Worried about your plants turning brown?

Seeing some of your plants turn brown in the winter can be a bit concerning. It’s good to know that it’s normal for many plants, such as turfgrasses, to go dormant and turn brown in the winter. The plant is protecting itself during cold temperatures and lower light levels. Typically, plants will recover once spring arrives. However, hard freezes may injure or potentially kill some … [Read more...]

Prune-and-pass plants make great gifts

There are not many more rewarding experiences in life than planting and propagating your own plants and watching them grow. Giving someone special a gift is usually at the top of that list, too. But, growing a gift is even more special. Many plants can be easily grown and pieces passed along as gifts with some simple pruning and propagation techniques. The resurrection or rain lily is … [Read more...]

Spring is the time to plant cheerful flowers

Florida has a long warm season and a shorter cool season. We are now in our cooler months, which is a time to plant cool season annuals. An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one season. These annuals offer bright color choices. They are plants such as pansies and petunias that might remind us of “up North.” You can plant many annual, spring flowers January through … [Read more...]

Ways to water wisely during summer months

Water is essential — not only for life itself, but also to support Florida’s landscapes, recreational activities and beautiful vistas. Residents and tourists enjoy our waterways and participate in recreational activities such as fishing, swimming and boating. We use water from public municipalities and private wells for household, industrial and agricultural uses. Water also is … [Read more...]

Water-Wise awards open for nominations

Do you think your landscape is both eye-catching and water-efficient? If you do, you may want to enter the 2018 Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards. Winners will receive a custom-made mosaic landscape stepping stone, as well as recognition from local elected officials. And, of course, they’ll earn neighborhood bragging rights, too. Tampa Bay Water, in partnership with the University … [Read more...]

Rallying ’round the blueberry bushes

Hurricane Irma blew across the landscape, uprooting and toppling about 100,000 blueberry bushes at Frogmore Fresh Farm, outside Dade City. In Irma’s aftermath, the farm’s general manager, Leonard Park, knew he had a narrow window to salvage as many of the plants as possible. He also knew he didn’t have enough labor to make that happen. An unexpected phone call from Whitney Elmore offered … [Read more...]

We’re on the lookout for water-wise landscapes

The Pasco County Extension Office and Tampa Bay Water are looking for attractive landscapes with irrigation systems or techniques that minimize water waste and represent the best in Florida-Friendly Landscaping. We would love to present your outdoor oasis for relaxation and a haven for wildlife as a powerful environmentally friendly example of Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM. Florida-Friendly … [Read more...]

Pollinator gardens attract bees and other wildlife

Obviously, pollinators are important. An estimated one-third of the food we eat comes from plants pollinated by animals. Bees, wasps, flies and hummingbirds are vital pollinators. Scientists have found that it takes eight or more visits by a bee to a watermelon flower to produce a single watermelon. So, please consider planting a pollinator garden to increase populations of these … [Read more...]

Growing beautiful tomatoes in Central Florida

Tomatoes are one of the most popular veggies to eat, but trying to grow them can be one of the most frustrating experiences for new gardeners in Central Florida. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be exasperating, and it can be quite fun. With just a little bit of knowledge, any home gardener can grow beautiful and bountiful tomatoes. For successful tomatoes, there are a few simple concepts to … [Read more...]

Groundcovers offer a great option for Florida landscapes

“Why didn’t I come to you first?” That’s a commonly uttered question at our Pasco County Extension office, when homeowners come in with landscape problems. Usually, this question is preempted by a “put the right plant in the right place” discussion. This Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM (FFL) principle is simple to grasp, but not obvious until someone puts it in plain English by saying “you … [Read more...]