Hydroponics: NFT System

Lettuce growing in a hydroponic system. Photo by Jonael Bosques, UF/IFAS Extension, Hardee County. Each year we have less agricultural land available, making it more difficult for farmers to acquire land to grow crops due to urban development increases in Florida. From 2010 to 2019, Florida’s population grew 14.2% to become the third most inhabited state…

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Calycanthus floridus, Carolina Allspice, Sweetshrub

 Calycanthus floridus, Sweetshrub Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) is a great selection for moist locations. The flowers develop in midspring and have maroon to brown, strap-like petals, and a fragrance like that of strawberries. Historically, the petals were used as a sachet to freshen dresser drawers. Occasionally, they are used in potpourris. The leaves and fruits release…

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Pum, Pum, Pumpkins!

When you hear pumpkins you may think of fall, Halloween, and cooler weather. To enjoy all the goodies that pumpkins give us like pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin pie it first begins with a seed. I personally enjoy pumpkin spice latte. Regardless of what you chose to use your pumpkin for, it takes around 100…

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Save a monarch, plant a (native) milkweed!

By now, you may have seen the recent article stating alarming news about the beloved monarch butterfly population. Many gardeners in Florida enjoy planting for butterflies, observing the unique lifecycle of butterflies, and adding colorful flowers to their gardens. Milkweed is a critical plant for monarchs as it is their food source. If you have grown milkweed,…

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No Mow Lawns in Florida

Turmeric plant in bloom. Are you tired of mowing your yard, applying fertilizers and fighting turfgrass pests and diseases? Many Central Florida residents are seeking more sustainable, low maintenance yards. Lawns planted with turfgrass can be a lot of maintenance, with high inputs of fertilizer and water. Instead of a traditional turfgrass lawn, consider replacing all…

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Passionflowers for Central Florida

Turmeric plant in bloom. There is a passionflower for every Central Florida yard; they attract butterflies, some have showy flowers, and some types even have edible fruit! Most passionflowers are vines. Compact species can be planted in small yards to take advantage of vertical growing space, while other species that tend to sprawl can be used…

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Passionflowers for Central Florida

Turmeric plant in bloom. There is a passionflower for every Central Florida yard; they attract butterflies, some have showy flowers, and some types even have edible fruit! Most passionflowers are vines. Compact species can be planted in small yards to take advantage of vertical growing space, while other species that tend to sprawl can be used…

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Gingers for Your Central Florida Garden

Turmeric plant in bloom. Cultivated as food and medicine for thousands of years, ginger, turmeric and galangal are members of the ginger family that are both ornamental and edible. They are prized worldwide for their edible, underground, tuber-like rhizomes. They are key ingredients in many cultures’ cuisines and are also high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory…

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Landscape with Loquats

A Loquat tree is a must-have for every Florida edible landscape. This gorgeous evergreen tree is also low-maintenance compared to other fruit trees. Fruit from any Loquat is edible, but for good-tasting, high quality fruit, select a variety of Japanese Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) that is bred for its edible fruit. Loquat varieties have a wide…

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