Florida Master Gardener Volunteer

small pumpkin on vine “Something to Talk About”—Seminole Pumpkins! (10/25/2022) by Anne Yasalonis - Have you heard that Seminole pumpkins can be grown easily in Polk County? They are not only easy to grow but also make nutritious and flavorful dishes—and to top that off, they’re just plain fun! Seminole pumpkins are a cultivated variety of Cucurbita moschata. They are touted by many sources as a native plant to… more
Orange County’s Master Gardener Volunteer Recognition Event (10/20/2022) by Clarissa Chairez - What is the Master Gardener Program? The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a citizen-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the residents of Florida. The program relies on dedicated volunteers who have an interest in gardening and in giving back to their communities. Orange County’s Master Gardener Volunteer Program has been serving the citizens… more
Salvia 'Wendy's Wish' and Black Eyed Susan Pollinator Plants that Survived Hurricane Ian (10/12/2022) by Anne Yasalonis - In our area of Polk County, Hurricane Ian produced Category 1 winds and associated rainfall.  Local flooding and loss of power were experienced by many.  And yet there is hope in a garden, and one local garden filled with pollinator plants offered a bit of cheer and hope on the morning after Ian’s visitation! The… more
Better With Butterflies- The Cabbage White (10/3/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Welcome back to our monthly blog in which we discuss a few interesting facts about butterflies in general and a specific type of butterfly each month, focusing on the cabbage white this October. Butterflies are harmless to other animals and have no active way of defending themselves. They are therefore low on the food chain… more
Better with Butterflies: Buckeye (9/6/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Welcome back to our monthly blog in which we discuss a few interesting facts about butterflies in general and a specific type of butterfly each month. Of the six known butterfly families, this month we will address the last two, the brush footed and skipper families. Brush footed butterflies are the largest of the families… more
Better With Butterflies: The Atala (8/19/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Welcome back to our monthly blog in which we discuss a few interesting facts about butterflies in general and a specific type of butterfly. Of the six known butterfly families, this month we will address the gossamer winged, also known as hairstreaks and blues and the metalmarks. Gossamer winged butterflies are so called because of… more
Plant Sale- August 6th, 2022 (8/5/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Many butterfly and pollinator plants will be available at the 2022 UF/IFAS Extension Clay County Master Gardener Plant Sale on Saturday, August 6th from 7:30am to 12 noon. Consider the possibilities of developing a butterfly garden and attracting monarch, sulphur, fritillaries, and swallowtail butterflies. Plants that are great for this include milkweed, assorted- color salvia,… more
Wild About Florida Native Plants – Firebush (8/1/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Why am I "wild" about Florida native plants…….because they are the original settlers who came from all  over the world and found a home in Florida.  They decided that Florida was the perfect place to call home.  Native plants are a good choice for the Florida gardener who wants to work less in the garden,… more
Save a monarch, plant a (native) milkweed! (7/26/2022) by Anne Yasalonis - By now, you may have seen the recent article stating alarming news about the beloved monarch butterfly population. Many gardeners in Florida enjoy planting for butterflies, observing the unique lifecycle of butterflies, and adding colorful flowers to their gardens. Milkweed is a critical plant for monarchs as it is their food source. If you have… more
Here to help you grow! Master Gardener Volunteer’s Favorite Plants: Pentas (7/11/2022) by Anne Yasalonis - Pentas lanceolata is a Florida perennial that is an attractive plant with red, pink, or white blooms.  They are a great source of food for butterflies and hummingbirds.  Most Pentas grow to about 2 or 3 feet high and 15 inches wide and love the sun.  They do need to be protected from freezing weather,… more
Here to help you grow! Coreopsis: A Summer Wildflower Favorite (7/8/2022) by Anne Yasalonis - Coreopsis leavenworthii is an annual to short-lived perennial with bright yellow flowers with a dark brown center.  The flowers are held upright on tall, leafless stems.  The blooms occur from late spring in north Florida to year-round in south Florida.  Also called Leavenworth’s tickseed, this plant is native to Florida and used in edging and… more
UF-IFAS Master Gardener Volunteer Logo Time to Apply for 2022 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Course (7/7/2022) by llw5479 - The University of Florida Extension Office in Okaloosa County is taking applications for the 2022 Master Gardener Volunteer training course. We are looking for people who will provide volunteer time at the Extension Office in Crestview assisting with our planned educational activities. After successfully completing the program, participants will be ready to begin 75 hours… more
Apply for the Sumter County Master Gardener Volunteer Class! (6/23/2022) by Lisa Sanderson -       Do you enjoy gardening and want to know more about gardening in central Florida? Is conserving and protecting water quality important to you? Does acquiring new skills or expertise learned in workshops or classes challenge you? Do you enjoy sharing what you know with others? If you answered yes to any of… more
Better with Butterflies: Painted Ladies (5/31/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Better with Butterflies: Painted Ladies Written by Carin Ashman, UF/IFAS Extension Clay County Master Gardener Volunteer This month I want to address the spiritual aspects or symbolism of butterflies across world cultures. Because of their unique lifecycle from humble crawly eating machine into a many colored, graceful flying insect, butterflies symbolize transformation, rebirth, hope and… more
TLC for Tougher Turfs (5/17/2022) by UF/IFAS Extension Bookstore - Where is IFASBOOKS this week? Turf School for Homeowners UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County 7620 SR 471, Suite 2 Bushnell, FL 33513 As any Florida homeowner knows, turfgrass really takes a beating in our state, between flooding and drought, soil conditions, insect pests, nematodes, weeds, and diseases. Learning the perfect balance of sustainable TLC for your… more
Better with Butterflies The Cloudless Sulphur (4/21/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Welcome back to our monthly blog in which we discuss a few interesting facts about butterflies in general and a specific type of butterfly. This month I want to talk about how and what butterflies eat. With very few exceptions butterflies feed on nectar. Nectar is a sugary liquid excreted by flowers to attract pollinators.… more
Volunteers are the Heart and Soul of UF/IFAS Extension (4/18/2022) by Andra Johnson - April 17-24 is National Volunteer Week. What a great opportunity to celebrate the people who lend their time, effort and talents to make a difference in their community! In UF/IFAS Extension, we would be lost without our volunteers. They act as the facilitators and ambassadors of our mission to bring science-based education to the people… more
Master Gardener Volunteers staff a check-in table on a rainy Saturday during the group's 2021 plant sale.. [CREDIT: UF/IFAS Extension Sarsaota County] A heartfelt “Thank you” to our amazing volunteers (4/8/2022) by kgeis - UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County extends its heartfelt "Thank you!" to its volunteers, as we celebrate National Volunteer Week (April 17-23). And there is much to celebrate, with this group. In 2021, Extension's 328 volunteers provided 12,595 hours of service, worth $359,466 in labor to Sarasota County residents. Despite and throughout another challenging year with the… more
Seeds Library feat copy Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer 2022 Spring Seed Library Program (3/22/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer Michele Hackmeyer   Objective  To provide small packets of seasonally appropriate seeds to encourage members of the community to get started to try growing their own vegetable plants from seed. Select up to 3 packets of seeds from the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office. Location: 84 Cedar Avenue, Crawfordville, FL… more
Seeds Library feat copy Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer 2022 Spring Seed Library Program (3/22/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer Michele Hackmeyer   Objective  To provide small packets of seasonally appropriate seeds to encourage members of the community to get started to try growing their own vegetable plants from seed. Select up to 3 packets of seeds from the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office. Location: 84 Cedar Avenue, Crawfordville, FL… more
Seeds Library feat copy Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer 2022 Spring Seed Library Program (3/22/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer Michele Hackmeyer   Objective  To provide small packets of seasonally appropriate seeds to encourage members of the community to get started to try growing their own vegetable plants from seed. Select up to 3 packets of seeds from the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office. Location: 84 Cedar Avenue, Crawfordville, FL… more
Seeds Library feat copy Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer 2022 Spring Seed Library Program (3/22/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer Michele Hackmeyer   Objective  To provide small packets of seasonally appropriate seeds to encourage members of the community to get started to try growing their own vegetable plants from seed. Select up to 3 packets of seeds from the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office. Location: 84 Cedar Avenue, Crawfordville, FL… more
Seeds Library feat copy Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer 2022 Spring Seed Library Program (3/22/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer Michele Hackmeyer   Objective  To provide small packets of seasonally appropriate seeds to encourage members of the community to get started to try growing their own vegetable plants from seed. Select up to 3 packets of seeds from the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office. Location: 84 Cedar Avenue, Crawfordville, FL… more
Seeds Library feat copy Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer 2022 Spring Seed Library Program (3/22/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer Michele Hackmeyer   Objective  To provide small packets of seasonally appropriate seeds to encourage members of the community to get started to try growing their own vegetable plants from seed. Select up to 3 packets of seeds from the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office. Location: 84 Cedar Avenue, Crawfordville, FL… more
Seeds Library feat copy Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer 2022 Spring Seed Library Program (3/22/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Wakulla Master Gardener Volunteer Michele Hackmeyer   Objective  To provide small packets of seasonally appropriate seeds to encourage members of the community to get started to try growing their own vegetable plants from seed. Select up to 3 packets of seeds from the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office. Location: 84 Cedar Avenue, Crawfordville, FL… more
Herb Stories: All About that Lemongrass (3/21/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - What’s grabbing my attention in the garden in March is lemongrass. Once again, it needs a haircut. It’s about four feet tall and just as wide. It’s looking like a long-haired hippy freak and needs a trim. I’ll take my loppers and cut it back to about 18 inches, something I do usually twice a… more
florida friendly landscape Composting for Beginners (3/17/2022) by Anne Yasalonis - Composting is a great way to practice recycling in your yard. You can reduce the volume of waste that goes to the landfill as well as create a beneficial soil amendment for your landscape. Most people have all the elements they need to create a successful compost pile without purchasing a bunch of equipment.  Kitchen… more
Better with Butterflies: The Giant Swallowtail (3/4/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Have you ever noticed that most butterflies have different patterns on the tops and undersides of their wings? The topsides are thought to be colored to attract mates and, in some cases, to warn predators. Since butterflies rest with their wings folded, the undersides often display a camouflage pattern to make them less visible. Sometimes… more
No Kidding? Gardening in Containers? (3/4/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Today, more gardeners are utilizing gardening in containers. One of the reasons is having a small outdoor space like a balcony or small patio or just to use a spot of color in a landscape. Other reasons can be lack of sun or shade or poor soil conditions. I have lived in my home for… more
Garden Festival and Plant Sale – Orange County Extension (2/23/2022) by Tia Silvasy - Gnome Matter How You Slice it, it will be a Fun Day! On Saturday March 5th, from 9 am to 3 pm, the UF/IFAS Orange County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will host the 10th annual Garden Festival and Plant Sale at the extension campus at 6021 S. Conway, Orlando, FL 32812. This free, fun-filled event… more
Herb Stories: Basil in Winter (2/11/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - In my January herb blog, I wrote about my pineapple sage which was putting on quite a show. The recent frost didn’t bother her in the least and she’s still going strong. In the raised bed to the left of her, I planted four types of basil last summer: Genovese, Thai, African blue, and holy… more
Better with Butterflies: The Gulf Fritillary (1/31/2022) by Wayne Hobbs - Welcome back to our monthly butterflies blog! Did you know that Florida is home to more than 150 species of butterflies? Another 200 species migrate through our state every year. There are in fact more species of butterflies than any other kind of insect except beetles. Too Cold for Butterflies? Butterflies are cold blooded and… more
Cuphea feat image copy Cuphea, a Pollinator Magnet for Your Yard (1/25/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer Becky Comyns     Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow? Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow (yet non-invasive), blooms steadily for months, thrives essentially pest-free in our north Florida heat and humidity, and attracts loads of butterflies,… more
Cuphea feat image copy Cuphea, a Pollinator Magnet for Your Yard (1/25/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer Becky Comyns     Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow? Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow (yet non-invasive), blooms steadily for months, thrives essentially pest-free in our north Florida heat and humidity, and attracts loads of butterflies,… more
Cuphea feat image copy Cuphea, a Pollinator Magnet for Your Yard (1/25/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer Becky Comyns     Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow? Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow (yet non-invasive), blooms steadily for months, thrives essentially pest-free in our north Florida heat and humidity, and attracts loads of butterflies,… more
Cuphea feat image copy Cuphea, a Pollinator Magnet for Your Yard (1/25/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer Becky Comyns     Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow? Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow (yet non-invasive), blooms steadily for months, thrives essentially pest-free in our north Florida heat and humidity, and attracts loads of butterflies,… more
Cuphea feat image copy Cuphea, a Pollinator Magnet for Your Yard (1/25/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer Becky Comyns     Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow? Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow (yet non-invasive), blooms steadily for months, thrives essentially pest-free in our north Florida heat and humidity, and attracts loads of butterflies,… more
Cuphea feat image copy Cuphea, a Pollinator Magnet for Your Yard (1/25/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer Becky Comyns     Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow? Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow (yet non-invasive), blooms steadily for months, thrives essentially pest-free in our north Florida heat and humidity, and attracts loads of butterflies,… more
Cuphea feat image copy Cuphea, a Pollinator Magnet for Your Yard (1/25/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer Becky Comyns     Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow? Is it possible to find a plant that is easy to grow (yet non-invasive), blooms steadily for months, thrives essentially pest-free in our north Florida heat and humidity, and attracts loads of butterflies,… more
Demonstration Garden 2 Demonstration Gardens Installed at Franklin County Extension Office (1/19/2022) by Erik Lovestrand - Ask Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer James Hargrove Every aspect of gardening can be educational and fun. The UF/IFAS Extension office in Franklin County was recently remodeled and reopened. However, until now the Plant Clinics that are held there each Wednesday from 10 a.m. until noon have not had gardens to help educate the public… more
Better With Butterflies- New Blog Series for 2022 (12/28/2021) by Wayne Hobbs - There are several reasons why life is just better with butterflies in it. Most importantly for the ecosystem, they are pollinators. Many plants require pollinators to reproduce and butterflies fulfill that roll as they gather pollen on their bodies flittering from flower to flower to drink the nectar they feed on. Second, the plants that… more
Citrus Harvest: For Yourself and Others (12/20/2021) by Wayne Hobbs - By Connie Gladding January is the time to pick most of our citrus fruit from Navels, Satsumas, Key Limes, Grapefruit, etc. To be sure that your fruit is ready, pick a couple and taste them. If they are nice and sweet, pick away, if not leave them on the tree a while longer. Citrus fruit… more
vegetable gardens A test to check the germination rate of old seeds (9/17/2021) by Susan Webb - Have old seeds packets and wondering if the seeds are still viable to grow in the garden? Many seeds will last for years if stored correctly in a cool, dry, indoor environment. Follow these simple steps to test your old seeds. Gather your supplies: A plastic sandwich bag, tape, paper towel, seeds, sharpie. Wet a… more
UF IFAS Extension Office Sign UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Master Gardener Volunteer Projects Earn International Recognition (8/24/2021) by Anne Yasalonis - UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer programs will be recognized for excellence during the 2021 International Master Gardener Conference, hosted by the Virginia Extension Master Gardener Program. Typically, the awards are presented in person, however, due to the unusual circumstances of the past year, the conference is virtual. The conference is attended by… more
Blog Header The Neighborhood Gardener August 2021 (8/16/2021) by BLOGS.IFAS - In August's issue of the Neighborhood Gardener, the issue includes information about Florida Gardening for New Residents, Garden Myths Vol. 1, and the August Plant of the Month: Thryallis. You can access the full newsletter, here, or read on for a synopsis of each article The Neighborhood Gardener is the monthly e-newsletter from the University… more
The Importance of Planning in the Garden (8/9/2021) by Anne Yasalonis - As we move towards the fall and cool season gardening, consider the importance of garden planning. Landscape planning and design is well known, but do you plan your edible gardens? From vegetables to herbs to fruit trees, planning for space and future crop rotation is helpful. When planning for your vegetable garden, first, select a… more
Salivating Over Salvias (8/1/2021) by Wayne Hobbs - Written by Connie Gladding, Master Gardener Volunteer Salvias are the quintessential flowers to attract pollinators to your garden which is ideal for the vegetable garden or fruit trees. Salvias range from 2 to 4 feet high and come in an array of colors ranging from white and yellow through salmon and pink to scarlet red,… more
Pollinator week header Celebrate Pollinators: A Sample Plant List! (7/21/2021) by polkmg - The following list is a companion blog to the “Celebrate Pollinators” blog. The plants listed are only a few of the hundreds of plants that support our native pollinators. The list provides suggestions for nectar plants, as well as some butterfly host plants. In choosing plants for your pollinators, avoid plants that have been treated… more
2021 UF/IFAS Extension Clay County Master Gardener Plant Sale (7/12/2021) by Wayne Hobbs - The UF/IFAS Extension Clay County Master Gardeners host their annual plant sale Saturday August 7, 2021 from 7:30 am to noon outside at the Extension Office 2463 SR-16 West in Green Cove Springs (next to the Fairgrounds). Free parking and cash/ credit cards are accepted. Thousands of reasonably priced plants, including herbs, flowering plants, and… more
Pollinator week header Celebrate Pollinator Week June 21-27 (6/21/2021) by polkmg - Calling all gardeners (and all who want to be gardeners)! Would you like to learn how to help our natural environment and add beauty to your yard? Join in this year’s annual international celebration of Pollinator Week! This event brings to the forefront the importance of our native pollinators (including bees, butterflies, birds, moths and… more

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