Monday, April 28, 2014

Great American Backyard Campout

In just two months--on June 28--the National Wildlife Federation is hosting the Great American Backyard Campout.  Make plans with your family to participate in the campout. Enjoy family time, a renewed appreciation for wildlife and make some observations about nature in your own backyard.  If you are looking for other activities to make your campout memorable, take some time to complete our Backyard Scavenger Hunt.  The scavenger hunt is a great way to learn about the flora and fauna in your own backyard. Contact the FFL Program and we will send you a free copy of the Backyard Scavenger Hunt. There are so many benefits to getting outside and enjoying nature, even if it's just in the backyard.  For more tips on making your campout fun and exploring your own yard, contact us.   

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle--Ideas for your yard this Earth Day

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22.  What are your plans?  Make a change that is easy for you to keep up with all year long instead of just one day of the year.  For more Earth-friendly tips and ideas contact us!


RECYCLE

Recycle leaves by using them as mulch.  Pine needles and oak leaves make great mulch! 


Recycle any yard waste or kitchen scraps in a compost bin.
There are many style of bins available.  Find one that works well for you.


Recycle food grade drums for rain barrels.
If you are interested in installing a rain barrel, consider a used drum.
They are available at the Extension Service events and workshops.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle--Ideas for your yard this Earth Day

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22.  What are your plans?  Make a change that is easy for you to keep up with all year long instead of just one day of the year.  For more Earth-friendly tips and ideas contact us!  
REUSE

Grow your own veggies!
Start a small garden in a container, in the ground or even in some old bales of hay.

Install a rain barrel...or 12!
Install a rain barrel where your roof sheds water.
Use the water to keep your plants (indoors & out) happy.

Reuse an old tire!
Create a planter out of an old tire. Paint it and plant it. For instructions go here

Make a bird bath out of unused rain barrel parts.
If you install a rain barrel, you will have a part of the lid that will not be used.
Use the discarded lid to make a bird bath! 

Create garden art!
If you have used glass bottles, use them to create garden art.
Create borders around mulched beds or use them in other creative ways.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle--Ideas for your yard this Earth Day

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22.  What are your plans?  Make a change that is easy for you to keep up with all year long instead of just one day of the year.  For more Earth-friendly tips and ideas contact us!

REDUCE

The best way to reduce yard waste is to choose plants that will require little to no pruning. This means planting the right plant in the right place!  Here are some examples:

Zamia floridana
Coontie cycads grow well in medians, high-traffic areas, and in locations where minimal maintenance is desired.  These Florida natives grow in the sun or the shade.

Juniperus spp.
Shore juniper and other Juniper varieties make nice low-growing groundcovers for tough areas.  Use junipers in hot, dry areas and along walkways.  


Agave geminiflora
This small agave is a great accent plant for the garden.  


Ilex vomitora 'Schelling's Dwarf'
Schelling's Dwarf holly makes a great formal hedge with minimal pruning. 
Its rounded, compact shape is natural and versatile.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fringetree in Bloom


Chionanthus pygmaeus, or Pygmy Fringetree, is in bloom all over Central Florida.  The trees at the UF/IFAS Extension, Polk County in Bartow are creating a spectacular show.  This small Florida native tree is an endangered plant that grows to only 8 feet tall.  Chionanthus retusus (Chinese Fringetree) and Chionanthus virginicus (Fringetree) are other species that will grow up to 30 feet tall.  

The Fringetree's unusual blooms and small size make it a great addition to an urban landscape.  It grows slowly and enjoys moist to wet soils, although the trees at the Extension Service are thriving in dry soil (no irrigation).  Partial shade to sun is desired, and female trees produce purple berries that are enjoyed by birds.  For more information on Fringetrees, go here.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Lunch & Learn Workshops

Sign up now for our spring Lunch & Learn workshops.  Free educational program and lunch.
Space is limited!





Irrigation System Maintenance
Celebrate water conservation month by learning how to keep your plants healthy and save water!  Friday, April 11, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. (lunch provided)501 E. Lemon Street, Lakeland (Lakeland Electric Building)To register: http://polkfyn.eventbrite.com
Perennials--Adding Color to Your Landscape
Friday, May 9, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. (lunch provided)
501 E. Lemon Street, Lakeland (Lakeland Electric Building)
To register: http://polkfyn.eventbrite.com

Designing with Edible Plants
Incorporating vegetables and other edible plants into your landscape.
Friday, June 13, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. (lunch provided)
501 E. Lemon Street, Lakeland (Lakeland Electric Building)
To register: http://polkfyn.eventbrite.com