- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By Diane Clifton
Nature Coast Master Gardeners (NCMGs) from Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties joined Extension Agents and Florida Master Gardeners across the state to hear about the latest research findings related to Florida Friendly Landscaping (FFL). Participants met on the University of Florida campus at the new Straughn’s IFAS Professional Development Facility for this daylong program. The facility is surrounded by a demonstration garden designed as a teaching tool for visitors and event participants. Interpretative signs and plant ID tags focus on the nine FFL principles that Master Gardeners promote with homeowners, as well as with residential and commercial developers and property managers.
Presentations by UF researchers, were simulcast through the state and covered irrigation, including testing of optimum sprinkling equipment and techniques, control of invasive plants and pests, and how Master Gardeners and the public can help with this effort. Preview of nutrient management interim research results, including findings directed toward revising fertilization recommendations and exploring the realities of nutrient leaching were also covered. The final presenter, Dr. Gail Hansen, discussed ideas for saving time and money in the garden with a focus on plant selection and arrangement to produce aesthetically pleasing home landscapes. After the formal meeting, participants toured the demonstration garden to see FFL concepts put into practice.
NCMG are using all of the tools in the ‘garden shed’ to assist area homeowners. As part of the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program, sponsored by the UF Environmental Horticulture Department, NCMGs conduct free yard visits on a first come, first served basis. Trained volunteers will share research-based information about irrigation, disease and pest control, and plant selection, and may suggest landscape options specific to your lawn and garden. During 2012 NCMGs plan to perform twelve homeowner visits in each locality in the tri-county area. This FREE program is for residents of Levy Gilchrist and Dixie counties. Call the Levy County Extension office at (352) 486-5131 to schedule your visit or email email@example.com with questions.