Visit the Naples Botanical Garden

December 12, 2009 by Rick

 Naples Garden

Recently they had their grand opening of their new and extensive tropical habitat gardens. You will learn many things when you visit.  If you have not been to Naples in a while you will be impressed at how beautiful and colorful the city is now. The 2 Home Depot stores in Naples have some of the busiest and best stocked garden centers in Florida selling Florida Friendly Plants that brighten gardens with lasting color. Check out their butterfly pavilion at the Naples Botanical Garden.

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Support Ag in the Classroom

November 29, 2009 by Rick

Buy a car tag to show support of a program that exposes kids to an important part of Florida’s economy and a satisfying career choice towards a sustainable future.

Florida AITC - Rainbow Chicks and Students

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

Scarlet Milkweed are magnet plants attracting Monarch and Queen butterflies for nectar in the flowers and as a larval host food when they eat the leaves. These milkweed are available year round at most Florida Home Depot stores. Bring butterflies into your yard or patio in a container garden. Watch for the complete life cycles of these wonderful creatures to develop before your eyes. Use these plants as a way to connect with your children and to get them outside and connecting with nature on a regular basis.

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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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Raised Bed Gardens are Very Florida Friendly

August 24, 2009 by Rick

How to make a scarecrow

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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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | Pot-in-Pot Landscaping | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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Bulbine Popularity Soars

July 31, 2009 by Rick

 

 Bulbine

You can see struggling turf surrounding the thriving Bulbine here (above). Jelly Burn Plant is getting very popular in landscapes throughout Florida.

Drought Tolerant Bulbine at Epcot Demonstration

Bulbine is easy to establish in the hottest months when other plants take more water and TLC.

 

JellyBurnPlantBulbineFrutescensHalmark

  http://twitter.com/FlFriendlyPlant


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Cold Hardy Perennial | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | Turf Substitute | Warm Season Gardening
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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


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Categories: Florida Friendly Landscape | Turf Substitute
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It's the Law! Florida Friendly Landscaping is Legal Everywhere

July 12, 2009 by Rick

From the director of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program:

Greetings,
It is a very important time regarding Florida-Friendly Landscaping and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program!
Governor Crist signed the SB2080 relating to Water Resources last week.  A few higlights:
The new bill deletes references to “xeriscape”; requires water management districts to provide model Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM ordinances to local governments; each district shall use the materials developed by the FDEP, UF/IFAS and Center for Landscape Conservation & Ecology/ Florida Friendly LandscapingTM  Program, including but not limited to Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) Home Owners, FYN Builder & Developers & the Green Industries Best Management Practices Program; the districts shall coordinate with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) & UF/IFAS if revisions to the educational materials are needed; a deed restriction or covenant may not prohibit or be enforce to prohibit any property owner from implementing FFL on his or her land; a local government ordinance may not prohibit or be enforced so as to prohibit any property owner from implementing FFL on his or her land; local governments shall use the standards and guidelines when developing landscape irrigation and Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM ordinances.
Please see the link for the SB2080 for further info:
http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/2009/Senate/bills/billtext/pdf/s2080er.pdf
Another important bill is SB494 which relates to water conservation that Governor Crist signed last month. This bill requires that all commercial fertilizer applicators will be required by law to have a FDACS license by January 1, 2014. Passing the GI-BMP training, or an approved equivalent, is mandatory to obtain that license.  The FDEP, in cooperation with the IFAS shall provide training and testing programs in urban landscape management practices and may issue certificates demonstrating satisfactory completion of the training; after receiving a certificate of completion a person may apply to the FDACS to receive a limited certification for urban landscape commercial fertilizer application under s. 482.1562. A person possessing such certification is not subject to additional local testing.  Beginning January 2014, any person applying fertilizer to an urban landscape must be certified under S 482.1562, Florida Statues. A limited certification expires 4 years after the date of issuance. Before applying for recertification, the applicant must complete 4 classroom hours of acceptable continuing education, of which at least 2 hours of fertilizer best management practices.
Please see the link for SB494 for further info:
http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/2009/Senate/bills/billtext/pdf/s0494er.pdf
Thanks,
Esen Momol, Ph.D., Director
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program
University of Florida, IFAS
Environmental Horticulture Department,
114 Mehrhof Hall, P.O.Box 110675, Gainesville, FL 32611-0670
Tel:(352 392-1831 ext 330 Fax: (352) 392-1413
E-mail: eam@ufl.edu

So now you can Take Out the Grass legally and put something in the space between the curb and sidewalk that needs no water, spray or fertilizer like Perennial Peanut or Beach Sunflower. This would be a good start to improve the environment and increase awareness of what happens when you spread fertilizer on and near the sidewalk, driveway and street. You can just imagine how much fertilizer is misdirected and bounces or is washed with the first irrigation or rain into the street and down the drain to the wetlands.

PerennialPeanut BeachSunflower

Get familiar with the 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping here and make a plan to save water, improve the environment. Click the Pass it on Florida tab at the top of this page and share the good news with neighbors, family and friends.


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Florida Friendly Landscape | Florida Friendly Landscape | U of F Cooperative Extension Service | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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Taking Out the Grass

July 5, 2009 by Rick

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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Environmental Awareness Education | Environmental Awareness Education | Turf Substitute | Turf Substitute
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Succulent Success

June 29, 2009 by Rick

Variety is the spice of life they say and with our Classic Creation 9 packs you get a nice variety of succulents with which you can make some very interesting gardens. Succulents are the perfect plant for many folks. The are very forgiving of water and fertilizer deficiency. Succulents grow in sun, part shade and moderate shade and are often used as houseplants. Plant them in a well drained soil.

Succulent Strawberry Jar 1

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Classic Creations include 9 different succulents for any container

you might choose.

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Maraca Portulaca molokensiensis Riverview Flower Farm

On a recent visit to the Farm, garden writer, Penny Carnathan from the Tampa Tribune, was very excited when she saw our trials with Maraca. Based on Penny's reaction we will be moving up the time table on production of Maraca. look for it to appear in Florida Home Depots by sometime in October. You can thank Penny for this.

Portulaca Maraca


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Categories: Container Gardening | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept
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