Thursday, August 28, 2014

Saving water for not-so-rainy days


The UF/IFAS Extension Service in Polk County has been offering rain barrel workshops for many years.  We are currently striving to schedule monthly classes so that residents have more opportunities to learn about, and purchase barrels.  We will post our workshop schedule soon! In the meantime, check out the rain barrel resources listed below.  Lots of cool barrels and accessories to get you started!  

There are many styles of rain barrels available to purchase:



Friday, August 22, 2014

What's Blooming in the Florida-Friendly Gardens?



Bee Balm (Monarda punctata) is buzzing in the demonstration gardens!  Pollinators, such as bees, are happy to mingle among the colorful flowers (most of the color of the flowers are actually the bracts of the plant) in the hot August sun.  This low-maintenance native plant requires minimal water after establishment and no fertilizers or pesticides.  Consider planting Bee Balm in an area of your garden where it can spread and fill in. It is a great addition to a pollinator garden, butterfly garden or buffer garden.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

September Programs at the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County

Landscaping with Edible Plants
Master Gardeners at Mackay, Monthly Lecture Series
Thursday, September 4, 10:00 am-11:00 am
Mackay Gardens & Lakeside Preserve, 900 Mackay Blvd., Lake Alfred
Learn how to incorporate edible plants into your landscape. No registration is required.

Master Gardener Training
Tuesdays, September 9-December 2, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Are you interested in learning more about gardening in Polk County? Do you want to meet other gardeners and volunteer your time to teaching county residents?  Apply for the UF/IFAS Polk County Master Gardener program by filling out The Spouting Kit and sending it to Dr. David Shibles.  There is a fee associated with this training program. 

Florida-Friendly Demonstration Garden Tours

Saturday, September 13, 9:00 a.m.
UF/IFAS Extension, 1702 US Hwy 17/98 South, Bartow
(meet in front of the Extension Service building by the blue UF/IFAS sign)
Master Gardeners will lead you in a free tour around the Florida-Friendly Demonstration Gardens.  Get ideas for your own yard by seeing the nine principles up close.  This is a great event for clubs, groups or kids.  Sign up here.  The tour will be offered on the second Saturday of each month.

Butterfly Gardening Workshop
Saturday, September 20, 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
St. Paul Lutheran School, 4450 Harden Blvd., Lakeland (room 120)
Bring the whole family to learn how to attract butterflies to your yard.  Attend the program, receive a free milkweed plant courtesy of the City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department, and participate in youth craft projects.  No registration is required for this workshop.  For more information contact the FFL program at (863) 519-1047. 

Ask a Master Gardener at the Lakeland Downtown Farmer's Curb Market Saturday, September 20, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (every 3rd Saturday)
East Pine and N. Kentucky Ave in Downtown Lakeland
Gardening and landscaping questions?  Ask a Master Gardener!  Bring us plants and insects to identify, ask us about Florida-Friendly Landscaping and learn about the free programs that we offer.  Look for the blue UF/IFAS tablecloth to find us each month. 

Ask a Master Gardener at the Winter Haven 4th Saturday Market Downtown Saturday, September 27, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (every 4th Saturday)
Avenue A NW & 5th Street NW, Winter Haven
Gardening and landscaping questions?  Ask a Master Gardener!  Bring us plants and insects to identify, ask us about Florida-Friendly Landscaping and learn about the free programs that we offer.  Look for the blue UF/IFAS tablecloth to find us each month.

Extension Centennial Celebration & Extension Open House
Saturday, September 27
UF/IFAS Extension, 1702 US Hwy 17/98 South, Bartow
The Polk County Extension office will be hosting a one-day event that will be open for children, adults, and families. Educational sessions from each program areas will provide information on topics such as gardening, 4-H clubs, healthy lifestyles and cooking, and natural resources in Polk County. Stay tuned for more information and join us for an event with food, prizes, and educational activities!