Outdoors

Weekend Preview

Sparrow

10TH ANNUAl
SPARROW DRIVE WEEKI WACHEE
PRESERVE SUNDAY, JAN. 21, 2017 9AM-1PM

Widespread in North America, this melodious bird is among the most familiar of birds in the US.
Volunteers will walk in a line, elbow to elbow, to flush sparrows into a row of mist nets. Once the birds have flown into the nets, they will be banded, and then released.

Planting trees in your landscape

by Dr. William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County and
Patricia Cooke, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County Master Gardener

New trees are a long-term investment. They form the framework for your landscape. Hernando County is in USDA’s hardiness zone 9. Choose varieties of Florida Friendly or native plants that are suited to grow in west central Florida. Ask questions and read plant labels. UF/IFAS has a central Florida tree list with links for details about a number of varieties and site selection criteria. Go to: http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/treesandpowerlines/central_florida.shtml.

Don’t move firewood

wood

UF/IFAS Extension offices and master gardeners frequently receive questions from homeowners about the health and viability of their lawn and landscape plants. By far, the most valuable, long-term investments in the landscape are trees. They provide structure, shade and shelter. Mature trees add resale value to a property too. It is worth taking time to maintain them with proper care.

West Hernando Middle School Grounds and Waterfall Renovated

Volunteers recently completed the renovation of West Hernando Middle School fountain

The act of giving without the expectation of something in return is the true definition of kindness,” quoted West Hernando Middle School Principal Lori Lessley. During a recent visit to the school, Board Member Mark Johnson and Lessley discussed the student-built fountain which has not been running for years. The school has not had funds to repair the fountain.

Local efforts to protect homeless against mosquitos

by Samantha Grenrock
Science Writer, UF/IFAS

Aedes aegypti biting human

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. --- Experts agree that one effective way to protect yourself against mosquitoes —and the diseases they can transmit — is to wear mosquito repellent. But for homeless people, getting access to this kind of protection can be difficult.

In response, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science Extension Hernando County has launched Operation Skeeter Stop. Organizers will collect donated containers of mosquito repellent and distribute them to the Hernando County homeless community.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Persimmon

Hernando Sun Staff

PERSIMMON, Diospyrus virginiana

Be on the look out for these delicious fruits. Persimmons ripen from late Summer to late Autumn. The persimmon tree usually grows in dry fields or pinelands.

You can pick the half inch to three and a half inch fruit when they are yellow, but don't eat them until they are orange and very soft to the touch as they are very sour unripened. It is rumored that they need a frost to sweeten, but that is untrue according to Florida's Incredible Wild Edibles.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Tea Olive

Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Tea Olive

Tea Olive, Osmanthus Frangrans is an underused shrub that should receive more attention as a landscape plant. This non-native grows well in horticultural zones 8b – 9. Hernando County is in zone 9a. This shrub will grow slowly, but eventually reach 15-30 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide. It likes dry soil, but has a medium drought tolerance. It does well in full to partial sun. It has little to no salt tolerance. This shrub produces small white flowers. This is a background shrub that won’t attract a lot of visual attention, but its wonderful sweet fragrance will certainly get noticed.

New Officers for Spring Hill Garden Club

New officers Spring Hill Garden Club

The new officers of the Spring Hill Garden Club were installed at the May 2016 meeting held at Buffet City in Brooksville.

The new officers, pictured above, are from left to right: Directors, Mary Wuest and Jeannie Erickson; Secretary, Joan Shaw; Treasurer, Janice Zacharkan; 1st Vice President, Angela Benschneider; 2nd Vice President, Doris Morrice; and President, Kathryn Pierson.

The next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, September 28 at 1 pm, Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd, Spring Hill.

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