2022 Updated UF/IFAS Hurricane and Disaster Information

The UF/IFAS Disaster Preparation & Recovery website offers resources to help Floridians prepare for and deal with natural disasters. From hurricanes to floods, tornados to thunderstorms, natural disasters can impact our lives with little notice. But there are ways to prepare for them and effectively deal with their aftermath. This website offers vital information from…

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Rain Lily – Wild Weeds

Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month Rain Lily Zephyranthes atamasca Rain Lily (photo by Eleanor Dietrich)Rain Lily is a short-lived perennial wildflower that occurs in moist flatwoods, river swamps, floodplains, and can often be found in ditches and roadsides. As the name suggests, this plant typically blooms after a rain shower. Flowering can occur…

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Better with Butterflies: Painted Ladies

This month I want to address the spiritual aspects or symbolism of butterflies across world cultures. Because of their unique lifecycle from humble crawly eating machine into a many colored, graceful flying insect, butterflies symbolize transformation, rebirth, hope and resurrection in many cultures and religions. In parts of Asia black butterflies may represent bad luck…

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Make it a tea garden

  Southerners and sweet tea When I was a child we drank sweet tea. I didn’t really know where it came from but it was sweet and that suited me just fine. Later, I discovered tea was from the leaf of a plant. I had heard about tea leaves and it still didn’t resonate much. I…

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Growing Blackberry in South Florida

  Scientific Name: Rubus fruticosus Common Names: bramble, blackberry, European blackberry, black heg, wild blackberry Origin: Europe and Asia Family: Rosaceae Other plants in the Rosaceae family: blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, apricots, plums, cherries, apple Climate: Blackberry grows best in temperate climates. We have some blackberry species that are native to Florida such as wild blackberry. However, wild blackberry does not have marketing characteristics due to some reasons…

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Fresh and Healthy Summer Salad Mix

I couldn’t let May slip away without sharing a video I made showcasing how I make my fresh and healthy summer salad mix.  There is no cooking involved – only chopping some vegetables. This recipe calls for only six ingredients. In honor of national salad month, I share with you this recipe. by Carol Roberts Posted: May…

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Asian Vegetables Grown in Florida

  As Asian Pacific American Heritage Month comes to a close, let’s spotlight some Asian vegetables Florida growers produce. The below fun facts are from the Asian Vegetables Emerging in Florida series, published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department. Bitter Melon Bitter melon has been used in Asian and African herbal medicine for a long time, and its use in…

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Stop and smell the jasmine!

I like to highlight public places to see plants, and besides our own amazing Master Gardener Volunteer Demonstration Garden on Harborview Road, and the Nature Park in Punta Gorda, the History Park in Punta Gorda is another place to enjoy beautiful, well-cultivated landscapes.  During a recent visit to the History Park I found a wonderful…

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This Hurricane Season, Be Prepared for Anything

 The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1. Are you ready? Maybe you think you’re ready—you’ve got some bottled water and canned goods to last a few days. Maybe you plan to get those things, just as soon as you hear the next hurricane will really make landfall near you. But if you’ve been in a grocery store lately,…

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