Believe it or not, August is the time to start your cool season vegetable garden with collards, onions, carrots, beans, eggplant, squash and tomatoes. Find out more about growing vegetables in Florida at bit.ly/2a4DBet or attend the Saturday in the Gardens program at 10 a.m. on Aug. 20, when Brooke Moffis presents “Florida Vegetable Gardening.” She will cover topics such as soil preparation, fertilization, plant selection and be available for any of your questions. The class is $5 and registration is appreciated.
As hot as it is outside, gardening may be the furthest thing from your mind, however, it is never too hot to learn about Florida-Friendly Landscaping. There are two speaker series available in south Lake County provided by the Lake County Master Gardeners in partnership with local garden clubs.
Learn what it means to have a Florida-friendly yard at 10 a.m. on Aug. 2 at the Clermont Garden Club, 849 West Ave., including a general overview of the nine principles: right plant, right place; water efficiently; fertilizer appropriately, mulch; attract wildlife; manage yard pests responsibly; recycle yard waste, reduce storm water runoff; and protect the waterfront.
Learn about being water-wise at 6 p.m. on Aug. 15 at the Trilogy Magnolia House, 100 Falling Acorn Ave. in Groveland, including landscape irrigation recommendations and protecting the lakes and water bodies. Registration is required at http://lake.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml for $5 or by cash or check at the Lake County Extension Office during normal business hours.
The nation’s largest youth development organization is 4-H. It is an informal, practical educational program for kids and is part of the Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H uses a learn-by-doing approach to teach kids about more than just farm animals. Projects include environmental science, family and consumer sciences, plant sciences, science and technology, career development, communication arts, leadership development, healthy living and all types of animal sciences from dogs to chickens. All families with kids interested in joining 4-H or already in 4-H are invited to the Annual 4-H Kick-Off Party on Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Discovery Gardens. This is a free program with activities and games, questions and answers.
Did you know there are many weeds that grow in fields, pastures and gardens that can be poisonous to grazing animals? When it comes to pasture weeds, what you don’t know could hurt your livestock. Florida is home to a number of native and invasive plants that pose serious health risks to grazing animals. Join Megan Mann as she presents “Poison in the Pasture” on Aug. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lake County Agricultural Center. In this class, learn to identify, prevent and control poisonous plants common to Central Florida pastures. Registration is required at http://poisoninthepasture.eventbrite.com. Cost is $10 and includes printed material.
Visit the Discovery Gardens and our plant clinic with your plant problems and questions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the Ag Center, 1951 Woodlea Road in Tavares. For details and class registration, go to lake.ifas.ufl.edu.
Juanita Popenoe is the director of the UF/IFAS Lake County Extension Office and environmental horticulture production agent III. Email email@example.com.