Master Gardeners Needed

August 11, 2016 - 20:44

UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County

What is a Master Gardener? What do they do? Is the program for everyone? All good questions. Here we will try to provide the answers. Master Gardener programs exist in all fifty states and in Canada. The program goals are to provide instruction and science-based information to individuals who will, in turn, volunteer in the community to share that knowledge with the public. Requirements to participate vary from state to state. Florida’s Master Gardener program is part of the Extension Service of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

The Teaching Garden at Moton Elementary

August 09, 2016 - 20:48

Photo courtesy of Linda Kelly

Sherry Pedonesi and Brooksville Garden Club volunteer, Beverly Lewis work with second graders in the teaching garden at Moton Elementary School. The Brooksville Garden club has been gardening with these students since kindergarten. This fall (2016-2017 school year) they will begin third grade and continue with this gardening program under the direction of Sherry Pedonesi and Rich Stratton and the Brooksville Garden Club Volunteers.

FWC postpones bear hunting in 2016

August 09, 2016 - 20:42

Photography by FWC

EASTPOINT, Fla. - Today, the seven-member Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted to postpone bear hunting in Florida in 2016. Although the framework for bear hunting in Florida remains in place, there will be a zero hunt objective set for 2016, and the Commission could consider future bear hunting in 2017.

Florida Unfriendly Plant of the Week: Manchineel Tree

August 09, 2016 - 20:34

The Manchineel Tree is native to Florida and can be found on sandy beaches and brackish marshes among mangroves. It has a fruit that resembles an apple. The tree can grow to around 50ft tall and is listed as endangered in Florida.

The Manchineel Tree is also very poisonous. According to Nicola H Strickland who ate a Manchineel apple without knowing the danger on the caribbean island of Tobago. She wrote about her experience.

Rain Gardens to reduce stormwater runoff

August 04, 2016 - 20:07

by Lilly Browning, Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Photo: Rain garden by Rogersoh


Rain Gardens are a fairly simple and beautiful way to practice Florida-Friendly Principle # 9 – Reduce Stormwater Runoff. What is a rain garden? Well it is not a pond, nor is it a “water garden.” It can almost be more compared to a municipal drainage retention area, although much smaller and much more attractive.

Rain gardens take advantage of the flow of water in your yard, capture it for a short time, and allow that water to infiltrate the soil and promote aquifer recharge.

Operation Skeeter Stop

August 04, 2016 - 19:59

Several local agencies are conducting "Operation Skeeter Stop" this summer.

A number of diseases, including Zika, West Nile and Chikungunya viruses, can be transmitted via a simple mosquito bite.

EPA approved mosquito repellent provides the best protection from being bitten by a mosquito. Grab yours today! But don’t forget about our homeless who generally don’t have this option. The UF/IFAS Extension Office is teaming up with other agencies to better equip Hernando County’s homeless population with mosquito protection.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Aloe Vera

August 04, 2016 - 19:50

This time of year, aloe vera is an important plant to make sure you have on hand.

Aloe Vera is said to have a number of medicinal uses. One of the most popular is for treating sunburns or skin irritations. It is also found in many cosmetics and health drinks.

The aloe plant is thought to have originated in Africa and been spread throughout the world by humans who found it useful.

Aloe grows well here in Hernando County. Because it is a succulent, it can withstand minimal water availability and makes a great addition to any rock garden.

Second rescued Florida Panther kitten finds new home at wildlife park

August 04, 2016 - 19:42

Guest Article by Susan Strawbridge, Park Services Specialist

HOMOSASSA, Fla. -- Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park has welcomed a second endangered Florida panther kitten. The kitten, now 7 to 8 months old, is named Sakata. He weighs approximately 35 to 40 pounds. He was found on Monday, January 18, 2016 by employees performing routine field maintenance at the Sakata Research Station in Fort Myers, Florida. The male panther kitten was only 2 to 3 months old when found abandoned and sleeping in one of the fields.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow (Tripsacum dactyloides)

July 22, 2016 - 11:12

by Lilly Browning, Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Photography by Steve Slater, flickr

Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow, Brunfelsia grandiflora, is a vibrant shrub that has fallen out of notice in recent years. Although not native, it is Florida-Friendly and requires little maintenance once established. This plant, which grows in horticultural zones 8b – 11 is a unique addition to your garden. It will grow 7-10 feet tall and 5-8 feet wide. It likes dry soil and will thrive in full sun, partial sun or low light conditions. It has little to no salt tolerance.