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A woman tends to an outdoor garden in Florida. [CREDIT: UF/IFAS]

Plant some good gardening habits, with a little Extension education

These marigold starter plants are awaiting planting in the garden.

Fall celebrations of harvest are ingrained in many of us. As we head into a season of gratitude one thing I am thankful for is living in sunny Florida. Here, we can celebrate with early fall harvests of summer crops like sweet potatoes and Seminole pumpkins but also with… planting!

In recent months many of you have reached out wanting to know when you can grow your favorite vegetables. We are heading into the time of year, when the answer is likely to be: NOW!

Yes, you heard right. Florida is phenomenal when it comes to the variety of edibles you can plant and most of the challenge comes down to knowing your seasons and your soil.

Fortunately there are wonderful resources to help you acclimate to growing edibles in Florida. Celebrate growing edibles with us and whet your appetite by talking about tasty things, like fresh veggies and the not so tasty things like bugs.

Learning opportunities abound this fall season:

  • Edible Gardening Series

    Attend one or attend all, whatever appeals to your interest and schedule.

    Short sessions at noon spread over 10 weeks in October through December. The beginning of each series is informational focusing on a specific topic for about 10 minutes followed by 20 minutes for time for edible-related Q&A. Sessions are led by our sustainable agriculture agent, Sarah Bostick, or our “Bug Lady” (chemicals in the environment agent), Carol Wyatt-Evens. Topics include resources, strategizing for more harvest, watering, mulching, fertilizing, beneficial and not so beneficial insects, nematodes, and more.

    Learn more and register: http://ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com/.

  • Community Garden Virtual School

    6-part webinar series on community gardening with various topics like sustainable management, vermicompost, bugs, plant disease, community engagement and facilitation for leaders, food safety and donation, and of course veggie growing!

    Learn more and register: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/polkco/2020/10/07/community-garden-virtual-school/.

    This is a shameless plug, as I am delighted to be included as a co-speaker. Note that the first session ran Oct. 16, but sessions continue through November.

    Learn more and register: https://cgvirtualschool.eventbrite.com/.

  • Creating Your Edible Garden

    This popular webinar that debuted in spring is BACK! Are you wondering what considerations you should …um, consider, while planning out your edible growing space? Then join us on Oct. 20, Nov. 10, or Dec. 9 for tips on creating your edible garden. Register on Eventbrite: ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com.

  • Totally Tomatoes!

    Are you stumped about how to grow these sweet and juicy treats in FL? Join this comprehensive webinar about growing tomatoes in Florida. Learn more and register: http://ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com/.

  • School Garden Leadership Training

    Last but not least, are you a school garden teacher, school garden leader/volunteer, or someone working with youth in an edible garden space? Then, we have an awesome—and FREE—series to support your unique interests: https://fl-school-garden-training-2020-2021.eventbrite.com. The core touches on edible-growing, of course, but there are also sessions about funding, curriculum, and more.

Finally, don’t forget to visit our Youtube channel to catch up on any webinars you might have missed. We record and post—after some minor edits—most of our classes. You can view them by topic, via handy playlists, or jump around to whatever interests you.

To learn about soil, I highly recommend you view the “Understanding Your Soil” Webinar -you can find this along with other recorded webinars on brassicas and regenerative agriculture, by checking out the agriculture section of our YouTube channel.

And, of course, you can continue to find ALL of our classes and events at our ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com page. Find upcoming classes relevant to edibles, like cooking with herbs and spices or creating black gold,—compost that is! (flashbacks to the intro of “The Beverly Hillbillies” just popped into my mind). Speaking of black gold, earlier I mentioned learning about seasons and soil are two of the key steps to successfully growing edibles in Florida. You can find a wealth of information about growing vegetables and learning at gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/edibles.

So, as we celebrate harvests AND plantings I hope you join us at the (virtual) table, or in this case a screen, and share gardening successes and learning opportunities with us!

One Comment on “Plant some good gardening habits, with a little Extension education

  1. I am eager to attend these…informative events, have my plot of dirt, earth to soon start planting…need some expertise advise

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