Ornamental Grass - Putting on a Show

October 25, 2009 by Rick

Muhly Grass is a Florida Friendly native grass that is a spectacular fall bloomer.

Florida07

This grass is widely adaptable to wet and dry areas throughout Florida

MuhlyGrass

Look for them now in most Florida Home Depot stores.

RedFountainGrass1

Red Fountain Grass is the most popular ornamental grass. Use ornamental grass as a substitute for thirsty turf areas where you don't want to irrigate as much.

DSC09376

Ornamental Grass adds accent structure and height to a garden.

Fountain Grasses work well in containers. Be sure you cut back the old foliage and flowers in February to 4 inches above the soil line so all new foliage and flowers resprout to repeat the spectacular show again each year.

RedFountainGrass

 

Movement is another design element that adds interest and is most easily attained with ornamental grasses sited to sway in the breeze.

 

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Dwarf Allamanda - Perennial Beauties in the Store

July 24, 2009 by Rick

 

Dwarf Allamanda s

If you are looking for some bright and cheery color in the warmest months ahead don't overlook Dwarf Allamanda. These beauties are easy to establish and at your local Florida Home Depot now. These dwarfs put on a nice show summer and fall and are perennials in zones 9-11. They are drought tolerant once established. Allamanda does not do well next to the beach and is poisonous if eaten. Pest and disease problems are few and rare.

AllamandaDwarf

Dwarf Allamanda and Snowbush


Florida Friendly Landscape FAQ's

June 25, 2009 by Rick

Frequently Asked Questions about Landscape Irrigation for Florida-Friendly Landscaping Ordinances

This FAQ link answers many questions but there is still more research being done by the U of F to get the best answers for protecting our environment.

State bill 494 is important since it will require BMP training for all lawn companies that apply fertilizer. In addition, it may ease watering restrictions for those who incorporate moisture or rain sensors as part of their irrigation system. Research shows that watering twice a week with less water improves turf and reduces water usage. U of F research also shows that there is little difference in water requirements between the different turf grasses. Turf uses more water in the spring when coming out of dormancy and then again in the fall when establishing roots

Phosphorus leaching from turf fertilizers is a big problem for our water supply. St Augustine turf uses and holds phosphorous, the P in N-P-K on your fertilizer bag, 30 times better than highly promoted Empire Zoysia. That also holds true for nitrogen recycling making St. Augustine more environmentally friendly than Zoysia.

The best thing you can do with your St. Augustine lawn is to only fertilize in the fall and only use a slow release N-P-K formula. Lawns overgrow and become thatched if you fertilize in the growing season when they do not need it. Overfertilized lawns are more prone to disease and insects and then require properly timed pesticide sprays to prevent decline. If you want a greener lawn in the summer you should just use iron fertilizer.

Empire Zoysia has shallow roots and goes dormant faster than St. Augustine. It is susceptible to brown patch and requires no less water than St. Augustine turf. It is slow to spread and slow to come out of winter dormancy.

The governor has not to signed the into law the bill that ties Florida Friendly Landscaping principles to protect homeowners rights if they employ them in their communities that may have laws or deed restrictions requiring turf. According to a story in the Bradenton Herald, Manasota 88 objected to late amendment language that lessens permitting requirements. See also Florida-Friendly Landscapes Pass the Legislature


Perennial Mania at The Home Depot - Day 4

May 23, 2009 by Rick

The WOW price on perennials in the green Florida Friendly Plants containers continues until Memorial Day, Monday May 25 while supplies last. Tell a friend. Click the Pass it on Florida link at the top of the page. (See store for limits and details). Purslane - Portulaca oleracea are a favorite warm season tender perennial that are very popular throughout Florida. The new Pazazz series significantly upgrades the flower power. Find them this spring at most of your Florida Home Depots and you will have more flowers that stay open all day. Pazazz Purslane will make a great long lived 'SPILLER' item in combination planters for hot sunny spots. Pazazz Purslane is very forgiving so go on vacation and water it when you return and it will be just fine. Pazazz will be available in the convenient Classic Selection 9 count trays and gallon containers in a variety of colors.

PurslanePazazzPinkGlow PurslanePazazzRoseGlow

PurslanePazazzSalmonGlow PurslanePazazzUltraPink

PurslanePazazzVividYellow PurslaneHybridSamba

PurslaneHybridSambaBicolor PurslaneHybridSambaWhite


Cora Vinca Headlines Huge Annual Sale at Home Depot

May 13, 2009 by Rick

Large, beautiful gallon annuals regularly $2.97 are on sale through Sunday at your Florida Home Depot for $1.67 while supplies last. See store for details and limits.

Vinca used to be one of the most popular bedding plants around. However, its popularity has suffered due to its susceptibility in the home garden and landscape to aerial Phytophthora. Realizing this weakness in the plant, Goldsmith Seeds set out on a twenty year breeding program to come up with a series of seed vinca that would be resistant to this devastating disease. The result of this effort was the introduction of Cora™ vinca, the only vinca series from seed with patented disease resistance to aerial Phytophthora. (NIRVANA vinca is a vegetative Phytophthora resistant variety, also bred by Goldsmith and with even larger blooms is available as a Premium Flowering plant)

This breeding breakthrough will benefit gardeners who have planted beautiful vinca plants only to see them perish in the garden during adverse weather conditions.

Benefits of Cora vinca include:

• Patented disease resistance to aerial Phytophthora

• F1 hybrid vigor

• A real heat lover that thrives under humid or dry conditions

• Large flowers

• A variety of beautiful colors are available

 

 


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Categories: Florida Friendly Landscape | Florida Friendly Landscape | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Warm Season Gardening | Warm Season Gardening
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A Knockout Combination - Diamond Frost and Knockout Roses!

May 6, 2009 by Rick

These are two of the top contenders for the tough and beautiful award. Nothing bothers Diamond Frost Euphorbia and it looks like Baby's Breath in an arrangement when grown under the most disease free rose ever developed for Florida conditions, the Knockout series. This combination works all over Florida. Give it a try and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Diamond Frost and Knockout Rose Bed

DiamondFrostEuphorbiaProvenWinnersc

DiamondFrostEuphorbiaPot

Diamond Frost is the number one selling Proven Winner. It could be that it is so versatile or that it is so durable as a dependable Florida Friendly perennial and thrives with so little water and care. I think the reason it is number one is because it is the perfect FILLER in any container combination and just as useful as a filler in annual and perennial borders. Success guaranteed!


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Design | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept
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Dripirrigation.org Brings Us Some Timely Info

April 20, 2009 by Rick

A new web site that has the information for making wise decisions has been published by Toro at http://www.dripirrigation.org/landscape.html

Drip with Pot in Pot

Drip irrigation tubes can focus the water to each plant. Using the Pot-in-Pot method you can focus less water directly into the pot with very little waste and optimize the performance of your plants.

DripEpcot

Roses do particularly well with drip irrigation since they are less prone to disease if the foliage stays dry.

DripRaisedPlanter

Drip irrigation in raised planter beds makes watering easy and efficient.

DripIrrigationPot

Our container production benefits from drip tape irrigation by keeping the foliage dry, saving water and fertilizer and allowing us to water all the plants only when they need it.

DripIrrigationTubes


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Container Gardening | Drip Irrigation | Pot-in-Pot Landscaping
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Florida-Friendly 101

April 15, 2009 by Rick
  • Saturday, April 25, all day
  • Hillsborough County Extension Office, 5339 County Road 579 in Seffner

Despite a few rain dances in the backyard, the drought continues to be a topic of concern.

Residents are invited to learn how to manage their lawns and landscaping at the next Florida-Friendly 101 gardening conference at the Hillsborough County Extension Office on April 25.

For a mere $30 registration fee, residents will hear the best and the latest from University of Florida specialists and local Hillsborough County Extension horticulturists:

  • How plants deal with drought
  • How to choose the most drought-tolerant plants
  • Smart landscape and irrigation technologies
  • More!

The conference also includes a “goodie” bag with resources to take home, lunch and refreshments.

Space is limited, so register early!

The detailed agenda and link to the online registration can be found on the Hillsborough County Extension website at:

http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/HomeGardening/PDFs/FFL101_2009_Flier.pdf

Still have questions? Call the Extension Office at (813) 744-5519 or visit http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu

We Provide Answers

Hillsborough County Extension Service offers the educational resources of the University of Florida to Hillsborough County residents. Programs include 4-H and youth development, agriculture, natural resources education, and the Master Gardener volunteer program. In addition, training and resources are available in the areas of parenting, food and nutrition, and money management.

 

###

MEDIA Only:

Lynn Barber, Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Agent

813-744-5519x105

 

 

 

 


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Environmental Awareness Education | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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Environmental Awareness at Epcot

April 14, 2009 by Rick

Epcot Floral

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is always a hit every spring as gardeners from around the world are amazed by the floral displays. Throughout the years the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association members and Florida Master Gardeners have volunteered at demonstrations set up for Flower Festival visitors. Nearly 1 million Florida Gardeners visit the Festival each spring and learn how to beautify their home landscape using the latest environmentally friendly practices and products.

Welcome Sign

Volunteers greet interested folks who want to learn ways to cut down on waste and save water and energy using the methods and products on display in the demonstrations.

 

RU Wasteful Mailbox RU Wasteful House

RU Wasteful Sign Look for the Leak

We had the most questions from homeowners in central Florida looking for alternatives the St. Augustine grass featured at the R. U. Wasteful residence along with other good Florida plants planted in the wrong place.

The display at the adjacent I.M. Green residence featured turf alternatives like Beach Sunflower and many plants that require low amounts of water to thrive in Florida. It also featured Empire Zoysia turf that can survive without irrigation after establishment.

IM Green Sign IM Green Mailbox

Pesticide Use Drought Tolerant Bulbine at Epcot Demonstration

Compost Bin Compost Sign

Harvest Rainwater Rain Guage Sign

Rain Guage Rainbarrel

Water Saving Demo at Epcot Drip Irrigation Roses Epcot

Rainbird Watersaving Demo at Epcot 09

Rainbird staffs a booth demonstrating the proper way to set up and use efficient irrigation systems with timers, nozzles, drip emitters and rain shutoff devices. There is still plenty of time to get to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival before it ends June 1.


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Categories: Turf Substitute | Design | Drip Irrigation | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | Turf Substitute
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Purslane Hybrids with Pazazz - You Will Like These!

April 11, 2009 by Rick

Purslane - Portulaca oleracea are a favorite warm season tender perennial that are very popular throughout Florida. The new Pazazz series significantly upgrades the flower power. Find them now at most of your Florida Home Depots and you will have more flowers that stay open all day. Pazazz Purslane will make a great long lived 'SPILLER' item in combination planters for hot sunny spots. Pazazz Purslane is very forgiving so go on vacation and water it when you return and it will be just fine. Pazazz is available in the convenient Classic Selection 9 count trays and gallon containers in a variety of colors.

PurslanePazazzPinkGlow PurslanePazazzVividYellow

PurslanePazazzRoseGlow PurslanePazazzUltraPink

PurslanePazazzSalmonGlow

Pazazz is the first purslane that has flowers that stay open all day long and even open on cloudy days!

These patented hybrids were developed by a plant breeder in Israel for their extremely dry climate. Consider replacing some areas of thirsty turf with Pazazz.


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Categories: Florida Friendly Landscape | Florida Friendly Landscape | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Container Gardening | Turf Substitute | Turf Substitute | Design | Florida Friendly Landscape | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | Turf Substitute
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