News & Updates

Leap into Learning: Flea Beetles

The enlarged femora of an alligatorweed flea beetle (Agasicles hygrophila) (Credit: Rodrigo Diaz, University of Florida, Bugwood.org)The daytime call of birdsong heralds our gentle transition into the spring season. Light rainstorms ensure that our soils are saturated and that our plants are nourished. The sun’s rays work in tandem to encourage the emergence of fresh, lush,…

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No Mow March | Duval County Bees Thank You!

© Tonya Ashworth, Extension Agent, Duval CountyConsider No Mow March Spring will be upon us before you know it, and with it will come of flurry of growth and activity in our gardens.  Our native bees who are responsible for a large portion of pollination duties will emerge and start looking for flowers to…

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Why are plants important to aquatic ecosystems?

Duck potato (Sagittaria lancifolia) is one of Florida’s many native aquatic plants. As Floridians, we love our freshwater resources. Did you know Florida has over 1 million acres of freshwater? That’s about the size of Rhode Island! Many of our fondest memories are of boating, fishing, or water skiing in freshwater systems across the state. Other…

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Learn to worm compost

Composting with worms – also known as “vermicomposting” – is the process of using worms to produce rich compost from kitchen wastes. One pound of worms can turn 65 pounds of garbage into garden compost in 100 days. It is the way to go if you live in an apartment or if you generate mostly…

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Vegetable Gardening in Central Florida

For a deep dive into Vegetable Gardening in Central Florida, watch our YouTube of the webinar recording. If you are getting started with growing your own vegetables in Florida, choose a site that is full sun with access to water. Gardens can be grown in a variety of types of garden beds including in-ground, raised…

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Preserving Strawberries: A Guide to Freezing

As we relish the flavors of locally grown strawberries, their sweet aroma and vibrant hues evoke the essence of sunshine captured in each bite. In the wake of Valentine’s Day, where strawberries often take center stage, let’s dive into the art of preserving these delicate berries, exploring freezing techniques that can be enjoyed long after…

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March 2024 First Friday with Florida First Detector

Recap of March 2024 First Friday with Florida First Detector Fruit crops are very important for Florida’s agriculture industry. The state is a top producer for many tree fruits, berries, and melons. Despite challenges associated with citrus greening in Florida, citrus still remains one of Florida’s most important crops. In this month’s First Friday, we…

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5 in under 5: Quick Fixes for a Florida-Friendly New Year

With the turn of the calendar into a new year comes the pressure to create and stick to a resolution.  The topics of conservation and environmental impact are top of mind for many this time of year.  Here are 5 easy environmentally friendly modifications you can implement in your landscape.  These changes require less than 5 minutes…

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The Great 2024 Cicada Emergence

If you’ve ever spent a summer in Florida, you’re likely familiar with the loud, eerie buzz of the cicada. That buzz is actually the males’ mating call, and by their standards, the louder it is, the better. This sound is produced by their tymbals, a pair of drum-like structures on either side of the abdomen. …

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Plants at Their Peak: Valentine Blossoms, Red Kapok Trees!

Large Red Kapok near Sarasota’s Ringling MuseumAround Valentine’s Day in tropical regions around the world, nature offers a breathtaking spectacle in the form of the Red Kapok tree (scientifically known as Bombax ceiba) exploding into vibrant springtime blooms. This majestic tree, nonnative but Florida-Friendly, has a towering presence and is cultural significance. One of the largest…

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