Links & Resources

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Florida has a bounty of plant life and a bounty of resources to assist us in our cultivation. Here is a selection of many useful sites, organizations and tools.

**Click the images to be linked to the websites**                                          **The list is regularly updated.**


  • Area Garden Clubs: .

FFGC

A list of Federated Garden Clubs in the area, their meeting days and contact information.

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fnpslogoNative Plant Society – Citrus Co Chapter

 

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Orchid Lovers Club of Spring Hill

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cam
Ocala & area Camellia Societies

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  • Florida Government Agencies:
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Citrus Co Extension Office and Master Gardeners – 3650 West Sovereign Path, Suite 1, Lecanto, FL 34461   (352) 527-5700 – Offering free services and thousands of free publications on horticulture, wildlife, home economics, youth interests, consumer issues and more. In coordination with IFAS.

Three popular publications: Landscape, watering and fertilizing Guide   Florida Vegetable Guide    Organic Vegetable Gardening

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FYN, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program –

Citrus County Water Resources – 3600 W. Sovereign Path, Suite 226, Lecanto, FL  34461-8070 – Telephone: 352-527-5708 – Provides free help on maintaining a landscape with lower impact to the environment, beneficial to everyone.

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FL Exotic Pest Plant Council. Index and annual list of Florida’s invasive plants.

-Quick link to the 2011 list of invasive plants.   (Pdf here)

-Also explore the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

-For an easy read on the most troublesome invasives, click here.
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SW FL Water Management Dist. – SWFWMD

The agency in charge of our water resource. Also offers many great free and fee publications on water, conservation and youth education.

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Florida agricultural information including: turf care, crops in season, farmers markets, vineyards, u-pick farms, children’s programs, nutrition and recipes.

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Citrus County Mosquito Control. Information and source for predatory Gambusia Fish, for use in ponds.
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CHASSAHOWITZKA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE – Comprises over 31,000 acres of saltwater bays, estuaries and brackish marshes at the mouthof the Chassahowitzka River, from Weeki Wachee toCrystal River. It is part of the The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which encompassesCrystal River, Chassahowitzka, Egmont Key, Passage Key and the Pinellas National Wildlife Refuges.

Also see the Friends Of Chazz
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  • Identify:
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floridata_logo124    One of the best sites
for looking up specific plants, learning about their requirements, if they are toxic or harmful to Florida’s environment.

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Florida Friendly Plant Database. Click and pick menus help you select the right plant for the right place.

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Find Gardens and Parks by region

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Bug ID Guide
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Caterpillar ID guide. Left side allows for selection by state, right side narrows results by body type.

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WhatBirdLogo

The Bird Expert wizard, will ask questions to help you identify your bird – quickly by state. body shape and colors; by flight style; or a longer step by step search.

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Hardiness Zone Map
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heatzonemap

Heat Zone Map
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A comprehensive searchable database of vascular plants in the State of Florida. Florida is the  third most floristically diverse state in the United States, with over 4,200 species  of native or naturalized ferns and seed plants.  The Atlas provides a source of information for the distribution of plants within the state.
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The FL Wildflower Foundation is a beautiful site, packed with information. Their purpose is to enrich lives with Florida native wildflowers through education, planting and research  projects.
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The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site is an invaluable source of wildflower information. A must for anyone who is interested in native plants.
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  • Gardening sites:

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One woman’s journey from Northern gardening to Florida gardening.
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A blog devoted to the subject of accessibility within the garden, both public and private. Written by a paraplegic gardener.

The companion Facebook page here.
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Florida Lawn Care Handbook; IFAS

Additionally: F.A.W.N. talks about turf irrigation

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gardening-solutions-logo-small

Methods for organic lawn care
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Image links to IFAS Living Green composting page. Other Useful links:

IFAS Compost publication      EPA Compost page    Sarasota Extension Compost Page
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Tree care information provided by the International Society of Arboriculture.
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Washed bare root trees
New root wash method for properly planting bare-root, containerized and balled and burlapped (B&B) trees and shrubs.

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Gardening articles for you!  Tips, fruit & veg information, grasses, ornamentals, pollinators, frost protection, pruning, podcasts and more.

Also: Pages on how to grow a variety of edibles in Florida.
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Site with lots of useful Florida garden information and garden question forum.
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A site with general landscaping information for the U.S.
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The Master Plantsman E-zine
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  • Edibles:
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The Edible Plant Project, is a nonprofit organization working to promote edible landscaping and local food abundance in North Central Florida.
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  • Nature information:.
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Discover nature across the continent and close to home. Full color photographs and descriptions, a Backyard Habitat Planner, a library of over 500 bird calls, guides to National Parks and Refuges,, and the Ask an Expert section.
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Author Doug Tallamy makes the case for landscaping with native plants.
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The manatee is a protected native speciesfound in all parts of the State. Citrus County supports the largest concentration of manatees in a natural spring area and frequently can be seen aroundHomosassa and Crystal River.

Also:  How to prevent watercraft manatee injuries          Manatee facts 

MANATEE CAM (Homosassa)       MANATEE CAM  (Blue Springs).
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A partnership for the restoration of a self-sustaining migratory population of whooping cranes in eastern North America.

Also visit Operation Migration to read about their ultralight aircraft flights leading young cranes.

Read frequently asked questions about Whooping Cranes.

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Monarch Butterflies are struggling to survive. Learn about them, their conservation, how to help and the Monarch tagging effort.

You also can participate in the Milkweed and Nectar Plant Phenology Project
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ctf_logo

CTF works to preserve Florida’s natural areas and wildlife corridors, working with private landowners to protect their farms, ranches, and timberlands. Founded by  a group of  professional conservationists to address the need to protect rural land and natural areas in Florida. To date, the CTF has helped to preserve over 10,000 acres of special Florida lands.
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  • Citizen Science: 
    Great activities for kids, adults or whole familes.”Citizen science asks countless individuals to contribute their observations of a particular thing — birds, frogs, flowers and much more — to a central database, which trained scientists analyze. It infinitely extends the observational powers of trained scientists, allowing them to ask and answer questions about long-term and widespread changes in the environment that otherwise would be impossible to contemplate. For individuals, it’s a chance to connect with the outside world in a real, meaningful, and often fun way.” thedailygreen.com.

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Gather valuable phenology information for scientists by making regular observations at specified sites on the same plants or group of plants from year to year. You may observe a plant that is in your backyard or neighborhood. You can also make Single Reports of plants on the Project BudBurst Master Plant List instead.
Also available: Nature’s Notebook
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Lost Ladybug Project. Ladybug species distribution is changing. Several native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rareand ladybugs from other places have greatly increased both their numbers and range. Help look for ladybugs and send in pictures. Good kid activity!
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Backyard bee count. We take 15-minute counts of the number and types of bee visits to sunflowers (and other plants). Beginning in 2008, we now have the largest single body of information about bee pollinator service in North America.
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bbl

By the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab. The goal is to learn more about the nesting preferences, diversity and distribution of native solitary bees and wasps, share the information gained and provide a forum for those interested in participating in the science and art of indigenous beekeeping (and wasp-keeping!)
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Project Squirrel’s goal is to understand urban squirrel biology, including everything from squirrels to migratory birds, nocturnal mammals, and secretive reptiles and amphibians. To gain data on squirrel populations across the United States,squirrel monitors are asked, when possible, to distinguish between two different types of tree squirrels – grey and fox. The scientists at Project Squirrel will also use this project to understand the effect that participation in citizen science has on participants. By contributing to Project Squirrel and documenting your experience, you can provide valuable information that will eventually be used to recruit other citizen scientists.
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aza-frogwatch-usa-logo2

Learn about the wetlands in your community and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. Volunteers have trained to collect data and ongoing analyses of this data has been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species.
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North American Amphibian Monitoring Program; USGS. help states and USGS to assess frog and toad population trends. Data is collected using a calling survey technique, in which volunteers identify local amphibian species by their unique breeding vocalizations or calls.
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water

Building public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world, by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. In 2011, approximately 340,000 people in 77 countries monitored their local waterways. Test the quality of your waterways, share your findings, and protect our most precious resource!
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  An annual 4-day event in February, that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Scientists use the GBBC information, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations.

Other bird count projects:    Christmas Bird Count          Project Feeder Watch        eBird         Nest Watch       Celebrate Urban Birds         Bird Sleuth
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YardMap Network is a project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat. Individuals across the country literally draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens. Collecting data to answer questions such as: What practices improve the wildlife value of residential landscapes? Which of these practices have the greatest impact? Over how large an area do we have to implement these practices to really make a difference?

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Special Computer Resources:

To facilitate better communication and use of the internet, these two sites offer free software that is highly recommended.

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Libre Office

Sharing documents between people can be complicated by the different office software formats. This free office suite has many features that users will be familiar with (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base), in addition to the ability to read and save in a multitude of formats. The PDF export feature is VERY useful for club flyer sharing!

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Browse Happy

There are many popular Web Browsers that are improvements to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Some older government sites are viewed best in IE, while regular web surfing is generally better with other browsers. This link will help explain some of the choices available.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Buzzregog
And just in case you’re unfamiliar with some of the Internet lingo, here’s a quick glossary page of some of the more common terms.

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** Garden Club Links **

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