Beautiful Water-Wise Garden

October 29, 2009 by Rick

Pamela Crawford's Water-Wise Garden in Georgia is going to be featured in a spring issue of Southern Living.

Pamela wrote several Florida books while living in south Florida. Here is a link to her special containers, videos, books and designs.

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Turn that Brown Thumb Green

August 19, 2009 by Rick

Gardening Basics

As Penny Carnathan, Tampa Tribune Garden Writer - The Dirt, is fond of saying about one of her gardening friends. "Her thumbs are so green she can grow rocks".

Some folks rely mostly on organics. Why do they work so well for these green thumbs? Plant-soil-microbe-fungus relationships are highly complicated and studied but the truth is science has a hard time quantifying and isolating the tremendous number of complex interactions involved. We do know quite a bit about many interactions. We know that the good fungi and bacteria outnumber the bad many times over and when good fungi and good bacteria loose their overwhelming advantage things can go wrong. Compost and organic matter support good fungi good bacteria good nematodes and many other good microorganisms and earthworms with the good bacteria in their hyperactive gut. Too much salt based fertilizer upsets the balance and kills the good guys that are working in the organic system.

Compost and Organic Matter support the good micro organisms that naturally control bad nematodes. Most of the nematodes in the world are good guys. Nematodes account for 90% of the living multi-celled organisms on the planet yet you can't see them with the naked eye. They are really small but interrelated to the natural processes in more ways than we will ever know. So you have to take it on faith or experience that relying on organic processes will help turn your brown thumb green. Here is the scoop on Nematodes for Bedding Plants in Florida.

In contrast to gardening in soil rich in organic matter, we can grow plants in our nutrient poor sandy soils that have very little organic matter. This is where you need to add timed release salt based fertilizer. This is always more cost effective than liquid or fast release 6-6-6 granular that only seem cheap. Don't feed your plants a 3 month's supply of the cheap stuff only to have it wash away in one rain when you can give them a 3 month supply of timed release fertilizer in one application that releases a little with each irrigation. and not pollute the downstream environment!

Pot-in-Pot Landscaping is a great way to turn a brown thumb green. You should try this and report back on the color of your thumb. Ask away and we will answer questions to get you on the right garden path.

9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping

We share through numerous posts our enthusiasm and experience as long-time Florida gardeners and horticulturists. Our hope is that your gardening efforts will be successful and enjoyable.  We share ways to make your yards and patios beautiful while following the University of Florida's Nine Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping:

1) Right Plant, Right Place: Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides.

2) Water Efficiently: Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy yard and conservation of limited resources.

3) Fertilize Appropriately: Less is often best. Over-use of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment.

4) Mulch: Maintain two to three inches of mulch to help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.

5) Attract Wildlife: Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter can conserve Florida’s diverse wildlife.

6) Manage Yard Pests Responsibly: Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.

7) Recycle: Grass clippings, leaves and yard trimmings composted and recycled on site provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal.

8) Reduce Storm water Runoff: Water running off your yard can carry pollutants, such as fertilizer, pesticides, soil and debris that can harm water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent pollution.

9) Protect the Waterfront: Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems.

More details can be found here: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/homeowners/strategies.htm

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Color Me Native - A Coloring Book for Children that Teaches them Native Plants

May 7, 2009 by Rick

A free coloring book brought to you by the Florida Native Plant Society. Download the pages at:

Coloring Book 

Firebush

Teach children through visits to the garden and let them color and learn about the nature that surrounds them.


Great Plants to Improve Your indoor Environment

May 4, 2009 by Rick

Governor Crist and FNGLA Celebrate Arbor Day with Tree Planting

May 3, 2009 by Rick

FNGLA members participate in ceremony as Red Crape Myrtle planted in Tallahassee's Liberty Park

On Friday, Governor Charlie Crist joined Florida Girl Scouts and Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association members to plant a red crape myrtle in celebration of National Arbor Day. The tree was planted in Liberty Park, outside the House Office Building.

“From the sabal palms lining our sandy white beaches, to the tall, green pine forests of the Panhandle, much of Florida’s natural beauty can be attributed to our trees,” said Governor Crist. “In addition to being an important source of oxygen, planting new trees remains one of the least expensive, most effective means of drawing excess carbon emissions from the atmosphere.”

 

Gov. Crist plants a crape myrtle with the assistance of Florida Girl Scouts.

 

FNGLA's Director of Government Affairs, Jim Spratt, addresses the crowd at Liberty Park.

 

Gov. Crist speaks with FNGLA's Jim Spratt.

 Florida legislators and members of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association were also in attendance for the annual tree planting.

Florida’s trees play a vital role in the state’s economy. During the 2007-2008 fiscal year, more than 20.7 million people visited Florida’s 161 state parks, contributing more than $1 billion to Florida’s economy and generating more than 20,000 jobs. The renewable resource also adds billions of dollars annually to Florida's economy by providing lumber, paper, mulch, oils and other products.

Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. National Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, and is celebrated on the last Friday in April.

 


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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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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

February 26, 2009 by Rick

For the 11th year, FNGLA will participate in the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival with an all-new concept and theme: Green Gardening for the family.  Focusing on two typical households, the garden will focus on two “families”: the I.B. Green household and the R.U. Wasteful family and the common practices of each.  
 hannah

The “Green” family will showcase the concepts of “Right Plant, Right Place,” composting, water conservation, gardening for consumption and will include an area focusing on bio-fuel plants while the “Wasteful” family will highlight some commonly found non-green practices such as improper use of plant material, excess recyclable waste not being recycled and the like.  This new, cutting-edge, contemporary theme showcases FNGLA as a leader in the green sustainability movement bringing easy-to-implement green practices, focused on plants.

Opening Day is March 18 of the 10½ week festival ending on June 1. We will be volunteering along with other Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Associate members to share the wealth of knowledge available to go "Green"


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Welcome to our Florida Friendly Plants Blog

January 19, 2009 by Rick

We plan to share through numerous posts our enthusiasm and experience as long-time Florida gardeners and horticulturists. Our hope is that your gardening efforts will be successful and enjoyable.  We’ll share ways to make your yards and patios beautiful while following the University of Florida's Nine Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping:

 

1) Right Plant, Right Place: Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides.

 

2) Water Efficiently: Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy yard and conservation of limited resources.

 

3) Fertilize Appropriately: Less is often best. Over-use of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment.

 

4) Mulch: Maintain two to three inches of mulch to help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.

 

5) Attract Wildlife: Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter can conserve Florida’s diverse wildlife.

 

6) Manage Yard Pests Responsibly: Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.

 

7) Recycle: Grass clippings, leaves and yard trimmings composted and recycled on site provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal.

 

8) Reduce Storm water Runoff: Water running off your yard can carry pollutants, such as fertilizer, pesticides, soil and debris that can harm water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent pollution.

 

9) Protect the Waterfront: Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems.

 

More details can be found here: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/homeowners/nine_principles.htm

 

 
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


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