- Bumper Crop
- Florida flowers: The unique Crossandra/Florida Sunset
- (no title)
- Women Who Surround Themselves With Plants Live Longer
- Composting ”is” Recycling
- Bee 🐝 Cause!
- Is it going to rain today?
- Hummingbird Facts
- Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies
- May 2019 Events
- FREE SEED KIT WITH PURCHASE TODAY – SUGAR ANN PEAS
- Florida flowers: Spiderwort
- Volusia County Tree Ordinance
- What’s eating your plants?
- Wildflower Butterfly Garden
- Biblical Herbs: Mints in the Bible
- Free Orange Amaryllis Seeds 😎 and how to find them.
- Down the Garden Path Radio
- Bottle Gardening
- “Basil” a religious tradition
- How to Fight Spider Mites
- Top Producing Vegetables and Fruits: These 12 Plants Will Give You Plenty To Share
- S.E.E.K for High School Students in Deltona!
- Butterfly Bush Care – How To Care For A Butterfly Bush
- Florida Gardening Radio
- Deltona Gardens Community Network – Community
- Membership has it’s rewards
- Florida Scrub Jay Festival
This year I used only Non GMO seeds.
The tomatoes have been amazing producers. The trunks are 3″ around and very sturdy. The difference is remarkable.
I had to buy a trellis to hold up the heavier tomatoes. I used “knee high” stockings to tie up branches. The nylon is forgiving and will stretch during growth with no damage to branch.
My mother taught me to use a nylon stocking to put the tomato in while growing so bugs can’t destroy the fruit. I haven’t had to do that but it’s also a useful recycling tip for those old stockings!
The garden has exploded and the heat is definitely on. I placed my plants in semi shade to get through the hottest summer weather. It only took 30 years to figure this out!
I watched the movement of the sunrise and sunset as it changes and placed plants accordingly. Brilliant idea!!!
I’ve eaten as many salads as I can with tomatoes but I just can’t keep up!! So freezing for spaghetti sauce which I look forward to soon!!
The trick to a longer growing season is from ground zero up. Keeping the base of the plants in shade is the key. The height reaches the sun where it’s most needed! Also a sheet of weed barrier helps hold moisture.
It’s so hot. “How hot is it”? It’s so hot that I hope the garden survives without me.
My husband informed me it was 100 degrees today.
Here is a little update of what the rest of the yard looks like. The pond still needs work but the Koi aren’t picky how it looks!
Celery 2 yrs old. Good producers from seed.
See ya soon – AJ the great white lizard hunter ❤️
I often think of the song “Woodstock” performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
”We have got to get ourselves back to the garden”
Did you know Joanie Mitchell wrote the song Woodstock for CSNY to sing at Woodstock?
by Joanie Mitchell
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who I am
But you know life is for learning
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation
We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden
August 2019. Will it happen – I do not know. Rumors of cancellation.
The lineup for Woodstock 50 is officially here.
Jay-Z, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, The Black Keys, Halsey, Robert Plant, Miley Cyrus, Common, Janelle Monae, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, and Jack White’s The Raconteurs are among the big-name artists scheduled to perform at the official 50th anniversary concert festival on Aug. 16-18, 2019, in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
From my friend Joann in Orlando. Wonderful blog!
I saw these crossandra flowers several weeks ago in a park near where I live. The bright orange color caught my eye. I took some photos but thought that perhaps the blossoms were in the process of dying.
JoAnn Ryan – Orlando, FL
I went back a few days ago and it had the same wilty-looking petals. I realized this was just the normal composition of the flower. It had just rained and the sky was still overcast when I took these photos. I think that explains the difference in color. The second two photos were from that previous visit. It was sunny that day and close to evening.
JoAnn Ryan – Orlando, FL
This deep orange variety of crossandra is called “Florida Sunset” or sometimes “Orange Marmalade.” The common names are usually so much better. The crossandra flower is native to India and Sri Lanka.
View original post 23 more words
Women Who Surround Themselves With Plants Live Longer
Driving through the neighborhood I’ve been noticing so many big green trash bags of “leaves”🍁🍂 curbside for trash pick up. I often wonder why leaves get bagged up.
Leaves can be “recycled” and mulched with a mower which in turn adds moisture back into the soil.
If you are “new to Florida” in general, your lawn or gardens will be glad to utilize dead leaves!! If you are patient, those leaves pretty much disintegrate sitting in our toasting sun, and disappear.The same principle goes for tree branches.
What is “compost”?
As a verb, “to compost” or “composting” refers to the process used to make compost. In general, this process involves mixing together a variety of food wastes, yard wastes, and/or other compounds in proportions that are favorable for the growth and reproduction of bacteria.
Compost is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it refers to decayed organic matter, which is a fancy term for formerly living things (plant and/or animal) that have been broken down by the feeding of bacteria and other tiny creatures into something that looks more or less like soil. This organic matter (see soil for a discussion of organic matter) is a useful addition to soil, and compost is sometimes talked about as though it were a fertilizer.
While it does contain nutrients plants need, compost is really more of a soil amendment, whose primary benefit to the soil is an increase in organic matter content rather than a significant increase in the levels of particular nutrients.
As discussed under soil, higher organic matter yields a number of benefits – higher water retention of the soil, improved retention and availability to plants of any fertilizer that you do apply, increased numbers of soil-dwelling organisms, etc., etc.
Within the compost “pile” made of these materials, bacteria begin to feed and multiply. These bacteria occur naturally on the surfaces of many living things and do not need to be added to the pile to make composting happen.
The bacteria eat and eat and reproduce and reproduce until most of the readily available nutrients are used up. This process, which can take as little as a few weeks or as long as months (depending on how much or little you manage the pile) usually results in a substantial decrease in volume of the ingredients used to make the initial compost pile. Loss of 40-60% of the volume of your initial pile is not uncommon. If you manage the pile at all well, the material you end up with should look (as mentioned above) and smell more or less like soil.
There are many reasons. At the most abstract level, composting takes non-toxic materials that would otherwise end up in landfills and returns them to the soil in a useful form.
Food production should be a closed loop, meaning that food wastes (and perhaps human manure, as well) are returned to the soils used to produce the food to begin with. At present, most food production in the United States represents open loops – food comes from places, and food wastes end up in other places.
Composting is a small step toward closing food loops. Of more relevance to individual gardeners, compost itself improves garden soils in various ways (as discussed above). Well-managed “hot” composting can kill weeds and any seeds they might be carrying, so it’s a safe way to return the weeds you kill to your garden.
Scientists have also recently begun to document a phenomenon noticed for some time by organic farmers, which is that application of compost to soils can actually help to prevent various plant diseases, particularly fungal ones. Why and how this works is still not very well understood.
For those who like physical work and are seeking “useful” excuses to be outside, building and managing a compost pile can also be just plain fun.
Some of us prefer “pseudo-composting,” which involves just heaping these materials up out of the way somewhere!
They will decay this way, but more slowly than if you compost them as described below. This form of composting does not necessarily kill weeds or weed seeds and the piles can in fact become homes for more weeds.
Pseudocomposting with kitchen waste (eggshells, fruit peels, coffee grounds, etc.) can also attract raccoons, possums, and other undesirable pests. To help keep these pests away, you can cover your kitchen wastes with layers of newspaper, cardboard, or leaves.
To be continued….
Happy Saturday everyone
Have an amazingly Beeutiful Day!
“Real-time” quick forecast for your exact location!
Today you can take advantage of transplanting without worrying about watering!! 💦
Today I am planting seeds, that will be happy to get started with a little help from above! 💧👏🏻
Realtime, up-to-date rain forecast for today and the next 5 days at your current location or anywhere else in the world.
— Read on isitgoingtorain.com/
Hummingbirds are one of the most interesting birds! Here are some fun facts about these little birds:
- Bee hummingbirds are the tiniest of all birds, weighing less than an ounce and measuring only 2 inches long.
- Their brightly-colored, iridescent feathers and quick movements make them appear as living sun catchers—hence their nickname, flying jewels.
- Hummingbirds have the unique ability to fly in any direction, even backward, with their wings beating up to a blurring 80 beats per second.
- Plus, they can hover in midair when sipping nectar from brightly–colored flowers with their long, slender beaks.
- While whizzing about the garden, hummingbirds expend so much energy that they must eat at least half their body weight each day to replace the calories that they burn up. This means eating almost constantly—from sunrise to sunset—and visiting over a thousand flowers every day.
- You can hear the call of a ruby-throated hummingbird here.
- Learn more about hummingbirds here.
If you’re a fan of hummingbirds, you probably like to see other birds flying around your garden, too. Explore these tips for a bird-friendly garden.
Do you have hummingbirds or other birds in your garden? Let us know in the comments below!
Pea Seeds | Peas are a cool season vegetable, and do best in a climate where there are two months of cool growing weather, either spring planting in the northern regions or fall planting in the warmer, southern regions. Plant seeds 4″-6″ apart. – Includes Instructions.
Peas are a cool season vegetable, and do best in a climate where there are two months of cool growing weather, either spring planting in the northern regions or fall planting in the warmer, southern regions. They are hardy to frost and light freezes.
Peas have smooth or wrinkled seeds. Most of the varieties grown are wrinkled seed, since these are sweeter and more flavorful. The advantage of smooth seed is its toughness in withstanding rot in cold, wet soil, although many wrinkled seed varieties are now treated with a mild fungicide to prevent rotting. Plan on an average of 25-60 plants per person depending on how much you want to freeze, dry, or can for winter. Pole and climbing peas produce over a longer period and up to 5 times more than dwarf bush varieties.
When to Plant
The earlier the better. Seeds should be planted in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Do not plant in the hot summer months. Where winters are mild, a second fall crop could be planted in late summer, but where the summers are long and hot, this is not practical as the plants do not thrive, producing poor flowers and a disappointing crop. The simplest way to prolong harvest is to plant early, mid season, and late varieties at one time rather than sowing every 2 weeks. Gardeners with mild winters can plant peas in both spring and fall.
How to Plant
Plant dwarf varieties about 8 seeds to a foot, about 1/2 – 1″ deep; and in rows 18-24″ apart. Tall-growing varieties should be planted in double rows 4-6 inches apart, 2 1/2 feet between double rows. Supports for climbing vines can be put in at planting time, or just as seedlings are 3 inches high. Peas can cross-pollinate, so for seed-saving, space different varieties at least 150′ apart. Dwarf varieties don’t need a trellis if you plant them close together. For support use twiggy bush, chicken wire fencing, or weatherized trellis netting sold commercially for vine crops.
Peas have fragile roots and don’t transplant well. While some gardeners recommend presoaking seeds, research has indicated that presoaked legume seeds absorb water too quickly, split their outer coatings, and spill out essential nutrients, which encourages damping-off seed rot. Yields can increase 50-100% by inoculating with Rhizobium bacteria.
How to Harvest
Peas are ready to harvest in approximately 60-70 days. When pods of the peas appear to be swelling with rounded pea forms visible, they are ready for picking. Take a test picking every day or so, and note the appearance of the pods with the sweetest peas. If the pods are left on the vines too long, they become tough and starchy. Pick black eyed peas slightly before maturity. They should still be a light green with a purplish eye. They are still easy to shell at this stage and taste delicious. Pick the pods just before cooking, since they, like corn, deteriorate quickly after harvest. Choose a cool morning, not the heat of the day, or just after a cooling rain. The edible pod peas should be picked when the pods are well developed, but before they become swollen with the outline of peas.
Peas usually develop from the bottom of the vine up. Pull firmly but gently, and hold the vine with one hand so it is not jarred loose from its support when picking. When peas start to ripen, pick them often, and pull all ripe pods present each time to encourage development of more pods; otherwise the crop stops developing. You can pick peas for about 2 weeks once they start coming. After the harvest, turn under the plant residues to improve the soil.
Florida flowers: Spiderwort
PART II – CODE OF ORDINANCES
Chapter 72 – LAND PLANNING
ARTICLE III. – LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS
DIVISION 10. VOLUSIA COUNTY TREE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE
DIVISION 10. VOLUSIA COUNTY TREE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE  Sec. 72-831. Purpose and jurisdiction.
(a) The county council finds and determines that it is in the best interest of the public health, safety and welfare to protect and preserve trees and enhance tree cover in Volusia County, Florida. The value of trees are many and varied and include, but are not limited to the following:
(1) Trees are valuable producers of oxygen, a necessary element to the human survival, and serve to reduce the environmentally dangerous carbon dioxide concentration in the air.
(2) The leaves of the trees trap and filter out ash, dust and pollen in the air.
(3) Trees may reduce wind velocity and noise levels.
(4) Trees may prevent erosion by stabilizing the soil through their root system and by breaking the force of raindrops pounding upon soil surfaces.
(5) Trees reduce the quantity of surface runoff and reduce the percentages of impervious surfaces.
(6) Trees help purify water by removing the nutrients from waters passing through the ground from the surface to the groundwater table.
(7) Trees provide shade and transpire water which helps to moderate temperatures and cleanse the air.
(8) Trees provide food, shelter and essential habitat for wildlife.
(9) Trees provide valuable visual aesthetics and psychological contrast to the urban environment.
(10) Trees are a valuable asset and increase the economic and aesthetic value of developed and undeveloped properties.
Therefore, for the above-described reasons, the county council has determined that it is necessary to enact this division.
(b) Jurisdiction. This division shall apply to the unincorporated areas of Volusia County, Florida.
(Ord. No. 02-13, § I, 7-18-02; Ord. No. 2008-25, § III, 12-4-08)
Sec. 72-832. Penalty.
(a) Violations of this division are punishable as provided in chapter 1, section 1-7, Code of Ordinances, County of Volusia.
(b) Any person who violates a provision of this division may be required to replace an affected tree, at the county forester’s option. Application and approval of a tree permit in accordance with the requirements of section 72-836 must be obtained. Replacement stock must be planted within 90 days of permit issuance. The cross sectional area of the replacement stock shall be taken at the tree’s caliper and shall be equal to 150 percent of the cross sectional area of the tree removed. The county forester may reduce the replacement schedule based on the nature of the violation. All other tree replacement provisions of section 72-842 shall apply.
(Ord. No. 02-13, § I, 7-18-02; Ord. No. 2008-25, § III, 12-4-08)
Volusia County, Florida, Code of Ordinances Page 1
To read code in its entirety –
This creature has no business in the garden, yard or earth!!!
Eastern Looper ☠️☠️☠️
They devoured an entire blueberry bush overnight.
Look closely at missing leaves on plants and see if these deadly bugs are present.
I went out to the garden and saw little groups of black grasshoppers. I noticed at least 40 black and orange striped ones and others yellow stripe. The stripe is on the top backs. After looking more closely, I saw two larger grasshoppers solid black. I believe this is two stages of growth because next phase probably devours the plants.
The “Eastern Lubber” is not beneficial to anything except mice. They have no other natural predators except rodents. We trapped 13 mice and now have the hoppers! Food chain disruption? Likely.
I’ve heard the best option is drowning one by one in a bucket of soapy water.
Things to know if you choose the pick and drown method is they stink 🙄.
So there it goes, I invited my own problems! The Eastern Lubber is attracted to moisture AND you guessed it, the *Orange Amaryllis’. Don’t worry, when they run out of food and moisture they should leave.
Read more about the destruction this pests has caused throughout Florida. Unfortunately pesticide is something we may have to use. Water level rise has pushed creatures out of habitats. I believe “Natural” FLORIDA is making a comeback!
Also be aware of winged moths looking insects-
A quick walk through the garden this time of year, before Easter, is always a sign of hope and joy.
A sign, “if you see it”, that better days are not just coming, they are here!
“Bloom where you’re planted!”
Cosmos love it here
“Born to be wild”
by Herb Exchange
Easy Care Perennials Podcast
“Listen and surf the web at the same time!”
You don’t always need the dirt! Aquaponics intro on a small scale!
I love this idea and it’s been working out well for my personal experiment.
Water bottles, soda bottles – cut and inverted!
At the moment I am using spring water in small water bottles. It has rained and I’m hoping this added some nitrogen to the water.
Mostly I wanted to try this method with lettuce. The thought of having fresh lettuce available whenever I wanted a salad, was intriguing.
I’ve added some spearmint and oregano stems to other bottles.
The spearmint is kept in a hanging pot so I can move away from sun as the sun shifts.
Before my favorite shade tree got its leaves back, the mint got hit with a day of sunshine. I am trying to save it so I took some stems to see if it will root. I’m not exactly confident this approach will work. Soil in the bottles might be best. So far, the mint didn’t die or dry in the water.
Herbs are more shade loving plants throughout the summer. Oregano, basil and rosemary are my “must have” herbs. I can’t remember when a time when I didn’t have these herbs outdoors.
Italian cooking demands fresh ingredients just like the Great Nona’s know best! Oregano grows without much help, other than breaking off a fist full for sauce, which actually prunes it too!!
Rosemary. Ah Rosemary. The most aromatic herb my life and patio just can’t live without. Roast pork anyone? I can smell it roasting for hours in my dreams!!! Brush up against it and the scent fills the air. Place it where animals may also brush by it. Bugs, like fleas, hate rosemary!
Give this easy grower plenty of room. It demands attention and it’s own space to branch out like a tree if you let it.
I would not say Rosemary is a fast grower so start small and repot as needed. I give it 3 times more space in a pot because it will fill in eventually.
It’s that time of year when the ground is warming. Dogs and cats start scratching after they’ve gone outdoors? Besides fleas, Florida has chigger type nuisance bugs you can’t see.
Break off a long twig of rosemary and secure it to the inside of your pets collar! Take the sprigs and rub the plant all over your pet. This is a natural way to relieve itching temporarily. Also works with lavender. In the summertime, I make my own itch relieving spray!!
Put water in a spray bottle along with sprigs of lavender and rosemary. Put in fridge and use to soothe!
Do you have your own herbal remedies?
Stayed tuned for additions to this thread!
Basil is a part of religious traditions around the world, from Christianity to Hindu.Although there is no mention of basil in the Bible.
The plant is said to have grown at the site of Christ’s crucifixion and is associated with St. Basil. St. Basil – feast day is celebrated in Greece on January 1 by having basil blessed at church
Holy basil, Ocimum tenuiflorum, is particularly sacred in Hindu tradition. It is thought to be the manifestation of the goddess, Tulasi, and to have grown from her ashes.
There are several versions of the legend, but according to a widely known one, Tulasi was tricked into betraying her husband when she was seduced by the god Vishnu in the guise of her husband.
In her torment, Tulasi killed herself, and Vishnu declared that she would be “worshipped by women for her faithfulness” and would keep women from becoming widows.
Thus, holy basil, which also goes by the common name tulsi, an obvious reference to the goddess, became a Hindu symbol of love, eternal life, purification and protection. In addition to basil’s role in the death of Tulasi in the Hindu legend, basil has played a role in burial rituals and has been grown on graves in various countries.
Basil’s love symbolism isn’t limited to India.
It has been considered an aphrodisiac by some, is associated with the pagan love goddess, Erzuli, and is used in love spells.
In Italy, where sweet basil is called “kiss me Nicholas,” “bacianicola,” it is thought to attract husbands to wives, and a pot of basil on a windowsill is meant to signal a lover.
In Moldavian folklore, if a man accepts a sprig of basil from a woman, he will fall in love with her.
As is typical for its folklore, while being linked to love and attraction, basil has also conversely been associated with chastity.
In Sicilian folklore, basil is associated with both love and death when basil sprouts from the head of isabetta of Messina’s slain lover.
Protection and Luck
Basil is considered a good luck charm in some folklore. It is reportedly used in exorcisms, for protection and to attract wealth.
Language of Flowers
Basil’s symbolism in the Victorian language of flowers also reflects its dual nature. It signifies both hatred (for common basil) and best wishes (for sweet basil).
How to Fight Spider Mites
Top Producing Vegetables and Fruits: These 12 Plants Will Give You Plenty To Share
This is a wonderful program sponsored by Deltona’s Garden Club and Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
High School Students grades 10-12
“Saving the Earths Environment through Knowledge.”
Joining Deltona’s Garden Club means much more than planting a few trees or plants!
We have scholarships, education, help and resources to establish gardens in our schools and city.
Membership sign up online. Please share with students of Volusia County so we can assign a sponsor for your school.
High School students 9-12 – horticulture scholarships program.
Youth Gardening is k- 8th grade.
Contact us with any questions by following this link
Join us –
Butterfly bushes are grown for their long panicles of colorful flowers and their ability to attract butterflies and beneficial insects. Read this article to learn how to care for a butterfly bush of your own.
— Read on www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/butterfly-bush/butterfly-bush-care.htm
One of my favorite garden guests is the butterfly. Read this article to take a look at plants that attract butterflies so that you can welcome these flying beauties into your garden too.
— Read on www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/beneficial/butterfly-garden-plants.htm
This is a free sample radio broadcast provided by IHeart Radio & Deltona Garden Club 🌸 when you become a member!
Deltona Gardens Community Network – Community
— Read on m.facebook.com/pg/deltonagardens/community/
When you’re visiting Facebook you can always stop by the “Gardens” 🌸
The Florida Gardener is the official publication of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. Each issue covers all facets of garden club activity to include: educational opportunities, legislative alerts, current projects, upcoming events, community projects, book reviews, and more. Published 4x per year.
The magazine is free with membership, but is also available by yearly subscription to non-members. ($15)
For international mailing, please subscribe by contacting our headquarters office at 407-647-7016
The Florida Gardener has a readership greater than 15,000. Advertising Rates
To submit a question to FFGC Listens for publication in the magazine, Contact Marie Harrison.
The Official Publication of The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc., a member of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. and the Deep South Region.
President FFGC Claudia Bates P.O. Box 252 Micanopy, FL 32667 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR – COMPILATION Kathie Smith 3330 SW St Lucie Shores Drive Palm City, FL 34990 Phone: 772-286-8190 E-mail: email@example.com
ASSISTANT EDITOR Sandra Lagana 701 SW Stuart West Blvd. Palm City, FL 34990-5399 Phone: 772-597-5299 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer Patricia Shira 2179 Longleaf Circle Lakeland, FL 33810-8251 863-853-8299 Email: email@example.com
Advertising, Sales & Finance Inger Jones 2112 NE44th Street Lighthouse Point, FL 33064-9010 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 954-942-9310
Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. 1400 S. Denning Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789-5662 Telephone: 407-647-7016 Website: ffgc.org
Subscriptions: Domestic $15.00 per year International $18.00 per year, Checks payable to FFGC
Florida scrub-jays and scrub habitat to be celebrated at Feb. 23 festival
Why is keeping Florida “shrubby”” important to the Florida scrub-jay, the only bird species unique to this state?
It’s because the bright blue and gray bird needs scrub habitat — dry, sandy areas with low shrubs and a few trees — to survive.
Come to the 10th annual Florida Scrub-Jay Festival on Saturday, Feb. 23 in downtown Titusville at the Julia Street parking lot to learn more about this threatened species and its reliance on healthy scrub habitat. You can also enjoy organized bike rides, field trips, nature exhibits, children’s crafts and games, live music, and a watercolor exhibit at the free event. (Note: the festival was rescheduled from its previous location, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, but there may be field trips there.)
“Sandy beaches are what people typically associate with Florida, but we also have sandy scrub habitat crucial to the survival of the Florida scrub-jay and other native wildlife,” said Craig Faulhaber, avian coordinator at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). “Scrub habitat is being conserved today on many public lands, including Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a partner in this year’s Florida Scrub-Jay Festival.”
Scrub-jay populations have fallen dramatically since the late 1800s, primarily because of loss of scrub habitat and lack of natural or prescribed fires. Prescribed fires and other habitat management are necessary to keep scrub shrubby and maintain quality habitat. The sandy soils of scrub habitat also naturally absorb rainwater and filter it into the aquifers that provide Florida’s drinking water.
Increase your chances of seeing and helping Florida scrub-jays by:
- Visiting the FWC’s Wildlife Management Areas with scrub habitat, such as the Lake Wales Ridge Wildlife and Environmental Area, Salt Lake WMA and Platt Branch WEA, to watch Florida scrub-jays in the wild. Ocala National Forest and Seminole State Forest also are good places to look for scrub-jays.
- Volunteering with Jay Watch, a citizen-science effort coordinated by Audubon Florida. Jay Watch volunteers are trained to conduct scientific surveys that measure the population numbers and nesting success of Florida scrub-jays. The FWC is a Jay Watch partner.
- Keeping your cats indoors to protect scrub-jays and other wildlife.
- Reducing use of pesticides around your home, since scrub-jays feed on insects.
- Reporting harassment or harm to scrub-jays or their nests to FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline, 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone.
What is the Florida scrub-jay call like? More like a screech than a song, since it is in the same family as the crow. And like crows, scrub-jays are bold, smart and full of personality. Hear thesound of a Florida scrub-jay by going to AllAboutBirds.org and searching for Florida scrub-jay.
Find out about this bird’s biology and behavior by going to MyFWC.com and clicking on “Engaging in Conservation,” where you will see “Species Profiles” and can select the “Birds” category to find the Florida scrub-jay’s profile.