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.

steps_123

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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. http://www.thisfarmcares.org/press/2009_0922

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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Tell Us About Your Community Garden

June 15, 2009 by Rick

Seminole Heights Community Garden in Tampa is one of many around the world building stronger communities and sharing ideas and learning together how to garden. Leave us a comment and a link to your community garden so we can share your efforts and accomplishments with other Florida gardeners. Florida Yards and Neighborhoods puts on a rain barrel workshop for Seminole Heights Community Garden members. 

RainBarrelworkshop4409 

Sarasota county runs 4 community gardens. Here are the addresses and information about joining their community gardens.

UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension
Community Garden Program

Community Garden Benefits
  • Provide you a place to garden even if there is not enough space or soil nearby your home.
  • Improve your family’s health and nutrition.
  • Utilize open space and help improve unsightly neighborhood locations.
  • Promote a sense of community pride and social fellowship by meeting and learning from other gardeners.
  • Reduce food costs by providing fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs.
  • Provide valuable recreational and therapeutic benefits.
We Provide
  • educational materials and information
  • a garden plot
  • compost and water
  • basic gardening tools
  • demonstrations and instructions to help you start a vegetable garden
  • soil testing and recommendations for soil improvement
  • help with gardening problems
  • guidance on how to harvest and use the vegetables
  • instructions on how to preserve and store garden produce

 

Think you might want to start a community garden? Here is a link with what you need. Community Garden Toolkit


One potato, two potato, three potato, four!

May 11, 2009 by Rick

George Washington Carver invented 108 ways to use the sweet potato. Sweet Potato Products

Plant Breeders today have found sweet potatoes can be very useful as sturdy landscape perennial color components. You can eat the ornamental varieties but once you taste them you will go back to the traditional and much more delectable garden varieties suitable for Florida. Maybe you want to have your cake and it eat too. Alternate your favorite color of ornamental sweet potato with edible varieties to create a pleasing and extensive ground cover to replace thirsty turf while enhancing the view in your landscape. Focus the water on the plants in rows using highly efficient drip irrigation and you will use a fraction of what it takes to maintain an equivalent lawn area. Mulch the entire area with free oak leaves from your neighbors that they leave at the curb or buy some Florida Friendly Melaluca or Eucalyptus mulch to keep the weeds down. If you interplant edible and ornamental types, as you harvest your edible tubers the ornamental vines will keep the view looking beautiful and quickly cover where the edible tubers vines are harvested. Her are some good reasons you might Eat the View.

Margerita Tuber

Ornamental Sweet Potato tuber of Sweet Potato Vine 'Margarita'

OrnamentalSweetPotato

Today, colorful hybrids are readily available in gallon containers and in 9 count Classic Selection trays at most Florida Home Depot stores.

OrnamentalSweetPotatoClassicSelection9Count

OrnamentalSweetPotatoClassicSelection

Ornamental Sweet Potatoes are easy to plant and thrive in Florida.

They make an excellent spreading ground cover and make the color of the other plants in your garden stand out. Think of ways to use the prolific and easy to care for plants as complementary components in designing with color. They can also be used dependably as SPILLERS and FILLERS in container combinations.

AfricanBushDaisyCombination 

Ornamental Sweet Potato Persian Shaield Combo

OrnamentalSweetPotatoPersianShieldPetuniaCombo


Worrying About Watering?

April 29, 2009 by Rick

With the New Proven Winners® WaterWise Easy Container Watering Kit your worries are over. Our easy-to-use, self-contained kit makes it simple to water container plants, hanging baskets, flower boxes, and landscape beds automatically. In fact, you can water up to ten containers or 30 feet of landscape beds from a single faucet. And, if your garden is larger than that, additional kits can be easily attached to water even more plants from the same faucet. Just set it and forget it.

Waterwise Easy Installation Video

Waterwise kit

The site says no products available but follow this link (Waterwise Kit) to buy the kits online or find components or something similar at your local Home Depot.

The Home Depot 2 for $3.00 6 inch annual sale ends Sunday May 3rd. Limit 10 per customer on these great Florida friendly annuals for summer color.


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Container Gardening | Drip Irrigation
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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

http://www.wikihow.com/Celebrate-Earth-Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day


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Categories: Environmental Awareness Education | Environmental Awareness Education
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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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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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Drip and Low Volume Irrigation Conversion

March 25, 2009 by Rick

Here are a few links to stimulate your thinking about saving water and converting to more efficient irrigation systems. At the bottom of ths post is a site with some good graphics and kits you can study and a link to a new post from http://floridabackyard.org/ that shows you how to do it and how it actually works. Kits are available online or you can get similar kits and components at your Florida Home Depot. The water you save will be worth the effort and expense. Planning is key. You can modify these setups later and add to as you expand but it is more efficient to design it right before you start.

Typical sprinkler systems are very inefficent. The University of Florida did statewide homeowner surveys of existing systems and found that the majority of waste comes from poor design. Only 25% were designed with proper spacing and overlap. That's a lot of waste! With the cost and value of water you might consider an expert for your sprinkler, drip or micro spray design but even then it may not be as efficient as you need. Set up straight sided containers of equal sizes in grids and catch water from a 20 minute run of an existing zone just to get an idea of how to measure uniformity.

Lawn Sprinkler Selection and Layout for Uniform Water Application

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/document_ae084

Drip irrigation for individual plants is effective but you have to design it properly and calibrate run times and duration so you are not wasting water while using an efficient system. Low volume spray jets may be what you need depending on the size of your targeted plants and considering the sandy soil that lets the water seep vertically so quickly. Drip irrigation can be very effective for landscapes that are planted from gallon size containers if the drippers are properly placed.

Microirrigation in The Landscape

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/document_ae076

Landscape Irrigation and Fertilization

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_irrigation_and_fertilization

 

 From your Faucet Drip and Low Vol Graphics

http://www.acu-drip.com/planning/

http://floridabackyard.org/2009/03/19/a-macro-post-on-micro-irrigation/


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