Areaâ€™s largest all-in-one plant sale and gardening expo for 19 years!
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color & fun! NEW! Kids Gardening Zone!
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
9 a.m.-4 p.m. 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala Event Sponsor:
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Bring this with you! Handy map, schedule and vendor list inside!
Two days of special events! Take a break from browsing the vendor booths to refresh, learn and get inspired through the following programs.*Events marked with an asterisk (*) will be held outdoors in the garden area. All other events will be held in the UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service Auditorium.
(Service animals permitted.)
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Sorry, no pets allowed!
Vegetable seeds and plants
E op duc po ati rtu on nit al ies Food a
Sunday, March 10
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2:30 p.m. - Invasive Species Amanda Hodges and Stephanie Stocks, UF Entomology Department *2:30 p.m. - Creating Easy and Colorful Containers Norma Samuel, UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service
Admission: $1 Free for children 12 and younger. NEW! 4,800 square feet of kids activities!
*9:30 a.m. - Composting Linda Krausnick, Master Gardener 10 a.m. - Growing Fruit in the Home Landscape Jeff Williamson, UF Horticulture Department *10:30 a.m. - Micro-Irrigation Jim Jaudon, Master Gardener 11:30 a.m. - Color in the Landscape Brooke Moffis, UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension Service *11:30 a.m. - Growing Tropical Crops Luis Camacho, Master Gardener *12:30 p.m. - Tree Pruning David Holmes, UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service 1 p.m. - Gardening for Food and Fun Steve Oldham, Master Gardener *1:30 p.m. - Organic Pest Control Carol Ann Baldwin, Master Gardener
Saturday, March 9
*10:30 a.m. - Water Conservation and Harvesting Kathleen Patterson, UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service 11 a.m. - Florida-Friendly Lawn Care Laurie Trenholm, UF Horticulture Department *11:30 a.m. - Attracting Butterflies and Birds Anna Williams, Master Gardener *12:30 p.m. - Building a Raised Bed Garden Bob Heckathorn, Master Gardener *1:30 p.m. - Fertilizing Your Lawn Correctly Jonael Bosques, UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service 1:30 p.m. - Vegetable Gardening Lesroy Samuel, Vegetable Expert
Gardening with A few long days later… magic happened. Up from the ground pushed our little plants, reaching for the fluorescent lights above. I remember feeling like I’d witnessed a miracle. I proudly carried the little plant home from school to show my parents, then promptly started filling containers with sand and planting every seed I could find in Mom’s pantry.
Do you remember the first seed you planted? I do! One day, my kindergarten teacher gave each of her pupils a Dixie® cup filled with dirt and a single bean to plant. We wrote our names on the cups in loopy letters, planted and watered our beans, then waited.
By: David Y. Goodman, UF/IFAS Marion County Master Gardener
Not long after, I asked Dad if he’d build me a garden in our backyard. He’d never done anything with gardening in his life, but, since he loved me, he cut an 8-by-8 square out of the perfect St. Augustine grass in the backyard, snagged some railroad ties and bought a few bags of dirt… and we picked out some precious packages of seeds together. I don’t know that I really had much luck producing food for the table, but those childhood experiences prepared me for a life of nurturing the plants, creatures and soil around me. As an adult, I’m now sharing that love with my own children. Even if you’ve never planted a seed in your life, it’s not too late to start learning. Gardening with children is a great way to experience what you’ve missed. Ever watch TV with a youngster just so you have an excuse to tune in to “Sesame Street” without being mocked? C’mon – here’s your chance to play in the dirt! At the Spring Festival, we’re hosting events ranging from games and contests to a collection of insects from the “Bug Man” and fun crafts that encourage children to take interest in the environment. That’s all happening in the auditorium throughout the weekend. And of course, moms and dads, you’re invited to take part as well! It might just be the beginning of a lifelong journey for your son or daughter. If they really enjoy being green thumbs, you can also look into our “Marion Sprouts” weeklong summer camp program. After the festival, there will still be plenty of ways you can encourage your children to keep on growing. A few fun things you can do at home include: growing sweet potatoes in glasses on a sunny windowsill, starting a little garden in a bucket or grabbing a plant guide and going on a nature walk. Another nice place to take your children is through our demonstration gardens at the UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service office. Throughout the year, you’ll see olives growing, constantly changing vegetable gardens, grapevines, a variety of herbs, a shade garden, pollinator stations and a butterfly garden teeming with flowers and flittering wings. Multiple decades after I planted my first seed, I’m still grateful I had teachers and parents who fed my passion for gardening. My life, yard and table would be a lot more barren without those childhood experiences. That said, I need to wrap this article up...my daughter and I have to go plant some beans!
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Kids Gardening Zone!
Crafts, activities, gam es, the “Bug Man,” contes ts, plant-your-own-herbs -
find it all in the Auditorium - North Hall!
Vendor List Festival entrance 4-H plant pick-up Plant holding areas Educational area T
Tram stop Tram route Plant clinic In-garden talks (at the Demonstration Gardens)
ATMs. Food vendors Vendor booths Assistance/lost and found Parking for disabled parking permit holders. Restrooms
Gardening for By: Anne Lambrecht, UF/IFAS Marion County Master Gardener
You can always tell when true gardeners visit your garden. They see the “different” stuff in a garden; the stuff not everybody sees. Sure, the human eye first sees color, but true gardeners always notice shapes, textures and scents. Gardeners love gardens, even if it’s just a neighbor’s little swath of annuals. We’re attracted to the dabs of red, flecks of yellow, hints of orange or hues of blue. A true gardener will see the color green as a whole other world, bold and wonderful. At the Spring Festival, you’ll be able to find all the colors of the rainbow for your spring garden. Spring brings with her a new beginning, a new chance to refresh your
garden and soul. Why not try something different this year? Try native plants, succulents, bromeliads, ferns, vegetables and herbs, along with colorful selections from the vendors. Step outside of your comfort zone and take a second look. Try to see what’s behind the color. You may be surprised at the selections you make. How about a themed garden? A sensory garden, perhaps? Did you know that white flowers are the most fragrant? Maybe a butterfly garden, with vibrant hues of scarlet, azure, chartreuse and gold, along with the herbs that larvae will eat. Have you considered a Harry Potter garden with strange-sounding
herbs? A precious gem garden can include colors like sapphire, ruby, gold, citrine and amethyst. What’s popular now is a Potager (French for soup) Garden, or vegetable garden mixed in with herbs and flowers. It’s everything you need to make soup except the bones! Some people like a Dr. Seuss garden with a kaleidoscope of crazy shapes, textures and colors. An English cottage garden with old fashioned flowers or a Monet’s garden with a delicate mosaic of muted pastels? Whatever you decide, you’re sure to find all you need for your next gardening adventure at the Spring Festival!
Think you can’t garden for food because you live on a small property, in a condo or in a gated community? Think again. Your vegetables can be planted in tubs, in hanging pots, among your landscape plants, in a 4-foot-by-4-foot square or in rows or raised beds.
Before you buy any seeds or seedlings, prepare your soil. Add about three to four inches of organic material (compost) and composted manure to the surface of the soil. Your soil will be able to deter nematodes and feed your new plants.
The important things to remember are at least six hours of sunlight, good soil and a source of water nearby. The vegetable garden is an interesting place to learn about compatibility and incompatibility among plants. Plants have friends and enemies in relation to their ability to help or hinder each other, just like people. Some help by producing hormones that attract or repel specific insects or stunt or enhance the growth of another plant. Others provide shade. For example, planting garlic among tomatoes helps protect the tomatoes from red spider mites. Tomatoes help protect roses against black spot.
Be aware that we may still have frosts during March. A stash of gallon milk jugs with their bottoms removed can be used as cloches over your seedlings. Be sure to remove the caps during the day so excess heat can escape.
February and March are the spring planting months for Marion.
For information about which vegetables do well here, how to plant, how to fertilize and when to harvest, pick up the “Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide” at the UF/IFAS Marion County Master Gardener Plant Clinic (located at the UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service office).
Grow your knowledge all year with classes from UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service staff and Master Gardeners.
Check out a schedule at: www.marioncountyfl.org/extensionservice.htm or “like” us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marioncountymastergardeners) for updates and gardening tips right to your newsfeed. Scan with your smartphone to access our: Website Facebook page
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The Marion County Master Gardeners extend a special thank-you to: GreenSouth Equipment, Inc. (for donating the use of two tractors) Marion County Sheriff ’s Office Work Farm (for donating the use of trams) Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry Southwest Florida Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District Southeastern Livestock Pavilion Marion County 4-H Fresh from Florida
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