2021 Virtual Farm Tour Video: Day 5
2021 Virtual Farm Tour Day 5: South Seminole Farm and Nursery
Florida’s nursery industry ranks second in the U.S. next to California. There are over 7,000 registered nurseries in the state providing more than 98,000 jobs. Trees, palms, shrubs, flowers, and more, the nursery industry is incredibly diverse throughout the state! In Florida, our unique climate with mild winters allow for a lot of different plants to be grown throughout the year.
What are the benefits of gardening?
In 2020, we saw an increased interest in home gardening. With people spending more time at home, many have been starting gardens for the first time. From vegetable gardening to revitalizing their landscape, the nursery industry is a key source of plants for many gardeners.
- Exercise: Gardening is a great way to get moving and burn some calories. It can also help with balance and strength building.
- Eating healthy: Growing your own food can provide you access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Horticultural therapy: Therapeutic gardening has been used since the 19th century to help with emotional wellbeing.
- Appreciation for farmers: Growing plants can be a lot of work. Gardening can give us a greater appreciation for the work our farmers do to feed us!
What are camellias?
Camellias are a flowering landscape shrub that does well in partial shade. Camellias have been popular in the southern landscape for over 200 years. There are a couple species and many varieties that we call Camellias including Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua, and Camellia reticulata. Nurseries can have many different varieties that vary in size and form as well as flower shape, size and color. People will plant these types of camellias as hedges, accent plants, background groupings and more in the landscape. Another type of camellia, Camellia sinensis is edible and used for making tea. This species tends to need more care than other varieties of camellias.
Once planted, camellias live for a while. Some live for up to 100 years! It is important to evaluate your planting area before planting camellias. Most varieties prefer well drained soil, partial shade, and a slightly acidic soil pH. Without these basic conditions, they will not flourish. Also, different types of camellias have different growing needs. You also have to consider irrigation and fertilization requirements. Moreover, you should regularly check your plants for pests and pathogens. Plants grown in less than ideal conditions are more susceptible to pest and pathogen issues.
Where can I find some gardening resources?
- UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions
- Florida Gardening Calendar
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program
- Adopting a Florida-Friendly Landscape
- Starting a Garden EDIS topics
2021 Virtual Farm Tour and Video Scavenger Hunt
Hidden in each of our 2021 Virtual Farm Tour videos is a keyword. If you collect at least 4 out of the 6 keywords, you could have a chance to win some cool stuff! After watching the videos and collecting the keywords, fill out this quick survey. We have 3 baskets full of local Florida goodies, 10 compost bins and 10 at-home hydroponics kits to give away to randomly selected survey participants. For more information and links to all six 2021 Virtual Farm Tour videos, visit this 2021 Virtual Farm Tour blog.