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Upcoming gardening course, cold-injured plants

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Citrus is very sensitive to freezing temperatures but don’t give up too soon. It would be best to wait to prune the cold-injured branches and limbs after spring growth.

Q. Will you offer the UWF gardening course this winter?

A. Okaloosa County Master Gardeners and the University of Florida Extension Office in Okaloosa County will offer an eight week winter “Gardening in the Florida Panhandle” course in Fort Walton Beach.

Whether you’re interested in vegetable gardening, landscaping or lawns or simply learning how to enjoy your yard more by working less, these classes offer something for you. Come and learn to garden more effectively in a Florida-Friendly way. This course will have a different Okaloosa County Master Gardener or Extension Agent each week to teach the class. Topics include Container Gardening; Orchid Basics; Herbs: Growing, Drying and cooking with Herbs; Getting Ready for another Lawn Growing Season; Bonsai Basics; Plant Diseases and Deficiencies; Landscape Design with Native Plants and Shade Gardening.

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This eight week course is offered through the University of West Florida’s Center for Life Long Learning (CLL). You will need to register for this course Jan. 5, 8, 9 or 10 from 9 a.m. to Noon at the University of West Florida (UWF) Emerald Coast Campus located at 1170 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. in Fort Walton Beach.

The CLL tuition is $50 but you can take up to four CLL classes for your $50 tuition. The Gardening in the Florida Panhandle course will be held at the County Extension Office Annex located at 127 Hollywood Blvd NW in Fort Walton Beach 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Monday mornings January 22 thru March 12.

For more information please call (850) 863-6548 or visit the UWF CLL website at cll@uwf.edu. Space is limited.

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Q. When and how should I prune cold-injured hibiscus plants?

A. My advice is to wait to prune. Take out injured branches and limbs in the spring after the new growth occurs. At that time with hibiscus, you can prune to the ground if necessary. This UF/IFAS Extension link provides more info on treating cold-injured landscape plants. http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/care/weather/treating-cold-damage.html

Q. My citrus tree was damaged by the recent cold weather. What should I do?

A. Citrus is very sensitive to freezing temperatures but don’t give up too soon. It would be best to wait to prune the cold-injured branches and limbs after spring growth. At that time, you’ll have a better picture of what has to be taken out. If you prune too soon following a freeze, you could force new growth that would only be injured by the next freeze. This UF/IFAS Extension link provides more info on dealing with cold-injured citrus. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ch004

Larry Williams is the Extension horticulture agent with the Okaloosa County Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. Contact Larry at 689-5850 or email lwilliams@co.okaloosa.fl.us.

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