Gearing up for spring gardening

It’s time to start your vegetables for spring planting. January and February are great months to start gardening vegetables. With the exception of sweet potatoes and okra, most of our vegetables grow best during spring and fall. While spring hasn’t sprung just yet, now is a great time to set out veggies like collard and mustard greens, cabbage, and kale. Plants in this family are … [Read more...]

Region has frigid wake-up call

The new year brought the first blast of winter to Pasco County, and to the Tampa Bay region. Freeze warnings and wind chill advisories rained down daily from the National Weather Service, as frigid air dipped into north and central Florida, and stayed for days. For the first time in decades, Tallahassee had measurable snowfall. Here in Tampa Bay, snow was a no-show, but temperatures … [Read more...]

2017 had it all: A sinkhole, Hurricane Irma, wildfires and floods

But, it also was a year of significant growth, notable achievements and touching moments, too. It’s not often that Land O’ Lakes makes the international news, but it did just that in July when a massive sinkhole swallowed two homes in Lake Padgett Estates. Then, just a few months later in September, the world’s attention turned to Florida as a potential category 5 Hurricane Irma appeared … [Read more...]

Community gardening coming to Dade City

Two new community gardens will be coming soon to Dade City. The University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Pasco County Extension Office will be establishing community gardens with the help of the City of Dade City, the Pasco County Commission and private donors. Members of the community will be able to grow their own produce in free garden plots, according to … [Read more...]

Partnerships may yield ‘community farm’ at Moore-Mickens

Efforts have begun to lay the groundwork for a “community farm” on the property now under the supervision of the nonprofit Moore-Mickens Education Center and Vocational Center Inc. Whitney C. Elmore, director of the Pasco County Extension Office, said she has been talking to the Moore-Mickens nonprofit about the possibility of establishing the farm, which would involve the help of several other … [Read more...]

Conserving water, reducing storm water runoff

When it rains, it pours. Or, so it seems in Florida. Central Florida landscapes can easily get 2 inches to 3 inches of rain in a typical afternoon rainstorm. And, all of this storm water washes over our roads, roofs, gutters, driveways, lawns and landscapes — carrying plant debris, pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants into our waterways. Even oil from cars, trash and pest … [Read more...]

4H Unidos Club aims to boost opportunities, bridge gaps

There’s a new 4H Unidos Club starting in Dade City that’s intended to reach into a community that traditionally hasn’t been part of such clubs. The club is specifically reaching out to Spanish-speaking youth and their parents, although it’s not an exclusive club. “It’s a totally inclusive club. Anybody can join. That’s kind of the nature of 4H and all Extension activities,” said Whitney C. … [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...]

There’s an art to the proper pruning of palms

How do you know if you’ve properly pruned your palms? There are some telltale signs. A properly pruned, and healthy palm, should have a round canopy and green leaves from the top of the canopy down to the crown. Unfortunately, too often palms are pruned too much — making them unattractive, unhealthy and weaker than a properly pruned palm. Palms are not supposed to look like a flat rake … [Read more...]

Extension Office could get makeover

The Pasco County Fair Association is seeking a state grant to help pay for a $1.1 million upgrade of the Pasco County Extension Office. The Extension Office — which is supported by state and county funding — now leases space from the fair association. But, the facility needs improvements and more space to expand its services. The state grant could address both needs. The Pasco County … [Read more...]