A Florida-Friendly Landscaping seminar will be held at Eau Gallie High School
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Would you like to learn how to create habitat for birds?
Are you interested in knowing the latest information on efforts to help the Indian River Lagoon?
Would you like to learn how to grow your own delicious food no matter where you live (in the yard and/or in containers)?
And one last question: Would you like to know more about Florida-Friendly Landscaping?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, I hope you have nothing planned for Saturday, February 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Our annual Florida Friendly Landscaping Seminar will be held in the auditorium of Eau Gallie High School that Morning.
There will be vendors selling native plants and gardening supplies, as well as educational booths. Vendors will set up early for early risers.
This year, the seminar will begin with Skip Healy from Change of Greenery, who will speak on “Creating Habitat for Birds”. Attracting birds, butterflies and bees is a fun and entertaining pastime, and Skip will provide suggestions for plants to add to your landscape so the winged creatures come to visit your garden.
One of the benefits of native plants is that they support our native insects. Insects are the bottom of the earth’s food chain, and if you want to attract birds, you’ll want insects. Skip’s talk is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
From 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Kathy Hill from the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program will give us an update on the health of the Indian River Lagoon. It will cover the various projects carried out, those in progress and those planned.
If you have any questions or suggestions, join the Q&A session that will be held at the end of each session.
I will be presenting the third session, “Grow Your Own Delicious Food (No Matter Where You Live)!” 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. I want to encourage everyone to grow at least one edible plant. Nothing beats the ease and satisfaction of harvesting food and immediately preparing it to enjoy a delicious meal.
Following: Sally Scalera: Become a Soil Guardian and help protect the Indian River Lagoon
Following: Sally Scalera: planting vegetables, pruning roses and other things to do in the garden in February
Following: Sally Scalera: Looking for a fun project? Try growing edible plants like Swiss chard
I will cover many topics such as growing vegetables, herbs, citrus, and other fruit trees, as well as additional fruit crops that can be grown here. Additionally, I will cover the correct light conditions for different crops and proper watering.
For families with children, growing edible plants is a wonderful way to expose them to gardening and food preparation, even if it’s just picking parsley to add to a sandwich.
Of course, I’ll also cover my favorite topic: soil health to produce healthy plants and nutritious food. The soil food web is crucial to gardening, so come learn how you can establish the soil food web around the roots of your plants.
Plants produce root exudates of various simple sugars and other carbohydrates, hoping to attract bacteria and fungi. As bacteria and fungi consume root exudates, their populations increase.
There should also be mycorrhizal fungi that form symbiotic relationships with plants, receiving carbohydrates from root exudates and, in turn, supplying the plant with nutrients and water. Some plants, such as corn, form symbiotic relationships with many species of mycorrhizae. If you plan to grow corn this year – and the months for planting it are now through April – be sure to inoculate the roots with a variety of endomycorrhizae.
In addition to the bacterial and fungal basis of SFW, there must also be predatory protozoa and nematodes. There are many types of beneficial nematodes, although these are overshadowed by the infamous root-knot nematode or other root-feeding types. Predatory nematodes are classified based on what they eat, which are either bacteria, fungi, or nematodes.
Nematodes that consume other nematodes prefer to eat those that feed on roots. Protozoa are of two types, amoebas and flagellates.
As predators feed on their prey, they help recycle nutrients within the prey’s body and make nutrients and water available for plants to absorb. This is how nature “fertilizes” plants. Just small amounts, as needed, with no waste or leaching.
This and the water and nutrient holding capacity of organic matter help protect water quality. For every gardener who wants to do their part to help IRL, remember that we have to do things differently to get different results.
The final presentation will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. by Claire Lewis, who is the Florida-Friendly Communities Coordinator of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program for the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. (IFAS) from the University of Florida.
Claire works with homeowners associations to implement Florida Friendly Landscaping Principles in their communities to preserve and protect Florida’s water and natural resources. She will also cover common questions regarding the 2009 Senate Bill 2080 and discuss what a pro-Florida court looks like. It is possible that a homeowner’s association (HOA) agreements governing the maintenance and landscaping of common areas could have a significant negative impact on the environment.
Simple changes to residential landscapes can make them Florida-friendly, both in neighborhoods and in HOAs, so more yards conserve water and protect the environment.
At the end of the four lectures, door prizes will be raffled off for everyone still in the auditorium. At the exit, everyone who returns a completed survey will also receive a goody bag containing a hose nozzle, a pair of gardening gloves, seeds and other goodies.
The polls are important because we use them to determine the topics to be presented at the next seminar. Free tickets can be obtained by following this link 2022fflseminar.eventbrite.com, although registration is not required.
So if you’re free on Saturday morning, come join us for a fun and educational event.
Sally Scalera is an Urban Horticulture Officer and Senior Gardening Coordinator for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Send an email to [email protected]
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