"Going to Pot" Container Gardening

Tuesday, April 22
10:00 am

Anyone who has moved to Jacksonville from another part of the country has had to adapt to the very different gardening seasons here. The usual system of planting in the spring, harvesting in the summer and doing nothing in the winter doesn't work here. We now have 3 planting seasons and they are all brutal. In spring the plants are drowned, in summer they are broiled and in winter they freeze. And if they do manage to grow, the deers eat them! This is Florida, the land of sunshine, so why should gardening be so complicated?

On April 22nd, Mary Puckett a Master Gardener, will come from the Duval County Extension Service to help us with our dilemma. Container gardening is one solution to the problem and she will tell us about growing herbs and compact vegetables in planters, where you will have more control over the growing conditions than if they were planted in the ground. I've seen many gorgeous flowering container gardens that can easily be changed out by season and are easy to tend. One year I planted tomatoes in 'Earth Boxes' with specially formulated fertilizer and watering instructions and the plants grew 5 feet tall! We had homemade salsa all summer!

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The idea of growing fresh herbs interest me since the bunch of herbs at the grocery store are always much too big for a one dish recipe and then they just sit in the fridge until I toss them. I love the idea of going out on the porch to snip off some cilantro to make my peach/mango salsa or fresh basil to go in the bolognaise sauce or chives to go on baked potatoes.

The Duval County Extension Service offers a wealth of information for gardeners of all kinds. They are connected to the University of Florida and have so many programs: 4 H Youth Development, Commercial Horticulture, Lawn and Gardens, Nutrition, Urban Forestry, a Canning Center and a Master Gardener Program! So come to the meeting on April 22 to hear Mary Puckett and ask her all your gardening questions; you'll find out how to become a successful Florida gardener. She oversees four Community Gardens, maintains a demonstration garden for classes, shows schools how to set up gardens for their students and conducts workshops for homeowners on vegetables, culinary herbs and edible flowers! I think she can answer any question you may have!

If you are interested in joining the Home and Garden Club please call Anne Klueppel at 519-5368 or Lee Ann Phillips at 519-6931. They will be glad to tell you about us.