Each year, UF|IFAS Duval County Extension Services holds A Day of Gardening event. This year the program is going online, allowing them to reach even more people on Saturday, February 27.

Gardeners, landscapers, growers, conservationists, and all other outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to register to help expand their knowledge and skills within the expanse of horticulture. Registration is only $7 for the entire event.

“We have outstanding speakers and topics to share—two of whom might not have been able to join us if we were meeting in person,” said Beth Marlowe, urban garden coordinator at the UF|IFAS Duval County Extension Office.

The program begins at 8:50 a.m. with a welcome and introductions. Here are the speakers and scheduled times:

9 a.m.: Seasonal Nectar Sources for Native Bees

Presented by Chris Kerr, UF|IFAS Duval County Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent

Dr. Kerr works with county clients on a variety of concerns including plant nutrition and disease, entomology, and invasive species management with a focus on the implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) tactics. Kerr earned a  master’s degree in entomology and nematology in 2015 and a doctor of plant medicine degree in 2016, both from the University of Florida. He previously worked with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry where he served as the lead scientist and coordinator for multiple mass-rearing laboratories and regional biological control programs focused on controlling the Asian citrus psyllid and the air potato vine. Kerr’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

10 a.m.: What’s New to Treat Citrus Greening

Presented by Dr. Juanita Popenoe, UF/IFAS Lake County Fruit Crops and multi-county Extension Agent

Popenoe has worked in New Zealand for the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research on kiwifruit and apple research, at West Virginia University as the small fruit extension specialist, and for UF|IFAS extension in Lake County since September 2003. She is the author of many fact sheets and a local newspaper column. She served as a multi-county ornamental horticulture Agent and as extension director before her current position. Popenoe’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

11 a.m.: Epic Tomatoes from YOUR Gardens

Presented by Craig LeHoullier, gardener, educator, and author

LeHoullier lives and gardens in Hendersonville, North Carolina. A Rhode Island native, he caught the gardening passion from his grandfather, Walter, and dad, Wilfred. Craig’s love of heirloom tomatoes began with joining Seed Savers Exchange, an organization for which he continues to serve as adviser for tomatoes, in 1986. He is responsible for naming and popularizing many well-known tomatoes, such as Cherokee Purple. In 2005 he added amateur tomato breeding to his garden resume, and he continues to co-lead the Dwarf Tomato Breeding project, responsible for creating 125 (and counting) new compact growing varieties for space-challenged gardeners. His first book, “Epic Tomatoes,” was published in 2015. “Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales” followed in 2016. LeHoullier is a popular lecturer across the country at major gardening events, as well as a frequent guest on podcasts and radio shows. His current and upcoming projects include a self-published garden cookbook and a weekly Instagram Live each Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern from his garden. Learn more about his work at craiglehoullier.com. LeHoullier’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

Noon: Final evaluation

UF|IFAS will make a special announcement about an upcoming vegetable sale.


UF|IFAS asks people to register by Thursday, February 25. Please call 904-255-7450 for more information.