Believe I've mentioned before that I co-host a Green Network Group every month. Our meetings usually feature an expert speaker and then we all discuss the presentation by the expert and how it fits into our various lives and businesses.
This month we had Jennifer Ramos, Extension Faculty - Residential Horticulture/Florida Yards and Neighborhoods
Jennifer, who has degrees in Environmental Science is very knowledgeable about the best way to set up the man/nature interface in our urban lifestyle. She is available to teach courses in central Florida(and perhaps farther away if expenses were handled) on topics as broad as Community Gardening to Xeriscaping to Florida Friendly Landscaping to Native plant and animal species.
What I took away from Jennifer's presentation include:
- Put the right plant in the right space - Each species has it's own preferred sun to shade, water, and ph requirements. Don't put the plant that likes shade in the middle of your yard with no trees around.
- Do some planning. You do not need to be a landscape architect but it is good to design a planogram and think about how to maximize what you put in your yard with the requirements of the given plant.
- Pest control needs serious thought. Most times natural pest control is preferred. She gave the example of a friend who was concerned that his gardening efforts were being unrewarded. Turns out he had used sevin dust so liberally that the pollinating species were killed and could not pollinate the flowers that would lead to the fruit and vegetables. Less than 1% of insects are considered pests
- Plant First Plant Once or it's cheaper to do the planning and not have the disease or overgrown species that result from poor planning
- Watch your watering habits. Water only when plants show signs of distress. Most people over water. Learn the intricacies of your irrigation system so you will know how to lead it when watering is not required. Reset irrigation timers for seasonal changes as well.
-Use micro irrigation whenever possible to reduce evaporation- Water prices will continue to increase so watering your yard could soon be a large expense
Jennifer can be reached for teaching purposes at 407 254 9224
Keep thinking Green,
Porter for Conservastore
Link to U of F site with good handbooks for Florida lawn and gardening
Here's the Green Network Group website
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