Lee County Master Gardener Speakers

Available Speakers

Lee County Master Gardeners

How to Request a Topic and Speaker for Your EVENT or GROUP

By Email: Click the LC-MG speaker's name (in blue) next to the topic of your choice. This will enable you to send an e-mail directly to the Master Gardener speaker volunteer with UF-IFAS and the Lee County Extension Service. Include in the body of your e-mail the location, available dates, the topic you’ve chosen to present to your group, your name, e-mail address, phone number and the group’s name. The Lee County Master Gardener speaker you have chosen will contact you with 1-2 weeks (if currently available). Questions, please contact the extension office at 533-4327

Speaking Dates, Places and Fees:
Dates and topics will be negotiated directly with the speaker. Some speakers listed may live seasonally only in Southwest Florida. Request a speaker well in advance of your program. A variety of gardening, environmental and sustainable landscaping topics are offered. A typical request is for a 20-30 minute presentation followed by 10 minute questions and answers. Longer presentations or multiple speakers or topics are possible with plenty of advanced notice. For example, An Introduction to Florida Yards and Neighborhoods requires a minimum of three hours to prepare a learner fully to know ‘how to’ design, plant and maintain a recognized yard.  
 

List of Topics Offered:  
(Click on Topic and it will take you to the information and speaker)

A Case of Mistaken Identity
Ancient Gardening Practices:  Still Helpful? 

Are You Hedging?
Basics about Palms
Best Palms for Southwest Florida
Butterfly Gardening
Companion Plants
Crash Course in Veggie Gardening
Introduction to Florida Yards and
  Neighborhoods

Marvelous Mulch
Organically Combating Root-Knot
  Nematodes in Edible Gardens

Plant it and Butterflies Will Come!
The Edible Landscape:  Growing More Edibles
  Around the Yard

Weeds of Southern Turfgrass (Other Places)
What Does Your Garden Say?

Lee County Master Gardeners receive no remuneration for this service and assumes no liability for providing this service. Some workshop topics may or may not require purchase of in-class supplies. Who purchases these supplies is negotiated between the speaker and the group. Groups should supply audio-visual equipment if requested by the speaker. In some cases, speaker prefer using their own or borrowed equipment (computer laptop and projector) obtained from the extension office.  Make your speaker request at a minimum 5- 6 weeks prior, preferably longer. Requesting LT-MG speaker’s six months to one year prior are not unusual.


Lee County Speaker Topics 

Introduction to Florida Yards and Neighborhoods This three hour workshop prepares a gardener to fully adopt nine environmentally-friendly concepts. Each concept builds on the previous one preparing a gardener to plant a recognized Florida-Friendly Landscape™. As a result of this program, the learner understands and can adopt Florida-Friendly designs, select native and Florida-Friendly plants for the right places and can use low maintenance practices that keep lawns and landscapes healthy while reducing the use of water outdoors. Speaker: Mary Ann Parsons   

Butterfly Gardening  This is a both an enjoyable hobby and an important contribution to the environment.  You will learn about the butterflies commonly found in this area, their life cycle, and the plants that support them.  The presenter is a Master Gardener who has had experience working in a butterfly conservatory and installing butterfly gardens. Speaker: Donna Cressman

Best Palms for Southwest Florida   There are many palms well adapted to this area.  Learn about the native palms, about palms commonly used, and about lesser know palms that will create a special look for your garden.  Power point and garden tours are available as part of the talk.  The master gardener presenter has helped to create and maintain a local demonstration palm garden. Speaker: Donna Cressman

Basics about Palms    Learn what kind of plant a palm is, what kind of care it really needs, and what different types of palms there are.  Basic information about planting and dealing with disease and other problems will be included.  If you have specific questions about your own palm, bring photos. Speaker: Donna Cressman

Plant it and Butterflies Will Come! Thinking of starting your own butterfly garden? This is a powerpoint presentation to familiarize you with the butterflies of South Florida and the plants that attract them. Learn the difference between nectar and larval food sources. Butterfly gardens are entertaining and educational for all ages. Speaker: Kim Cooprider   

Are You Hedging?  Suggestions for choosing and caring for plants to be used as hedges.  Speaker:  Barb Meyer

Weeds of Southern Turfgrass (And Other Places)  An introduction to some common weeds and how to (hopefully) prevent them from making themselves "at home."  Speaker:  Barb Meyer

A Case of Mistaken Identity  Is that "bug" or strange "spot" a friend or enemy?  Maybe you don't have to fight it.  Speaker:  Barb Meyer

The Edible Landscape:  Growing More Edibles Around the Yard  This class will discuss options for the homeowner to consider planting that will provide edible choices instead of just ornamental.  A garden doesn't have to be just ornamental to be beautiful.  We will discuss some fruit trees, shrubs, vines and other vegetables and flowers for the purpose of an edible landscape.  Some discussion on garden techniques (ex:  container gardens), planning and management will also be mentioned.  Speaker:  Adrienne Diaz

What Does your Garden Say?
Using COLOR to make a statement and show your personality.  Learn how you can create a mood for your garden by using basic color theory when selecting plants for your landscape.  Speaker:  Kathy White

Marvelous Mulch
Did you know mulching your plants can reduce the time you spend in backaching garden upkeep and reduce the dollars you spend on watering?  Learn which types are recommended and the best methods for application in your landscape.  Speaker:
  Kathy White

Crash Course in Veggie Gardening
Beginner to advanced gardeners will benefit from this 2-hour introduction on growing vegetables in SW Florida’s sand, sun, heat, and humidity. Subjects include soil, pH, nematodes, utilizing VFN resistant plants, growing in pots, Lee County water restrictions, mulching, organic fertilizers, planting for SW Florida seasons, seed starting, and edible crops that actually thrive in our summers. This discussion can be provided with or without a PowerPoint presentation.
Speaker:
Karen Harty

Organically Combating Root-Knot Nematodes in Edible Gardens
This 45-minute presentation covers what root-knot nematodes are, how they damage edible crops, and what we can do to control them in our organic vegetable gardens. This discussion is supported by a PowerPoint presentation and a projector is required. Speaker: Karen Harty

Ancient Gardening Practices: Still Helpful?
Before there was fertilizer to stimulate growth, or pesticides and fungicides to control pests and diseases, gardeners and farmers relied on working in harmony with nature.   Today gardeners and scientists are exploring the centuries-old methods of companion planting and lunar gardening to find earth-friendly ways to have a thriving garden while saving time and money.  
Speaker: Sonja Smith Suitor

Companion Plants.  Learn to protect your edible vegetable garden with scientifically proven companions including trees, flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other plants.  This 30-minute presentation covers plants that can poison other plants, fertilize other plants, battle insects, fight diseases, and attract beneficial insects.  This discussion is supported by a PowerPoint presentation and a projector is required.  Speaker:  Karen Harty

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