Doug Caldwell's Extension Column: Go to the movies with master gardeners

Video is the best media for teaching. It is much more exciting seeing the caterpillars move and how the proper pruning cuts should be made.

So, we have created a video library of Florida-related garden problems with bright visual images filmed in local landscape settings and archived on a YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/dougbughimself

Because our climate and soil conditions are different from the rest of the country, several master gardeners decided we needed these high-quality, instructive videos, full of specific South Florida information. The Google search engine on YouTube can find any topic in less than a minute. This makes the information readily accessible to homeowners, professionals as well as local and national master gardeners.

The project struck a chord with two of our master gardeners who saw the need for a more broad-based teaching platform. Pam Marker and Helga Reynolds were looking for a new, exciting and ongoing volunteer opportunity.

The "Gung-ho" Master Gardener videography crew consists of Pam (videographer and art director) and Helga (content editor). Pam worked in the graphic arts industry as a designer and art director. Helga has a practical, hands-on knowledge of South Florida landscape material. A Sony HDR-CX550V video camera was used, which turned out to be a rather complex camera.

One video, "How to Prune Your Trees for Hurricane Safety," has text banners to reinforce the audio-visual messages: "No GTO! No gutting, topping nor overlifting." A recap at the conclusion emphasizes the key points: youtube.com/watch?v=Ht-U1f9K7zo

Video releases are promoted via group emails to Master Gardeners and Urban and Commercial Horticultural subscribers. Please call the Extension office and Peggy or Linda will put you on our e-blast list. We currently have 10 video selections: Ficus Whitefly (a joint effort produced by Lee Co. Educator, Stephen Brown): youtube/watch?v=Q4Ze-Sc9Baw ; the Collier County productions (youtube.com/user/dougbughimself ) include: Snowbush Caterpillar; Tropical Sod Webworm; Florida Wax Scale; Japanese Blueberry Tree (Elaeocarpus decipiens); Proper Pruning — No Hurricane GTO! (no gutting, no topping and no overlifting); Large (brown) Patch Turf Disease; Tree Pruning for Health and Safety. Sequel to "No GTO"!

Topics covered include bark and subordination pruning; Bucida ("Black olive") Tree Staining: It isn't the Fruit; Proper Palm Pruning; and a special 90th birthday release for Frank DeNardis: Master Fruit Grower (see which fruit you can grow in Naples!).

Fifty people may come to a class at the Extension Office, but so far our video programs have had more than 16,651 viewers! Videos are there for a lifetime (well maybe) and attract new viewers for years to come. Let us know if you have some horticulture events or topics you'd like videotaped.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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