It’s fall — that perfect time to enjoy squash

Pumpkins seems to get all of the attention each Autumn. Pumpkin spice lattes. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin pies. Jack-o’-lanterns. But, remember, pumpkins are just one kind of winter squash. You can also find many other varieties of winter squash in your garden or at your grocery store. There’s butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata, spaghetti squash and others. So, what are the … [Read more...]

Extension office kicks off wellness program

Start stepping toward a healthier future with UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension, which is now offering a 12-week walking program called Let’s Walk Florida. The program is designed to encourage community members to team up in pursuit of a lifelong walking habit. Anyone can participate in the program aimed at promoting physical wellness. Walking reduces the risk of heart disease and some … [Read more...]

Celebrate Earth Day in the garden: Reduce, reuse and recycle

Rain barrels, compost and using organic matter for mulch are some excellent ways to go green in the garden. But, there also are endless ways to upcycle outdoors to attract wildlife, while reducing, reusing, and recycling more nontraditional items into creative and fun, and practical items. As Earth Day 2019 approaches, which is officially on April 22, consider using those old nylons to tie … [Read more...]

Caladiums offer a kaleidoscope of color

If you’re looking for a plant that brings color and interest to the landscape, consider adding some caladiums to your yard. Caladiums produce vibrant colors and stunning patterns on their leaves, which attract attention. They are tropical foliage plants that thrive in shady nooks and crannies making them easy to grow in Florida’s hot, humid weather. Caladiums look great as landscape … [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...]

Her career touched many lives

Officially, Betsy Crisp’s last day of work was Feb. 3. But, based on her track record, it seems unlikely that the Land O’ Lakes woman will merely kick back and relax. Crisp retired after 29 years as the food and consumer sciences extension agent for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences – Pasco Cooperative Extension. She is the woman who crisscrossed … [Read more...]

Coping with seasonal drought in the landscape

If you were to take a map of the globe and draw a parallel line to the east and to the west of Florida — worldwide — what would you discover? You would note that Florida is roughly positioned along the same latitude as Mediterranean-type climates where dry, arid conditions prevail. Logic implies then that our weather should be more like that of Southern California or parts of the Mediterranean; … [Read more...]

The truth about bromeliads and mosquitoes

  Zika is a concern in Florida and bromeliad plants have been singled out as potential sources of mosquitos that carry this virus. Bromeliad plants produce a fold of leaves commonly referred to as a “tank” where water will collect. And, several types of mosquito larvae (the young, non-flying aquatic phase), including larvae of the Aedes family of mosquitoes, which can potentially … [Read more...]

Growing orchids can be easy

I often get calls from residents where I’m asked to provide a list of “easy” plants. The truth is, any plant is technically “easy” to grow once you understand its needs. However, after attending a seminar by one of my master gardeners, I was reminded of the beauty and simplicity of growing orchids. I would highly recommend orchids as an “easy” plant. Orchids are relatively pest … [Read more...]