, and she has a lot to say about this growing industry. We hope you enjoy learning about "olive" the possibilities.

Three faces of fuzzy white baby owlsPlanting a Refuge for Wildlife (2020) – How much time do you spend out in nature? Learn with Liz Schold, from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, about seeing your yard as a wildlife preserve. Attracting wildlife to your landscape is simple and satisfying. If we supply adequate food, water, and shelter, we also provide the habitat they need to survive. By planning and planting for wildlife, you can make your yard into a sanctuary for Florida's threatened wildlife populations.

Pink rose with browned curling petalsTop Ten Insect Problems and Top Ten Disease Problems (2018) – In this presentation Wendy Wilber, our Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program Coordinator, goes over the most common insect and disease issues we encounter in Florida. Whether you're new to the state or hoping to brush up on pest management, consider this your crash course on our local garden enemies. Thankfully, Wendy also shares solutions to these garden woes.

A scared looking man with a black scorpion on his foreheadThings That Go "Ouch" in the Garden (2018) – Are you ready for a webinar full of spiders, scorpions, and snakes? The good news is that of the millions of wildlife species you'll encounter here in Florida, few will make you go "ouch" and even fewer are actually dangerous. BJ Jarvis, County Director and Horticulture Agent in Citrus County, is here to answer all your questions about the pests you avoid in your garden.

A green healthy lawn in front of a houseAlternatives to Turfgrass Lawns (2018) – Groundcovers are the specialty of Dr. Gary Knox, UF/IFAS Professor of Environmental Horticulture and Nursery Crops Extension Specialist. He's here to give you the history of the lawn, as well as the pros and cons of traditional turfgrass. This webinar offers a number of groundcover alternatives for anyone who thinks turf may not be the best choice for their property.

Yellow flower with petals that have jagged edgesNative Alternatives to Ornamental Invasives in Florida (2017) – Florida ranks second among U.S. states in ecosystem devastation as a result of invasive species. In this webinar Dr. Sandra Wilson, a UF/IFAS Professor of Environmental Horticulture, will walk you dozens of alternatives to popular invasive ornamentals. You'll learn about both sterile cultivars and native species, and about ongoing invasive species research at UF/IFAS.

Side view of a pale pink rose with many petalsOld Garden Roses (2019) – Matt Orwatt, UF/IFAS Extension Agent in Washington County, believes that gardening should be fun. The truth is that when the plants are struggling, gardeners struggle too. This presentation will help you choose an old garden rose variety that will flourish in your space and keep the fun in gardening.

White flower with a center of short yellow stamensHorticulture Therapy (2019) – If you're interested in the history and practice of horticulture therapy, here is an excellent webinar with Leah Diehl, director of the Therapeutic Horticulture Program at the Greenhouse at Wilmot Gardens. Leah takes us through the design of the gardens and explains the practice of horticulture therapy. The rich rewards of these therapeutic techniques are certainly something you can enjoy as a part of your day to day gardening experience.

Smiling woman with turquoise highlight to her dark hairPlant Explorers (2017) - Erin Alvarez, UF/IFAS environmental horticulture lecturer and proud "plant nerd," shares the history of plant exploration. In this webinar you'll begin with Aristotle, and also learn about our locally familiar William Bartram, the legendary team of Lewis and Clark, underappreciated Marianne North, and many more. Disguises, jail-breaks, and incredible discoveries — the history of plant exploration has it all!

blueberries on the plantBlueberries (2018) - Did you know that it was in the Florida Panhandle where one of the first commercial efforts to grow blueberries in the U.S. was attempted? Dr. Jeff Williamson, a professor of the Horticultural Sciences Department with UF/IFAS, takes you through the two types of blueberries we grow here in Florida. Jeff shares the best practices for a home blueberry grower, as well as some troubleshooting tips. For those of you excited about edibles, this presentation is a must!

Beneficial air potato beetleLandscape Insects Update (2017) – Though recorded a few years ago, this insect update is still timely. Join Dr. Adam Dale, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of turfgrass and ornamental entomology, as he reviews the barrage of insect pests in Florida landscapes, turf, and golf courses. Adam will also give you an overview of ongoing research to decrease pest impact, in our state and around the world.

A small brown patterned nonvenomous snake wrapped around a handSnakes and Reptiles in the Landscape (2018) – Did you know that there are only six venomous species of snakes in Florida? Dr. Steve Johnson teaches us how to identify and respond safely to snakes in our home landscapes. And while bites are extremely unlikely, this webinar will also help you prepare a snakebite action plan. Steve also answers your questions about the invasive python situation in South Florida.

Round red cherry tomatoesGrowing Tomatoes in the Home Garden (2018) – In Florida, tomatoes are common both in the home garden and on commercial farms. Unfortunately, many gardeners new to tomatoes throw in the towel after a single season. Extension agent Larry Williams, of Okaloosa County, will help you work through the challenges of temperature, soil, humidity, sunlight, pests, diseases, and weeds we experience here in Florida. This webinar is an incredible resource for tomato troubleshooting.

Yellow spiked flower like bract of a shrimp plant with two small true flowers at the topThe Shrimp Plant Family: Amazing Acanthaceae (2019) – The shrimp plant family is an incredibly diverse group, each with a unique, stunning bloom. Marc Frank, UF/IFAS botanist, will give you a botanist's perspective on these trendy plants. Marc will also walk you through an overview of flowering plant diversity, including estimates of undiscovered species. This educational webinar is perfect for gardeners interested in classification, cladograms, and plant ID.

Birds eye view of a growing suburbYour Landscape as an Ecosystem (2019) - In this webinar you'll explore the environmental impacts of residential landscapes, good and bad, on biodiversity and our ecosystem as a whole. Join Dr. Basil Iannone, UF/IFAS assistant professor in forest resources and conservation, to learn more about increasing the biodiversity in your home landscape as we attempt to prevent a mass extinction event, today.

Pink flowers on bare branches of a trumpet treeOrnamental Flowering Trees in Florida (2017) - Stephen Brown, Lee County's horticulture Extension agent, gives you an overview of flowering trees found in Florida. You'll learn how to positively ID these trees, about their "Intense Blooming Days," and some growth requirements. This crash course in ornamental trees is a must for anyone interested in expanding their plant ID repertoire.

The spiny veined leaf of invasive tropical soda appleInvasive Plants (2019) – Have you used the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants yet? Dr. Deah Lieurance, a UF/IFAS Extension scientist who coordinates work on the assessment, will catch you up on current impacts of invasive species in this webinar. You also learn how to use the assessment and how to get help identifying new and unknown species. Finally, Deah will take you on a tour of some of the most pernicious invasive species in your area.

The learning doesn't have to stop here. Contact your county Extension office with all of your landscape questions.

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