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Deltona Gardens Community Network – Community
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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
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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.
Last year a cute little Downy Woodpecker came to spend the spring with me.
This year the tree favored by this cute little creature has since been cut down. I worried that this year they won’t have their nesting tree and won’t come back.
Well today I sat and watch several DWs visiting the yard possibly looking for a nesting site.
I hope you enjoy the little Spark Page I created from last year!
See the Downy Woodpecker close up and enjoy the “little” things in life.
The Robins are here EARLY! The first time was in March. The groundhog prediction is right on! Spring is on its way “north”.
This is the second time catching the Robins gathering in this tree for a stop on their migration.
If I wasn’t taking a break from pulling down some vines, I wouldn’t have noticed them up high in the River Birch.
So you’d like to start a garden.
Does the thought of digging a new garden make you just opt for a large potting container instead?
This is no one’s favorite garden chore, but there’s no way around it. Your chosen site will probably have grass on it or at least weeds. These must be cleared somehow before you can plant anything.
Tilling without removing the grass or weeds is best done in the fall so that the grass will have a chance to begin decomposing during the winter. Even so, you will probably see new grass and weeds emerging in the spring. It’s better to either remove the existing vegetation completely or to smother it.
NO DIGGING for the “patient” Gardener
A sharp flat-edged spade can be used to slice out the sod. If you have poor soil and need to amend it with organic matter or other nutrients, removing the sod may be your best bet, so that you can till in the amendments.
Removing sod can be heavy work, and you wind up losing good topsoil along with the sod. If your soil is in relatively good shape, it is possible to leave the grass in place and build on top of it. Place a thick layer (8-10 sheets) of newspaper over the garden bed and wet it thoroughly. Then cover the newspaper with 4-6 inches of good soil. The newspaper will eventually decompose, and the turf and weeds will be smothered. There may be some defiant weeds that poke through, but not so many you can hand weed them.
Starting with good soil means you won’t have to add a lot of artificial fertilizer to your garden. If you’ve fed the soil with amendments, the soil will feed your plants
Do you have creative garden ideas? Subscribe to our blog to learn and share!
Fruit? Try fruit too!
Imagine having a bag of Figs in your refrigerator for about a year. No one is going to eat them! I decided to take that practically full bag and plant the figs in “my growing pot”. (That’s the pot for all my experiments!)
I totally forgot what I planted since I frequently stick flower stems, seeds, etc, into that growing pot, anything really, just for fun.
Much to my surprise some nice large green leaves popped up. I put a photo onto Facebook to try to get help identifying the leaf. (I forgot what I planted – it was a year ago) Everyone guessed wrong. It turned out to be Fig Trees!!!
I have two in the ground but they sure liked being in that pot best!
This pineapple , you guessed it, is of course the green top of one I twisted off – bought at the store!
Black Eyed Peas are fun to grow
Black Eyed Peas
My friend gave me a baggie full of beans and said they’d put nitrogen back into the soil. Yes bought at the store!
Now that growing pot got taken over by Celery. I just pulled 7 out and placed in garden.
Sorry to say they are not store bought. They actually grew from seeds, I tossed in a year before!
Watch how to grow more store bought vegetables from my garden friend.
Veggies 🌶 veggies 🍅 veggies 🌽
What have you had luck growing? Comments encouraged!!
Please to announce another recognition for doing my part to save the Monarchs.
The metal plaque will be placed along side of the Backyard Gardeners Recognition to providing the important habitat to wildlife.
We can all do our part by simply providing host plants imperative to the survival of the species.
Milkweed plants are part of the complete cycle needed for caterpillars to gorge themselves before the cocooning stage can happen.
This plant you see is a “snack” for maybe 1 caterpillar. The leaves would be stripped in a few hours. So you see, we need to be diligent and plant as much as we can!
Thanks for doing your part. Needs seeds?
Go to membership page to request.
Coyote sightings in the Deltona area.
Please keep pets in and safe from attacks as it is Coyote mating season.
In the 30 years as a Deltona resident, this is the first time I’ve heard that Coyotes are lurking around!
There have also been reports of wounded cats and dogs on the Neighbors App. Typically Coyotes aren’t usually a threat. I’ve learned this from posts by neighbors as well as the Sheriff Dept.
Also the lakes (watersheds) are full. If you haven’t been on India Blvd lately, take a ride and see how high the water table is. What could have been burrows, could now be flooded forcing Coyotes out into neighborhoods. That’s my opinion.
“Deltona Lakes” are back if only temporarily.
The “Neighbors App Alerts” have been helping our neighbors monitor car thefts, break in’s, crazy activity “AND” find their LOST pets.
It’s free! I think it’s pretty neat.
Our local law enforcement has joined as well to help in real-time and It’s anonymous – by radius. Share with your neighbors!!!
You don’t have to have the Ring Doorbell btw.