Arcadia Garden Club: veggie basics, next meet May 6

Irrigation is a must for good quality vegetables, as explained by speaker Gene McAvoy. Arcadia Garden Club next meets May 6.

Gene McAvoy, UF/IFAS Hendry County Extension director and regional specialist in vegetable horticulture, presented a slide program and an educational talk on vegetable gardening basics for Southwest Florida to the Arcadia Garden Club.

McAvoy’s visit on April 1 covered important topics that included organic gardening, how to plant and maximize space, when and what to plant, knowing your right soil pH and nutrients, what fertilizer and how much to use, when to use seeds or transplants and trouble-shooting garden problems.

Using the “Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide” from UF/IFAS extension service is the best place to start, he said. This guide will provide vital information that can lead to a successful garden in DeSoto County, including a list of appropriate vegetables and planting dates. To obtain a copy, go to: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021.

Pest management is another vital part of gardening in Florida. No-pesticide approaches include following planting dates, rotating vegetables, controlling weeds, harvesting crops promptly, removing unproductive plants and, most importantly, being able to identify beneficial insects such as praying mantis, ladybugs, spiders and wasps. Pesticide approaches focus on using the products only for serious pest problems and to read and follow the labels.

Babs Ames chaired the meeting in the absence of the president, who was ill.

Twenty-six members and four guests attended the monthly meeting held at the Garden Clubhouse. Guests were Jackie Miranda, Mary Ruckle, Marcia Alcook and Karla Hernandez. Linda Dilley was recognized for her April birthday. A motion was made and passed to increase the dues from $20 annually to $25.

The Nominating Committee led by Iris Varner reported the following slate of officers for 2019-2021: President, Lorraine Brauckhoff; First Vice President, Odette Flanagan; Second Vice President, Valarie Littlefield; Third Vice-President, Evelyn Sasser; Recording Secretary, Theresa Collins-Hill; Correspondence Secretary, Carman Miranda; and Babs Ames, Treasurer. Elections will be held at the May meeting.

Next meeting will be (Monday) May 6 at noon at the Garden Clubhouse, 1005 W. Magnolia St., Arcadia. The program will be a presentation by Cindy Coutts, OTR/L from DeSoto Memorial Hospital, on the DMH Community Garden project. A short slideshow on the completed Blue Star Memorial restoration project will also be presented.

The public is welcome to attend as guest of the club. For more information about AGC and its activities, go to Facebook/ArcadiaFloridaGardenClub and click the “Like” button. To receive meeting information or if you are interested in being a presenter, send an email to gardenclubarcadia@gmail.com.

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