South Central Wildlife Guide: Identifying Wildlife In The South Central U.S.

By: Susan Albert, Freelance Garden Writer

Wildlife in South Central states brings a mixture of gameanimals, game birds, fur bearers and other mammals. Through wide-ranginghabitats, one might see white-tailed or mule deer, bison, Proghorn antelope,desert bighorn sheep, American black bear and brown bear, mountain lion andbobcat.

However, gardeners living in urban areas are likely to seemore common animals native to southern regions such as squirrels, rabbits, batsand raccoons. Let’s learn more about animals native to South Central U.S.

Common Animals in Southern Gardens

There are plenty of native backyard animals in Southerngardens. Here are a few:

  • Rabbits – Gardeners often see cottontail rabbits in their yards. The eastern cottontail has long fur which is usually gray or brown. Its most distinguishing feature is the white on its underside and tail.
  • White-tailed deer – Those who live on the edge of town or near a forest may be visited by white-tailed deer, common throughout much of the United States. Many plants are labeled deer-resistant for gardeners who are concerned about deer browsing.
  • Bats – Many urban dwellers erect bat houses in hopes of attracting the mosquito-eating mammals to their yards. Mexican free tailed bats, big brown bats, pallid bats and eastern pipistrels are just a few of the bats indigenous to the South Central U.S.
  • Squirrels – The Eastern Gray squirrel is brownish or gray in color with lighter underparts and a bushy tail. Its medium size averages 1.5 pounds. The Eastern Fox squirrel has yellowish to orange coloration with yellow to orange underparts and averages up to 2.5 pounds, larger than the gray squirrel.
  • Skunks – While the striped skunk generally has a bad name, it consumes beetles and mice in gardens. Black with large, white stripes on its back, the striped skunk makes its home in most habitats in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Song birds and others – While not considered mammals, song birds are prevalent among South Central wildlife. The surroundings, i.e., wooded area, open country, open with scattered trees, will determine which birds will visit. For example, eastern bluebirds inhabit open areas while woodpeckers, such as Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied and Red-headed, prefer forest openings and edges. Common backyard birds include blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, juncos, titmice, nuthatches, gold finches, house finches, mockingbirds, robins, thrashers, catbirds, and wrens. Owls such as screech and barred types seek forest surroundings.
  • Hummingbirds – One of the most beloved creatures, hummingbirds pollinate plants, eat small insects and bring enjoyment to those who attract them with hummingbird feeders and nectar plants. The most common hummingbird in Southern gardens is the Ruby-Throated hummingbird. During the fall migration, there are sightings of the Broad Tailed and Rufous hummingbirds. Those in west Texas might be lucky enough to see the Black Skinned hummingbird. Texas and Oklahoma gardeners may see the rare Green Violet-Eared hummingbird, whose presence is noted in only six other states.

Other mammals that may visit South Central gardens include:

  • Virginia opossum
  • Nine banded armadillo
  • Kangaroo rat
  • Pocket mouse
  • Pocket gopher
  • Prairie and woodland vole
  • Eastern mole
  • Red fox and gray fox
  • Raccoon
  • Beaver
  • Wild boar

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Native Plants of Florida

Landscaping with the native plants of Florida is very popular for their reputation of low maintenance. in fact, you may be using many in your South Florida landscape without realizing they're native plants.

These wonderful plants span the botany rainbow.

. from ferns to wildflowers, grasses to groundcovers, palms to vines, trees to shrubs. Many attract butterflies with colorful blossoms and birds with tasty berries.

A lot of these plants work best in an informal setting, especially since during winter weather they can become scraggly - or even die back.

However, there are some that keep their good looks year round - and those that respond well to a clipped look so they can work in a more formal landscape.

You can sprinkle natives throughout your landscape or go for a complete Florida native yard. But before you do, you should know.

There are some misconceptions about native plants of Florida.

Native plants need no care.

Not true. All plants require watering to get them established. Once they're well on their way, most will do fine with watering only during dry spells.

However there are some that originated in wetlands and require more water than other plants.

All plants benefit from fertilization, though fertilizing is not a necessity. Most require trimming, though, to keep them lush and bushy.

They will grow anywhere in a South Florida landscape.

Again, not true. Some are from regions of scrub forests, others by the beach, still others from swampy areas. If your house is by the water, you need salt tolerant plants - native or no. Sun or shade, wet or dry - conditions in your yard may not be right for certain plants - again, native or otherwise.

Pests won't attack native plants. Garden pests aren't choosy - they don't discriminate between non-natives and natives.

Natives have been here forever.

Hardly. Florida was once at the bottom of an ocean.

Our "native" plants came here by way of wind, birds, and other natural means. Plants here in the mid 1500's when Spanish settlers arrived are considered Florida native plants.

"Exotics" are plants that have been introduced to our landscapes since then - brought in by nature or by man.

Many have been here for a long time and do very well, coexisting with native vegetation and decorating our properties with color and beauty. Some - like Brazilian pepper - are invasive and destructive, taking over thousands of acres.

Florida native plants are indigenous only to Florida.

Nope. Most are native to other areas as well - the Caribbean, Mexico, some from all over the Southeastern United States and even further north.

They're rare and endangered, so I should plant only native plants of Florida.

Many natives are common, growing in the wild and as landscape plants. Certainly you can do a native-only landscape, but most people opt to do a combination of natives and exotics.

That being said, land development and the encroachment of invasive exotics has threatened some natural habitats.

A prime example is scaevola plumieri.

This tough little plant, which will grow right on a sand dune, is considered a threatened species because it and many other coastal plants have been removed for building.

Scaevola - also called "Inkberry" - is planted as a beach colonizer, where it stabilizes a sand dune so that other plant material can grow there too.

A similar looking shrub - scaevola taccada or beach naupaka - has been sold as Inkberry, but it grows quickly into a larger shrub and is invasive.

For species that are more rare, native plant nurseries do a great job of keeping many of these plants (as well as more common ones) available.

Where to learn more.

We've included many native plants of Florida in our Plant Pages - see links to them at the bottom of this page.

But there are thousands of natives to choose from - for more information, check out the Florida Native Plant Society and

And don't miss our special section in Landscape in a Box on Native Plant Landscaping, with photos of plants to combine for a beautiful landscape.

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K-State Garden Hour Webinar Series

Welcome to the K-State Garden Hour Webinar Series, hosted by K-State Research and Extension horticulture staff across the state of Kansas. We hope you'll join us on select Wednesdays at noon for some horticultural refreshment and training. Sessions will be recorded and posted here after each event.

Your one-step registration will allow you to participate in any of the featured topics within the 2021 K-State Garden Hour series. Registering will also remind you of the upcoming live event and notify you when the recording is available.



Wednesday, February 17th: Planning Your Vegetable Garden

  • Winter is the best time to plan for your vegetable garden for 2021 (and beyond). Tom Buller, Horticulture Extension Agent in Douglas County will share ideas and best practices for planning your garden to minimize stress and maximize production of safe, nutritious vegetables. Learn about selecting the best varieties, plant spacing, crop rotation and other important topics that will help you grow your best this coming season.

Wednesday, March 3rd: Best Plants for a Beginner's Landscape

  • Choosing the right plants for your landscape can be a daunting task for any gardener, especially for the beginning gardener. No one wants to invest their time, effort, and money into a landscape, only to discover that they chose the wrong plants. Join Anthony Reardon, West Plains Extension District Horticulture Agent, as he recommends tough plants that will work well for Kansas gardeners of all levels, and provide pointers for establishing your first garden.

Wednesday, March 17th: Pruning Like A Pro - Tips for Trees & Shrubs

  • Pruning is both an art and a science, which means there are many ways to do it correctly, and poorly. Every snip, clip, or cut can affect your plant in different ways. Join Matthew McKernan, Sedgwick County Extension Horticulture Agent, as he helps you understand how trees and shrubs respond to pruning so that you can prune like a pro!

Wednesday, April 7th: Raised Bed & Container Gardening

  • Not everyone may have a traditional in-ground garden, but there are multiple ways to enjoy flowers and vegetables wherever you call home. Take advantage of any space using raised beds and container gardening to conquer the challenges of balconies, decks, driveways, or other implantable areas with poor soil. Join Travis Carmichael, Lyon County Extension Horticulture Agent, as he shares how to successfully grow flowers and vegetables in a raised bed or container garden.

Wednesday, April 21st: Gardening in the Shade

  • The Kansas landscape is full of sunny, wide-open, prairie spaces, but gardening in the shade offers many opportunities. Though limited light and tree root completion pose unique challenges, there are still many ways to be successful. Dennis Patton, Johnson County Horticulture Extension Agent, will share with you how to address these concerns, what plants will grow best, and how you can find success in the shade.


Wednesday, May 5th: Herbs - From Seed to Seasoning

  • Using herbs straight from the garden is a great way to move food from boring and bland to healthy and delicious! Horticulture Agent, Cassie Homan, and Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent, Ashley Svaty, both from the Post Rock Extension District, will demonstrate how to grow and care for herbs and add them to your favorite recipes. Learn how to add more flavor, and less salt, by growing your own herbs!

Wednesday, May 19th: Xeriscaping: Beautiful Landscapes with Less Water

  • Water is a precious resource in Kansas, and around the world. Learn how to landscape around your home using plant materials that require little to no water outside of our natural rainfall. Ariel Whitely-Noll, Shawnee County Horticulture Extension Agent, will explain how to create water-saving Xeriscape gardens full of trees, shrubs, and flowers, which deliver the same beauty as any traditional garden!

Wednesday, June 2nd: Effective Irrigation

  • The million dollar question for every gardener is “How much water does it need?” This can be one of the hardest questions to answer, because the correct answer depends on many factors. Join Gregg Eyestone, Riley County Extension Horticulture Agent, as he shares the best irrigation practices to keep your plants thriving.

Wednesday, June 16th: Native Plants to Support Native Bees

  • In support of National Pollinator Week next week, we wanted to highlight that there are over 4,000 species of native and solitary bees in the United States alone. These pollinators directly connect to human health and well-being, and deserve to be understood, appreciated, and preserved. Jason Graves, Central Kansas District Horticulture Extension Agent, will explore native bees and how gardeners can utilize native plants to create a welcoming habitat for these essential pollinators


Wednesday, August 4th: Organic Gardening

  • Growing organic produce interests many home gardeners, but what exactly does that involve? Join Zac Hoppenstedt, Johnson County Horticulture Extension Agent, for an introduction to organic agriculture and growing techniques adapted for the home garden. Learn about creating organic systems, adjusting gardening practices, and effective natural based products for growing fruit and vegetables. Get help working through late summer maintenance and preparing for a bountiful fall garden.

Wednesday, August 18th: Gardening with Beneficial Insects

  • When we think of insects in the garden, we often think of the pests that cause damage to our plants and not the abundance of beneficial insects. Luckily for gardeners there are far more insects that support our gardens than damage it. Pam Paulsen, Reno County Horticulture Extension Agent, will look at what some of these beneficial insects are, and how to attract and keep them in our gardens.

Wednesday, Sep. 1st: Basics of Growing Berries in Kansas

  • The best way to enjoy fruit is fresh off the vine, so why not grow that fruit right in your backyard? Learn the basics of growing strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and even blueberries in Kansas. Rebecca McMahon, Sedgwick County Horticulture Extension Agent, will discuss the basic growth habits and care of these popular fruit plants, while also pointing out the environmental concerns that might cause problems along the way.

Wednesday, Sep. 15th: Composting with Worms - Vermicomposting 101

  • Consider harnessing the powers of a composting worm to turn kitchen scraps and garden trash into gardening gold by vermicomposting! This unique composting method uses worms to reduce waste and create nutrient rich compost that will help your plants thrive. Join Scott Eckert, Harvey County Horticulture Extension Agent, as he shares how you can use worms to compost successfully all year round in your home.


Wednesday, October 6th: Embrace your Landscape's Wild Side - Supporting Backyard Birds

  • Many people enjoy the excitement of birds routinely visiting their yard. Providing food and water is a great start to attracting backyard birds, but what types of food and habitat are going to attract the most birds and make them feel safest? Join lifelong birder and avid back yard bird feeder Chuck Otte, Extension Agent in Geary County, as he discusses tips for backyard bird feeding success.

Wednesday, November 3rd: Winter Interest in the Landscape

  • Many gardens can become dreary, drab, and colorless over the winter months, as they lose the excitement of summer. Beat this winter boredom in your garden through the texture, color, and movement of plants that will bring year round beauty to your landscape. Join Lynn Loughary, Wyandotte County Extension Horticulture Agent, as she shares a few of the must have plants that provide year-round interest in the landscape.

Previous K-State Garden Hour Series

2020 Sessions (Recordings Available in Descriptions Below)

Wednesday, December 2nd: Holiday Horticulture

  • Poinsettias are America's top-selling potted plant and there is no surprise why! They are the perfect Christmas gift and add beauty to any home. Cassie Homan, Horticulture Extension Agent in the Post Rock District, will cover tips on how to care for this festive plant. Join us for Holiday Horticulture to understand how to select and care for the most popular holiday plants.
  • Webinar Video

Wednesday, November 4th: Trees & Shrubs For Pollinators & KS Wildlife – Tips From The KS Forest Service

  • There are many trees and shrubs that are critical for promoting pollinators and other wildlife in Kansas. Not only are these plants important, but through the Kansas Forest Service, many of these trees and shrubs are available at very low cost to be planted to increase pollinator & wildlife habitat. Join Chris Mullins, the District Forester for South Central KS, as he shares how you can use the services and resources the Kansas Forest Service has to offer in order to grow healthier trees and shrubs across Kansas.
  • Webinar Video
  • Resource: Kansas Forest Service Conservation Tree Planting Program

Wednesday, October 7th: Everyone Can Compost

  • Fall means cooler weather, apple cider, and of course dealing with all of the falling leaves. What can we do with all of these leaves? Just like anything else that is organic, they can be broken down by composting. Join Scott Eckert, Harvey County Horticulture Extension Agent, in learning about what else can you compost, and why everyone should build their own compost pile!
  • Webinar Video
  • Handouts
    • Making Compost: A Beginner's Guide
    • The Composting Process
    • Using Compost
    • Quick Composting
    • Composting Troubleshooting Guide

Wednesday, September 30th: Spring Flowering Bulbs

  • Nothing says hello spring like the cheery smile of a bright yellow daffodil or a bed of colorful tulips. This spring welcome does not just happen it must be planned. Fall is the ideal time to plant spring flower bulbs in the landscape. Dennis Patton, Johnson County Horticulture Extension Agent, will cover everything you need to know to have success with spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Webinar Video
  • Handout: Johnson County KSRE Bulbs for the Garden

Wednesday, September 23rd: Fall Tree Planting: How to do it Right!

Fall can be an ideal time to plant trees & shrubs. Dr. Charlie Barden, K-State Forestry Specialist, will share his tips & techniques for selecting, planting, staking and mulching trees. In addition, learn about the trees for great fall color, and the differences when planting evergreen vs deciduous trees in the fall.

Wednesday, September 16th: Growing Garlic in Kansas

  • Some people regard garlic as an herb or a spice, others view it as a food and some people view it as a miracle plant. Regardless, garlic is very popular with cooks today but unlike many garden crops, it has some special requirements (including fall planting.) Chuck Otte, Geary County Extension Agent (and garlic grower) will discuss all aspects of growing garlic including what garlic is, the different types of garlic, and the special needs and requirements of growing garlic in your own garden. Kansas is well situated for garlic production and gardeners should consider including garlic as one of their annual garden crops.
  • Webinar Video
  • Handout: Garlic Cultivars and Seed Sources

Wednesday, September 9th: Getting the "Buzz" on Honeybees

  • There is a lot of 'buzz' about honeybees these days. Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Professor andState Extension Leader for Entomology, will initially discuss pollinator types, and then provide a detailed discussion of the biology and behavior of honey bees including colony members (queen, workers, and drones) and how a honey bee colony is structured and operates within a hive. This presentation will also address several aspects of pollinator gardens.
  • Webinar Video
  • Handout: Pesticides and Bees

Wednesday, September 2nd: Fall Lawn Care (Part 2) - Fertilizing, Aerating, & Controlling Weeds In Your Tall Fescue Lawn

Fall is undoubtedly the most important time of year to care for your Tall Fescue lawns, and there’s more to it than just planting new grass seed. In Part 2 of this series, Matthew McKernan, Sedgwick County Horticulture Extension Agent, will cover the best tips for fertilizing, watering, aerating, and controlling weeds in your lawn in order to help you have the best lawn on the block!

  • Webinar Video (new this week: Closed Captioning. Click on the "CC" icon in the bottom center of the video.)
  • Handouts
    • Tall Fescue Lawns
    • Lawn Fertilizing Guide
    • Fall Lawn Care Resources
  • Wednesday, August 26th: Fall Lawn Care (Part 1) - Planting and Overseeding your Tall Fescue Lawn - Matthew McKernan

    • Fall is undoubtedly the most important time of year to care for your Tall Fescue lawns. Whether you are starting a new lawn, or thickening up an existing lawn, there are many planting tips & tricks that you need to know. Matthew will cover the best tips for soil preparation, seed selection, planting techniques, and planting time in order to help you have the best lawn on the block!
    • Webinar Video
    • Handouts
      • Tall Fescue Lawn Care Publication
      • Kentucky Bluegrass Lawn Care Publication
      • Watering Your Lawn Publication

    Wednesday, August 19th: Preserve it Fresh, Preserve it Safe - Karen Blakeslee

    • If your garden is overflowing with fresh produce, what will you do with it? Besides enjoying the fresh flavors or sharing with family and friends, preserving the produce for later use is a great way to enjoy that taste of summer later in the year. Karen Blakeslee, Extension Associate in Food Science and Rapid Response Center Coordinator, will highlight some easy ways to safely preserve your food.
    • Webinar Video
    • Links
      • K-State Food Preservation
      • National Center for Home Food Preservation
      • USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning
      • So Easy To Preserve
      • Ball and Kerr - Newell Brands
      • Farmers Markets

    Wednesday, August 12th: Hummingbirds in Kansas - Chuck Otte

    • Hummingbirds are fascinating and fun to watch for the entire family. Through a blend of landscaping and use of feeders you can enhance the opportunity to view and enjoy these tiny little flying jewels. Chuck Otte, Geary County Ag and Natural Resources Extension Agent, will discuss hummer-friendly plants, how to use feeders effectively, and how to deal with common problems with your hummingbird-friendly yard.
    • Webinar Video
    • Links
      • Slides
      • Hummingbirds of North America--Peterson Field Guide Series by Sheri Williamson
      • Geary County Extension Backyard Birding Guides

    Wednesday, August 5th: Fall Vegetable Gardening - Tom Buller

    • Fall is the best time of the year to grow vegetables in Kansas, and it is not too late to start for the year. This presentation will cover tips and tricks of establishing and caring for a fall vegetable garden, as well as some pointers for fall season extension and putting your garden to rest at the end of the season.
    • Webinar Video
    • Resource: Kansas Garden Guide

    Wednesday, July 29th: How to Choose Potting Media for Gardening Success - Dr. Cheryl Boyer

    • Selecting a bag of potting media at the garden center can be a confusing experience. Fortunately, there is solid science behind engineering quality soils for growing plants. Dr. Cheryl Boyer, K-State Nursery Crop Production Extension Specialist, will cover purposes, materials, mixes and how to manage soil-less potting media for container-gardening success.
    • Webinar Video

    Wednesday, July 22nd: Pesticide Label Safety - Lynn Loughary

    • Unlock the truth about pesticides and separate fact from internet fiction. Lynn Loughary, Wyandotte County Horticulture Extension Agent, will walk you through how pesticides are developed and which situations will provide you optimal control with the least environmental impact. Learn what you need to know in order to safely use these products and achieve the most effective results.
    • Webinar Video
    • Resources
      • U.S. EPA Pesticide Registration
      • KSRE HNR Plant/Pest Problems in the Horticulture Information Center
      • National Pesticide Information Center

    Wednesday, July 15th: Hydrangeas for the Garden - Dennis Patton

    • Hydrangeas are a popular garden plant, providing plenty of season-long summer color. Unfortunately, with the ever-changing Kansas climate, hydrangeas can sometimes be a challenge to grow. Dennis Patton, Johnson County Horticulture Extension Agent, will explain which species are best suited to your garden conditions and share tips for their success. Once you learn these secrets, you will want to add more hydrangeas to the garden to enjoy the beauty for yourself.
    • Webinar Video
    • Handout: Hydrangeas for Kansas City

    Wednesday, July 8th: Nuisance Wildlife Control in Your Garden - Charlie Lee

    • Are squirrels, rabbits, deer, or other wildlife getting the best of your garden? Join Charlie Lee, K-State Wildlife Control Extension Specialist, in learning how to identify the animals causing problems in your landscape or garden. You will understand why animals find these areas attractive, and learn how to prevent damage through habitat modification, exclusion, and removal if necessary.
    • Webinar Video
    • KSRE Wildlife Website

    Wednesday, July 1st: Weed Management in the Lawn and Garden - Jesse Gilmore

    • Every gardener wages war on weeds, which compete with desirable plants for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Is that struggle always necessary, and what are the different ways to keep weeds from appearing where you don't want them? Jesse Gilmore, Wildcat Extension District Horticulture Agent, will explain what defines a weed, how they grow, the hidden merits of weeds, and methods of keeping weeds in check.
    • Webinar Video
    • Handouts
      • Weed Control in Home Lawns (MF2385)
      • How to Select Quality Landscape and Garden Tools (MF3390)
      • Weed Control in Landscape Plantings (FSA6137, Univ. of Arkansas)
      • Weed Management in Lawns (74113, Univ. of California)
      • Bee Toxicity Database
      • Lawn Problem Solver
      • Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities

    Wednesday, June 24th: Identifying Garden Insects--Integrated Pest Management Steps for the Garden - Frannie Miller

    • There are countless insects in a garden, but which are friendly and which are foe? Frannie Miller, K-State Pesticide Safety and IPM Coordinator, will cover which insects you may want to know, in order to identify what is in your garden. Then, learn what you can do to discourage pests in your garden.
    • Webinar Video
    • Handouts
      • Pocket Guide to Common Pest Problems and Beneficials
      • Grasshoppers in the Lawn and Garden
      • Insects and Mite Pests of Vegetable Gardens
      • Pests in the Flower Garden
      • Squash Bug
      • Squash Vine Borer
      • Tomato Hornworm

    Wednesday, June 17 th : Bugs Galore: Bagworm, Japanese Beetle, Mosquitoes, And Other “Bug” Related Pests – Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Professor and Extension Entomology Specialist

    • Dr. Cloyd will provide a brief overview of bagworms, Japanese beetles, mosquitoes, and other summer insect and mite pests. The presentation will discuss biology, damage, and management strategies that can be implemented now to control pest populations and mitigate plant damage. There will be time afterward for any questions.
    • Webinar Video
    • Handouts
      • Aphid Management in Greenhouse Production Systems (MF3442)
      • Oak Leaf Itch Mite (MF2806)
      • Bagworm: Insect Pest of Trees and Shrubs (MF3474)
      • Grub Management in Turfgrass Using Insecticides (MF3439)
      • Scale Insect Pests (MF3457)
      • Insect and Mite Pests of Vegetable Gardens (MF3480)
      • Japanese Beetle: Insect Pest of Horticultural Plants and Turfgrass (MF3488)
      • Cross-Striped Cabbageworm: Insect Pest of Vegetable Crops (MF3505)

    Wednesday, June 10 th : Indoor Plants for Health and Happiness – Ariel Whitely-Noll, Shawnee County Horticulture Extension Agent

    • Indoor plants boost your mood, improve your health, clean the air and add beauty to your home and office. Learn more from Ariel about a few of the easiest indoor plants to grow along with how to keep your plants alive and happy!
    • Webinar Video
    • Handouts
      • Resource for Orchids
      • Resource for African Violets
      • Poisonous Plants List
      • Suggested houseplants and basic care (coming soon)

    Wednesday, June 3 rd : Making and Supporting Pollinators In The Garden – Jason Graves, Central Kansas District Horticulture Extension Agent

    • Making and supporting pollinators should not be optional since they are essential to maintaining the vast number of ecosystem services we all rely on every single day. Jason will explore who our pollinators are, understanding pollinator needs and what we can do to make and support pollinators in our own yards.
    • Webinar Video
    • Handout

    • Many maintenance techniques can improve your tomato plant health, while also increasing plant yield. Tom will cover tasks including training, irrigating, pruning and insect management and Judy will discuss tomato diseases that occur in Kansas and how to manage them.
    • Webinar Video
    • Handouts
      • Tomatoes
      • Variety Selection
      • Sidedressing
      • Drip Irrigation
      • AMS Color Chart
      • Insect and Mite Pests in the Vegetable Garden
      • Tomato and Tobacco Hornworm
      • Kansas Garden Guide
      • Bookstore


    Red-bellied piranhas. Image credit: Tatiana Belova/Shutterstock

    Known for their razor-sharp teeth, scary bite, and penchant for flesh, the piranha is believed to have inhabited the fresh waters of South America for millions of years. But what many people don’t know or don’t see in movies is that some species of piranhas are actually vegetarian.

    Some of them eat river weeds, while others prefer seeds. The piranha known around the world is the most ferocious among the 20 species, called the red-bellied piranha (Pigocentrus naterreri). These predatory fish that live in the Amazon eat other fish, molluscs, and crustaceans. They hunt in schools and are known to also attack small mammals.

    See Wildlife in Georgia

    Some of the best places to check out wildlife in Georgia are the state's aquariums, parks and wildlife refuges. The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a fantastic spot to visit if you're keen on seeing sea creatures just be sure to book tickets in advance to save money (there are usually discounts available online). Bond Swamp Wildlife Refuge, located along the Ocmulgee River, is a great place to see wildlife. Hikers regularly spot black bears, muskrats, beavers, otters, squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons, in addition to reptiles like alligators, rattlesnakes, snapping turtles and eastern king snakes. Birders will love Bond Swamp as well, as there are over 200 species of birds that have been observed here. Finally, the Okefenokee Swamp Park is one of Georgia's most treasured (and most unique!) parks. At Okefenokee, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time in this prehistoric-like swamp that's home to a number of fascinating animals including, most infamously, a large alligator population.

    Watch the video: How to Identify a Tree By Leaf, Bark and Fruit. Wood and Lumber Identification for Woodworking

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