Is Your Flower Pot Half Full? part 3

November 5, 2009 by Rick

Sometimes gardeners get overwhelmed with weeds and pests. Florida and the south are getting overwhelmed with exotic invasive's. Good news is there is significant progress on some of the most devastating invaders. The Old World Climbing Fern Lygodium microphyllum has found it's way around most of the state. It is heavily infesting many of our forests and you may have seen it covering long stands of trees and power lines by highways like the Florida Turnpike in Saint Lucie and Martin counties. The USDA Agriculture Research Service has worked for 12 years to control the climbing fern that was on the verge of covering 1/3 of Florida with the potential for devastating fires that could kill all the trees in the forests if it is not controlled.

According to this recent 2009 article, in 2008 the ARS released a little moth known as Neomusotima conspurcatalis—nicknamed “Neo”. The moth larvae is currently the most successful of all the biocontrol agents that have been tested by the Fort Lauderdale scientists. Other biocontrols are being tested so there is much to be hopeful for.


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Is Your Flower Pot Half Full? part 2

October 21, 2009 by Rick

The ARS is on the verge of victory in the battle of an aggressive invader that has swallowed much of the south.


The invincible, KUDZU. Seems they have figured out how to infect it with a fungus, Myrothecium verrucaria, specifically effective on Kudzu. This fungus works so quickly that plants sprayed in the morning with Myrothecium show signs of decline by the afternoon with killing potential of nearly 100% and no injury to other trees and plants tested so far. They are still testing it for safety and formulating sprays that have good shelf life and efficacy. There is even hope that it will be useful controlling weedy purslane and spurge in vegetable production. Wouldn't it be nice if it works on Air Potatoes and Skunk Vine too? This has to be a more sustainable way to control weeds and pests, return the environment to a sustainable state and replace some reliance on synthetic and salt based herbicides. It likely could be certified as organic. Homeowner formulas would be nice but it is too soon to know if the use is too narrow for marketability or other use complications make private use unavailable.  

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Thank You, Florida Commissioner Bronson

October 18, 2009 by Rick

Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson and Farm Bureau President John Hoblick presented Riverview Flower Farm with the CARES Award. We are one of twelve Tampa Bay growers recognized for their superior natural resource stewardship during the first-ever Tampa Bay CARES dinner that was held during the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting on Oct. 1.

Our story is best told in a presentation produced by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Commissioner Charles Bronson had previously awarded us with the Environmental Leadership Award for which we are very grateful. Read More

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Good & Natural Bacteria - Growth Products

October 8, 2009 by Rick

Grwoth Prod group

At The Landscape Show in Orlando last week I met up with the providers of the good bacterial and natural plant growth products that help us grow Florida Friendly Plants in a sustainable way that is good for the environment and works well with the locally produced compost we use for potting media. These Bacteria subtilis organisms continue to grow in and around your plant roots in your home landscape and protect the roots from fungus and disease.

I met with Claire Renenberg, the founder and the microbiologist  behind Companion and other natural products we use. Here is a link to an article on Riverview Flower Farm and the Good Bacteria we rely on.

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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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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Environmental Awareness Education | Environmental Awareness Education
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Green Roof and Green Wall Links

April 26, 2009 by Rick

A digital magazine on Green Roof and Green Wall installations and the industry that is making them happen.

Maybe you will get some green ideas that cut some solar heat from a wall or window on your home or you might get inspired to do great things.



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Earth Day - just once a year???

April 22, 2009 by Rick

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's
greed." - Mahatma Gandhi

File:Earth flag PD.jpg

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Florida Friendly Landscaping Gets More Traction in Tallahassee

April 16, 2009 by Rick

HB 593 by Rep. Debbie Boyd / SB 2530 by Sen. Carey Baker.  This legislation codifies Florida-friendly landscaping as the guiding principle for water conservation and healthy landscapes. The bill also provides additional recognition to the FNGLA-supported IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology.  Lastly, the bill strengthens the protections provided to homeowners wishing to install Florida-friendly landscapes.

SB 274 by Sen. Lee Constantine.  This bill was unanimously approved by his Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee this week.  A “strike everything” version of the bill – vastly different from what was originally filed – was proposed. 

This version would apply to all first- and second-magnitude springs in the state – not just the pilot program on four springs as originally envisioned.  All counties with such springs would be designated as spring protection zones.  The bill imposes strict new standards on effluent and wastewater systems and establishes Total Maximum Daily Loads and Basin Management Plans for springs. “Florida Friendly Landscape” techniques and agricultural Best Management Practices are also targeted in the bill.  There is no companion bill in the House.


The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association Director Ben Bolusky met recently with the Legislature and Governor Crist on activities that Promote Florida Friendly Landscaping and protect the environment.

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The Edison Green Fest Starts March 26th

March 12, 2009 by Rick

Edison GreenFest

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Fun Gardening Links

March 5, 2009 by Rick

Kim is one of the U of F Garden Communicators that turned me into a Blogger with a presentation and time spent together at the Garden Writers Conference in Portland in September. Check out her latest planet saving post and see how creative she is and how much she enjoys her work here.


Felder Rushing is a good friend and my second favorite gardening communicator, after my wife. Felder spoke recently at The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and they have posted a podcast of his entertaining presentation that you won't want to miss. If you are browsing my blog then you are the type that is sure to get a lot of laughs from Felder. Also check out his web site for more laughs, and some good dirt on gardening nerds.


Some people would put anything in their garden! I guess if you were a Steelers Fan you might even think this was a comfortable place to sit. Watch out for the bird poop before you have a seat. Cardinals fans get the discounted (price in red) at



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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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