Thursday, June 25, 2015

Scenes from the garden

Looking for something to do this summer? The Florida-Friendly Demonstration Gardens are looking great!
Bartow: UF/IFAS Extension, 1702 U.S. Hwy 17 South
Lakeland: SPCA of Florida, 5850 Brannen Rd.
Lake Alfred: Mackay Gardens, 900 Mackay Blvd. & Polk Training Center Nursery, 111 Creek Rd
 









Friday, June 5, 2015

Summer Gardening Programs

June

Native Plant LecturesSaturday, June 6, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Circle B Bar Reserve, 4399 WInter Lake Road, Lakeland
Bill and Nancy Bissett (of The Natives Nursery) present Learn your Native Wildflowers at 9:30 a.m and Landscape 101 at 10:30 a.m.  There will be native plants for sale from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Contact Circle B for more information.  

Shrubs for the Landscape
Lunch & Learn Program
Friday, June 12, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.
Lakeland Police Dept. Community Room, 219 N. Massachusetts Ave. Lakeland
In this workshop we will discuss shrubs that grow well in Central Florida landscapes.  Learn what makes a good foundation shrub, learn about native shrubs and how to add low-maintenance shrubs to an existing landscape.  Lunch is included, so register now!Workshop provided by the City of Lakeland Water Utilities and the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County's Florida-Friendly Landscaping program.

Garden Tour
Second Saturday of each month, June 13, 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
UF/IFAS Extension Polk County, 1702 US Hwy 17/98 South, Bartow
Enjoy a tour of the gardens at the Extension Service led by a Master Gardener.  Ask questions, get gardening tips & ideas, learn how to garden in Central Florida.  Meet at the Paul Anderson Gazebo at 9:00 a.m. Sign up for the garden tour here. 
   
Ask a Master Gardener at the Lake Wales Farmer's Market

Second Saturday of each month, June 13, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Downtown Lake Wales
Visit with a Master Gardener from the UF/IFAS Extension.  Get gardening advice, ask insect and    
disease questions and get free literature at our informational booth.  


Ask a Master Gardener at the Lakeland Farmer's Market
Third Saturday of each month, June 20, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
200 N. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
Visit with a Master Gardener from the UF/IFAS Extension.  Get gardening advice, ask insect and
disease questions and get free literature at our informational booth.

Ask a Master Gardener at the Winter Haven Farmer's Market
Fourth Saturday of each month, June 27, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
New Trailhead Park, Downtown Winter Haven
Visit with a Master Gardener from the UF/IFAS Extension.  Get gardening advice, ask insect and
disease questions and get free literature at our informational booth. 

July

Dooryard Fruit in the Age of Citrus Greening
Mackay Monthly Presentation Presented by the Polk County Master Gardeners
First Thursday of each month, July 2, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Mackay Gardens & Lakeside Preserve, 900 Mackay Blvd., Lake Alfred
Speaker is Celia Beamish, Master Gardener.  With over 10 years of Master Gardener experience, and a scientist’s understanding gleaned from a career in citrus and agriculture, Celia is the perfect resource for all of us who are struggling with the fatal diseases now plaguing our beloved citrus trees.  We’ll learn just what citrus greening is and how to select, plant and enjoy the harvest of other fruit trees that are suitable for Polk County.  No registration required.

Green Garden Watering 
Lunch & Learn Program
Friday, July 10, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.
Lakeland Police Dept. Community Room, 219 N. Massachusetts Ave. Lakeland
This workshop will be presented by Gina Shultz, City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation.  Gina will present an easy-to-install guide to micro-irrigation followed by a live installation of micro-irrigation at the Lakeland Police Department.  Micro-irrigation is easy to install and an efficient way to water your plants.  Learn all you need to know about installation, sprayer placement and design,  Lunch is included, so register now!Workshop provided by the City of Lakeland Water Utilities and the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County's Florida-Friendly Landscaping program.

Dirt Days: The Four Seasons of Family Fun SummerSaturday, July 11, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Circle B Bar Reserve, 4399 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland
FAMILY FUN DAY  picnic, awards, and outdoor exploration! REGISTER online or call 863-668-4673
Garden Tour
Second Saturday of each month, July 11, 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
UF/IFAS Extension Polk County, 1702 US Hwy 17/98 South, Bartow
Enjoy a tour of the gardens at the Extension Service led by a Master Gardener.  Ask questions, get gardening tips & ideas, learn how to garden in Central Florida.  Meet at the Paul Anderson Gazebo at 9:00 a.m. Sign up for the garden tour here.
Ask a Master Gardener at the Lake Wales Farmer's Market
Second Saturday of each month, July 11, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Downtown Lake Wales
Visit with a Master Gardener from the UF/IFAS Extension.  Get gardening advice, ask insect and    
disease questions and get free literature at our informational booth.  


Ask a Master Gardener at the Lakeland Farmer's Market
Third Saturday of each month, July 18, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
200 N. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
Visit with a Master Gardener from the UF/IFAS Extension.  Get gardening advice, ask insect and
disease questions and get free literature at our informational booth.

Ask a Master Gardener at the Winter Haven Farmer's Market
Fourth Saturday of each month, July 25, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
New Trailhead Park, Downtown Winter Haven
Visit with a Master Gardener from the UF/IFAS Extension.  Get gardening advice, ask insect and
disease questions and get free literature at our informational booth. 

August

Backyard Beekeeping 
Mackay Monthly Presentation Presented by the Polk County Master Gardeners
First Thursday of each month, August 6, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Mackay Gardens & Lakeside Preserve, 900 Mackay Blvd., Lake Alfred
Ray and Bonnie have been keeping bees in their Lake Alfred backyard for three years.  In this presentation they will take us through their adventures in beekeeping, from their novice beginnings to a healthy and thriving backyard apiary.  If you’ve ever thought about beekeeping as a hobby or business venture, this program will give you important information including: the benefits of bees, the equipment and resources involved, and the differences between commercial vs backyard honey production.  And if you're lucky, you might get to  taste some of the best local, unprocessed honey around!  No registration required.

Garden Tour
Second Saturday of each month, August 8, 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
UF/IFAS Extension Polk County, 1702 US Hwy 17/98 South, Bartow
Enjoy a tour of the gardens at the Extension Service led by a Master Gardener.  Ask questions, get gardening tips & ideas, learn how to garden in Central Florida.  Meet at the Paul Anderson Gazebo at 9:00 a.m. Sign up for the garden tour here.
Ask a Master Gardener at the Lake Wales Farmer's Market
Second Saturday of each month, August 8, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Downtown Lake Wales
Visit with a Master Gardener from the UF/IFAS Extension.  Get gardening advice, ask insect and    
disease questions and get free literature at our informational booth.  

Growing and Cooking with Herbs 

Lunch & Learn Program
Friday, August 14, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.
Lakeland Police Dept. Community Room, 219 N. Massachusetts Ave. Lakeland
Learn how to grow and cook with the herbs that can be found in Central Florida yards. Whitney Fung, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Family Consumer Science Agent will present a cooking segment after the landscaping portion of the program.  This is part one of two programs.  The second growing and cooking program will be offered on September 11, 2015 and will feature unusual herbs & spices.  It is not necessary to attend both sessions.  Lunch is included, so register now!Workshop provided by the City of Lakeland Water Utilities and the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County's Florida-Friendly Landscaping program.

Ask a Master Gardener at the Winter Haven Farmer's Market
Fourth Saturday of each month, August 22, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
New Trailhead Park, Downtown Winter Haven
Visit with a Master Gardener from the UF/IFAS Extension.  Get gardening advice, ask insect and
disease questions and get free literature at our informational booth. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Free Juice Pulp for Composting


The Juice Box in Lakeland has pulp from daily juicing available for those who want to use it in their compost bins.  The pulp is free of charge.


The pulp will make a nice (green) addition to your compost and is a great way to help a local business reduce waste.  

Please contact them regarding pick up.

Dr. Shibles, Polk County Urban Horticulturist, retiring after 15 years at the UF/IFAS Extension Service



Read article here

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer ban on nitrogen fertilizers in Tampa and Pinellas, but what about Polk?

You may have seen the news clip below that talks about the ban on nitrogen fertilizer use in Tampa and Pinellas County and wondered if Polk County has something similar.  Many people are not aware that Polk County DOES have a fertilizer ordinance although it doesn't include a ban on summer fertilization. 



If you would like to read the full ordinance go here.  If you would like to read the highlights of the ordinance, take a look at our informational brochure.  


For proper fertilizer applications, refer to our publication Homeowner Best Management Practices for the Home Lawn.  The publication discusses when and how to apply fertilizer and what to do if you live in an area with a summer fertilizer ban.  

As always, if you have questions, you can contact us.