March is here and the Celebration Garden Club members are happy because now we can start growing things again! We had to replace some frost-killed plants in the Memorial Garden last month but now we have warmer temperatures that allow us to get back into our yards and gardens.
One thing to be on top of this spring is your lawn health. Go out and look at your yard to see if anything looks wrong with it. If you use a lawn service, you should point out the problem areas for them to deal with. This is a great time of the year to take care of problems. There may be dead areas, insect-infested areas or areas affected by disease. Spot treatment can be effective if you catch problems early. You should start fertilizing this month after ceasing it early last fall. Fertilization should be done during the main growing season, which runs from March to October. Excess fertilization from October through March just leads to unnecessary expense and water contamination (which is not a good thing). You should adjust your irrigation schedule from once a week to twice a week and make sure all areas receive around an inch of water each time. Also, water in the morning before 10 a.m. and don’t have your yard mowed while it is wet if you want to keep your yard healthy.
Now about the Garden Club. The Club had a great lecture at our February meeting about setting up butterfly gardens here in central Florida. Bill Silberman, a Master Gardener here in town, showed us how to prepare a site and choose the types of plants and discussed how to care for them. We hope to be able to get some butterfly/pollinator gardens into Celebration in the future. If you are interested in a butterfly garden for your yard, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information from his lecture. The lecture was very good and made me excited to get a garden started. We also had field trips to Leu Gardens and to Hollis Garden in Lakeland last month. Both gardens are worth a trip to see. We are having a lecture on mosquito control at our next general meeting, March 16, 9 a.m. at Heritage Hall. The speaker will discuss various mosquito controls used here in town. We want to control these pesky insects, but we want to be sure it is done with the least effect on the environment. If you want to see the lecture, just show up. If you want to join the club, check out our website at celebrationgardenclub.org. We are always looking for more members that enjoy plants and want to learn more about gardening and the environment.
We are also finishing our application process for the three-$1500 scholarships we are giving out this year. The winners will be announced in next month’s issue of Celebration News and the awards will be made at our spring luncheon.
This month we are having our spring pine straw sale. Hopefully our supply chain issues from the fall sale have been corrected. Please visit our website at celebrationgardenclub.org to order your pine straw mulch. The mulch works better than pine bark chips in keeping out weeds and it doesn’t wash away in heavy rainfall runoff. Proceeds from these sales fund our aforementioned scholarships.
Mattamy Homes, the company behind Island Village, is considering making land available for a community garden. Initial meetings were held to discuss this and now we may see this happening in a few years once they finish phase 2 of their development. If you have an interest in a community garden here in town, please contact me. We are trying to gauge how much interest there is in this so when we have a meeting with the CROA board we can show them interest in this program.
Wanting to go to a “pick your own farm”? Be aware that strawberry season ends soon and the blueberry picking season starts soon. If you haven’t had a chance to go and pick your own fresh strawberries and blueberries, this spring is a chance to rectify that situation. Southern Hills Farms, just off of the 429, has strawberries from December through March and has many acres and varieties of blueberries just waiting for you to pick and eat in April and May. Sample some blueberries as you go through the fields to find your favorite type! I have no financial interest in this farm, but it has been a favorite field trip for our garden club to visit so I thought that I should share the experience.
Keep your thumbs green!
By Brad Wagoner, Garden Club President