Gardening Tips from KAB Adopt-A-Site Clinic

by Cindy Pantea

adopt a site clinic volunteers Wednesday, April 8, 2015, KAB Flowerscape Director, Polly Kaczmarek, gave a presentation on Adopt-A-Site (AAS) bed preparation, planting tips and site maintenance to a crowd of some of our wonderful volunteers at her yearly AAS clinic.

polly kab flowerscape directorPolly’s Powerpoint, filled with blasts of blooming color, showed examples of our amazing KAB Flowerscapes and volunteer Adopt-A-Sites. These pictures went along with her planting advice for beautiful beds and long-lasting blooms.

Since these volunteers told us how much they learned from our knowledgeable Flowerscape Director, we wanted to share some of her gardening tips with KAB blog readers.

Adopt-A-Site Clinic Takeaways

Along with Polly’s written planting tips, which are located on our Adopt-A-Site website page, here are some further explanations of those tips or additional takeaways from last night’s clinic:

  • Make sure to loosen root balls before planting, otherwise the roots might not spread out. (This was an actual issue at a site location, Polly explained.)
  • Hoe around plants to get air to roots.
  • Using PREEN (be certain to get the type for flowerbeds) after weeding will provide a barrier to weeds in your bed.
  • Edging makes a big difference to beds!–Just use a straight edge shovel.
  • Take the advice of the spacing requirements included on the card with your flowers. Though it looks sparse in the beginning, they fill in fast. – Just a couple of weeks is all it may take!
  • Downy Mildew is still a problem with impatiens, yet some stores are still carrying these flowers. Until the Downy Mildew is no longer a problem, Polly’s advice is to stay away from impatiens and use other flowers for the shade like begonias.

Some of the AAS volunteer guests even had tips…

Laura, a volunteer who assists with the Friends of Schneider Park site said that planting catnip intermittently in her personal garden attracts cats, which in turn keeps out the bunnies and rodents.

Keep Akron Beautiful AASs

For those of you who don’t know. Our KAB Adopt-A-Sites are flower garden sites which are planted and maintained by volunteers. For anyone wishing to start an AAS through KAB, you must first meet the basic criteria:

  • metro rta keep akron beautiful adopt a siteMust have a piece of public land in mind for a site
  • Site must have close, convenient access to a fire hydrant
  • Must be a location that is visible to the public
  • Topography must be suitable for planting
  • Site must be safe for those doing the gardening
  • Start small and grow with success
  • Must have a group of 5 volunteers with one contact person in mind
  • The volunteer group’s commitment must be for more than one growing season

Then, if you meet these basic criteria, the next step is to call or email Keep Akron Beautiful between January and March. Each March, the Flowerscape Director checks the site location. If all is okay, the Flowerscape Director will invite you to the next Adopt-A-Site clinic, usually in April.

2015 Adopt-A-Sites

We want to thank all of our Adopt-A-Site volunteers, some of whom have been helping to beautify Akron for ten years or more.

The Akron Masjid – at corner of Old South Main and Main
APS Administration Building – at 500 E. North St.
BARC – at the Akron Dog Park
Bella Dora Mgt. – at 525 Carroll St., NE corner of Fountain St. and Carroll
Blooming Designs – at Fairlawn Heights Island (Brice & Hampshire)
Bravo! United Disability Services – at Chief Memorial / Fire Station #4 – 24 E Thornton St
Brooklands Triangle – at Brooklands and Tonowanda
Brookshire Garden Club – at 1840 Brookshire Rd
Cadillac & Storer Neighbors – at corner of Storer and Little
The Canyon Trail Garden Club – at end of Canyon Trail (circle)
Castle Blvd. Garden Club – at Castle Blvd Median
Donnie Kammer and Neighborhood Friends – at Brown St. and Wilbeth
People of Dodge and Payne – at corner of Dodge & S. Portage Path (N.E. corner)
Dorothy Francis and Sylvia Martin – at Ely Rd & W. Fairlawn Blvd triangle
Fairlawn Heights Neighborhood Association – at E. Fairlawn median @ Stockbridge intersection (2 sites)
FDR Group – at Manchester Rd Pump station in front of Nesmith Lake
Friends of Boss Park (a UA Off-Campus Student Svcs div under NEOBio) – at Boss Park on Allyn St side
Friends of the Circle – in Hadden Circle grassy area (in the bed)
Friends of Schneider Park – Mull and Crestview Schneider Park
Friends of Teagle Park – at Highland Square
Goodyear Heights Community Church – at Reservoir Park
Hartford/Greenwood Block Club – at the Schumacher School marquee corner of Lawton & Hartford
Hereford Park Neighborhood Association – Hereford Park
Residents of HertfordShire – Paddock and Revere Rd. (HertfordShire Development)
Highland Square Garden Club – Highland Sq. library (both sides Market St. Driveway)
Indian Hills Condominium Association – at Smith Road
Summit County Juvenile Court Community Service – at Juvenile Court on Dan St.
The Kane Family – at Glenwood & Fouse
Friends of Parkway Estates (Karona Park) – at corner of Karen and Barcelona
Lillie Hill-Robbins and Neighborhood – at Romayne Blvd at Portage Path
Mason CLC – at Mason CLC
Mayfield & Market by the Foltz House – at Mayfield & Market
Mayfield Avenue Homeowners – at Mayfield & Twin Oaks
Merriman Hills Garden Club – at Letchworth and Canyon Trl
Merriman Hills Garden Club – at Delaware & Mayfair
Merriman Hills Garden Club – at Lafayette & Malvern
Merriman Hills Garden Club –at Merriman & Palisades
Merriman Hills Garden Club – at Palisades & Lafayette
Merriman Woods – at Kingswood & Rocky Hollow
Metro RTA Employees – at 416 Kenmore
Mineola Ave. Block Club – (Forest Lodge) at Park Mull Ave & Hawkins near lodge
Moms Club of West Akron – at Braewick Circle
Morgan Park Lovers – at Morgan Park
North Howard Street Neighborhood – Triangle at Avon / N. Howard
Northwest Akron Block Watch Club – 444 N. Hawkins across from Armory and Methodist Church
Staff of the Ott SDC – at Ott Staff Development Center
Overwood Neighbors – at triangle at Brookshire and Overwood Rd
Overwood Neighbors – at N. Wheaton & Overwood
Project Ujima – at Kerr Park
Residents of Parkway Estates – at corner of Coral & Portage Path
Ridgewood Road Neighbors – at Ridgewood & Halifax Triangle
Rising Meadow – at Rising Meadow
Crouse School Neighborhood Group – at Diagonal & Grace
Peerless, Cordova Block Watch Club – Storer/Bellview/Mercer/Peerless Block Club
St. Sebastian Knights of Columbus Council #14255 – at rotary at Mull & S. Hawkins/circle island near Forest Lodge
The Sunnyside Neighbors – at Sunnyside & Merriman (Sunnyside Ave Triangle)
Triangle Garden Club – at Highland & Edgerton
Turfscape – at Resnick School
Waters Park Renewal Society – at Shuffle Board courts
Westover & Kenwick Neighbors – at Kenwick, Westover & Sheldon Streets
Woodbrook Place Neighbors – at entrance to housing development in Akron (at the sign)
Woodland United Methodist Church – at Northwest Akron Comm Ctr (along driveway off Shatto Ave Entrance)
Haven of Rest – at Grace Park (entrances)
First Congressional Church – under the UPA at UAK (middle of Perkins)
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church – at Flagpole

These sites are eligible for Beautification Watch Awards. If you like a site, remember to nominate in July.

Spring Gardening Seminars Are in the Air

By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern
With springtime approaching (finally!), many of our local garden retailers are hosting gardening clinics, programs and seminars. Want to spruce up your spring gardens or learn a few more tips? Attending any of these events will help give you some more ideas and prepare you for spring!

Courtesy of

The Master Gardeners of Summit County presents the Portage Lakes Garden Series. Taking place on the last Tuesday of each month, garden experts will teach you how to get your gardens in the best shape ever! Programs begin at 6 p.m. in the Portage Lakes Branch Library, 4261 Manchester Road, 330.644.7050. Please register in advance for each session. Light refreshments will be served.
March 31 – Seed Starting by Lee Paulson
April 28 – Converting Glass to Garden by Vince Matlocki
May 26 – vegetable Gardening by Sarah Vandenburg

Donzell’s Flower and Garden Center (one of our Dreamscape Vendor Partners) is hosting FREE garden seminars every Saturday at 11 a.m. All of the seminars are located at their Garden Center (937 E. Waterloo Road in Akron). You MUST register for the seminars by calling 330.724.0550, ext. 110.

March 14 – Speaker: Dale Cochoy, Akron Canton Bonsai Society. Dale has grown bonsai for many years and his experience is invaluable. He brings examples of plant varieties, demonstrates potting & shaping techniques, and care tips.
March 21 – Speaker: Jim Voytis, Espoma representative. Since 1929 The Espoma Company has been the pioneer in natural gardening solutions. Gives you insight into what makes Espoma products so special.
March 28 – Speaker: Lee Paulson, Master Gardener Lee covers the basics for those who want to enjoy their own delicious fresh-picked vegetables. You don’t have to plant acres to reap the rewards of homegrown flavor- let Lee show you how!

Dayton Nurseries (also a Dreamscape Vendor Partner) located at 3459 Cleveland-Massillon Road, will present the following seminars beginning at 11 a.m. and usually last about two hours. The cost is $10, or $6 for garden club members. Dayton will provide coffee, tea and a light lunch at no additional cost. Seating is limited to 70. To signup, call 330.825.3320 or email

March 7 – Are You Out of Your Gourd?
March 14 – Welcome Back Warblers
March 21 – What’s New for Spring?

Graf Growers Garden Center (also a Dreamscape Vendor Partner) located at 1015 White Pond Drive, will present the following workshops/events. To register or for more information, call 330.836.2727 or visit the website.

March 21 – Celebrate the opening of our Terrarium Bar with a Terrarium Workshop at 10AM and Fairy Garden Workshop at 2PM. Be the first to see our new miniature shop full of tiny plants, unique containers, tropical air plants, accessories & more! Both workshops will be hands-on. Bring a container from home or purchase one here. The workshops are free with potting soil provided. Participants pay for plants and accessories used. You can choose to attend both workshops or just one. Call to save yourself and a friend a seat. All ages are welcome to attend.
March 28  – Decorate your front door and porch for Easter and spring! Join us to plant cold tolerant container gardens using early spring favorites such as pansies, tulips, daffodils and more! Breakfast will be served at 9:30AM, followed by a short talk about early spring containers with Lisa Graf. Then the hands-on planting will begin! Bring your containers from home or purchase ones here. All ages are welcome to attend. Registration is required. Call or email to sign up!