The Downy Woodpecker

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.

Come check me out!

The Robins are Here

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.

Robins Pit Stop

Can YOU dig it?

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.

Lay at least 8 sheet layers of newspaper

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!

“Regrowing” Store Bought Veggies

Fruit? Try fruit too!

Figs

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!!!

The fig is similar to a maple leaf in the background

I have two in the ground but they sure liked being in that pot best!

Pineapple

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!

Celery

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.

Regrow Store Bought Veggies

Veggies 🌶 veggies 🍅 veggies 🌽

What have you had luck growing? Comments encouraged!!

Got Milkweed?

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.

Safety First

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.

Get the app FREE!

Speed Week?

It’s a little too soon for Speed Weeks 🏁 in Daytona so it “must be “Seed Weeks”! 🤪

If you are following this blog, then you will see it’s already time to transplant the seeds that were just in baggies!

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“Recycling” the days trash into useful vessels

What a difference a few days makes. Shhh, had to eat all the Krispy Kreme donuts to put the box to good use!   Oatmeal box, egg crate, toilet rolls, dog food box; etc!

“Recycling” all in a days work as well!

Lettuce.jpeg

Lettuce

The Lettuce and Calabrese Broccoli actually sprouted in 2 days and grew quite fast. I had to use a skewer stick to push roots down further into soil. Tomorrow they’ll be jumping out to the garden by themselves!

Broccoli

Broccoli

Calabrese

Calabrese Broccoli

Green Beans

Green bean

Green Bean ready to unfold

Here’s proof toilet paper rolls work out well!

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Excited to “Let the Races Begin”! 🏁

Join Deltona Garden Club 

Free Membership February!!! (Save $12 yr)

 

 

Starting Seeds

Time to get those seeds popping!

I am getting ready for the season. The last frost predictions are usually mid February to be safe. Weather is unpredictable so be prepared to cover tender new growth if you do set them in ground.

The purple color is from the grow light. Not really needed but since I have one, why not!

This is the simplest way to get a head start that I have tried. I use a sponge for most seeds but with so many I have to use a wet paper towel.

As you can see, I wet the towel (just short of dripping) and place in a sealed baggy. If you have never tried this, most all seeds sprout. Make sure you have room in your garden. Now is the perfect time to till or turn the earth.

Add amendments or your favorite medium to the beds. When those soaking seeds get an inch or two big you can sow. It’s best to transfer new seedlings into small pots to get established before setting out into the elements.

If you have any wildlife that frequent your yard, be diligent in protecting against invaders!

Squirrels in my yard are my biggest culprits. I watched a squirrel eat the leaves off my hibiscus! They eat everything. Rats are also a problem as well as any animals that eats grubs, or greens. Inexpensive wire fencing helps deter.

If you have ideas on how to keep pests out if your garden, comment and let us know!

It’s never too early to be prepared so let’s get growing!!!

Deltona “Gardens”

Your Native Experiment

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers
Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

“What plants are native to your area”?1809496a-a009-4b8c-b3ad-3f525048f687

The list above is shared from UFl but NOT ALL will grow in your location in Central Florida. The list is by no means an exact science with so many unique locations to consider

Lakes, open areas, dry areas, scrub areas, soil quality,  PH, soil amendments, sunlight or lack of, seasonal weather events,; etc,  all play a part in the health of your garden

stop-watering

“Native” plants are pretty much whatever grows naturally without human placement.  That is “my opinion” from 30 years of  trial and error.  I’ve watched nature decide what filled the empty spaces in my yard  Some were allowed to remain but others had to go. The yard and garden transformations from year to year are ever changing  I don’t always agree with Mother Nature but I believe, I know, she knows best!

My goal from the first year living in Florida was, not to watch another plant freeze, or die due of dehydration from heat, or dry to a crispy dried branch!!  After all, I had personal relationships with some (actually all)  of these plants.  Did I mention what it cost to “wing it”? Or how I had what I thought was a green thumb…..until I moved from “South Jersey” to Florida!  Thank goodness I was up for this new challenge!

Zinnia’s like saucers in Glendora, NJ.
My daughters when they were young posing with the Zinnia!s.

When you see your favorite little joys bite the dust it is heartbreaking.  I do not like loosing things that give me so much joy.  Anyone who shares a gardening passion can understand that!   I knew it was time to stop watering dead plants AND stop wasting money as well  It’s a wonderfully different experience now

SO – I joined Deltona Garden Club  and my little piece of paradise began to grow! The knowledgeable ladies and men I had the pleasure of meeting, taught me so much  Sadly many of my mentors are gone but I am hoping to keep the garden club legacy alive by sharing stories such as this

 

Arbor Day – January 19, 2019

Florida celebrates Arbor Day every January as well as every April 26th.

Cool days of winter are perfect.

Celebrate “Arbor Day Florida” today by planting a tree. *Or not? It’s usually a great time to plant trees that are in a dormant stage. ⚠️ (*I’d wait until after the freeze we are expecting Sunday here in the southeast.)

“What types of trees are dormant in Florida?” “What type of tree grows in Florida?”

If you take a look around your neighborhood, take note of trees that have lost their leaves! If you aren’t sure what kinds of trees they are, pick up a few leaves. Take a photo of height and placement for reference.

Trees aren’t just for oxygenation, erosion, wildlife, etc, but for cost savings if you’re a homeowner.

Planting the right tree in the correct place can cut your cooling costs in half. Florida sun can be scorching and relentless on the hottest summer days. Save your interior carpet, furniture, curtains from fading, or “disintegrating” all together!

The hottest time of day for the “rays” to be most intense is around 4 pm at my home. The sun setting in the west doesn’t loose much punch on the way down. Hot as 2 o’clock noon if not hotter. An aluminum awning had to be put over the window immediately after building the home. Took some time for trees to be tall enough to be effective.

Electric bills too high? Plant a 🌳. See you in April!

See our photos of our tree planting projects or get advice from our community at DeltonaGardenClub.com

REUSE ♻️REDUCE ♻️RECYLE

Aluminum

  • We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.
  • Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
  • A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days.
  • An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
  • Paper

    • The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees.

    This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 (2 billion) trees per year!

    • We throw away enough paper and wood each year to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
    • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
    • The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year.

    Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.

    • If all our newspapers were recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
  • Plastic

    • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!
    • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
    • Recycling plastic can save twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
    • Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year. Glass
    • Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill a giant skyscraper – all of which are recyclable! A glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose ‐‐ longer if it’s in the landfill.
    • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100‐watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
    • Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass that is made. If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%.

    Miscellaneous

    • An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space ‐‐ that’s almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
    • Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!
    • A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water. Motor oil never wears out; it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re‐refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
    • A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That’s a lot of containers ‐‐ make sure they’re recycled!

    Source: recycling‐revolution.com

    DYI IDEAS

    National Garden Clubs, Inc. 11 | P a g e ecology WARRIORS, October 2014

    DeltonaGardenClub.com

    Arbor Day Florida

    We have two times a year here in Florida to celebrate Arbor Day. January and April!

    This year, January 19, 2019, I will be planting a tree at Pine Ridge High School. Please contact DeltonaGardens@outlook.com if you are interested in attending.

    Barbara Willey.

    Deltona Garden Blog