New Exam Review and CEU Class Offered in Panama City: May 10-11, 2018

New Exam Review and CEU Class Offered in Panama City: May 10-11, 2018

In December of 2017, a new Commercial Lawn & Ornamental Pest Control Operator exam was launched in Florida. This updated exam covers materials found in two new manuals not previously recommended as study guides: “Identification Guide to Common Florida Lawn and Ornamental Weeds,”  and “Lawn and Ornamental Pest Management.”. Photographic pest identification including knowledge of life cycle have nearly tripled when compared to the prior exam.

Because this exam is a statewide license, many pests may not be familiar to industry professionals in NW Florida if they are more commonly found in peninsular or South Florida.

The new exam also includes Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) topics, Florida Statutes, Administrative Rules, safety concepts from “Applying Pesticides Correctly” and label reading – both fertilizer and pesticide calculations and label interpretation.

The paper exam has been offered twice in Apopka since the launch last year with pass rates below 50% at both sessions.

Panhandle Horticulture Agents in partnership with FDACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) will be holding a review class May 10-11, 2018, in Panama City. This class is designed to reinforce lawn and ornamental pest control concepts with a focus on newly introduced material for the CPO Commercial Lawn & Ornamental exam, but is not a replacement for independent study.

Exams will not be given in conjunction with this class. Anyone interested in taking the CPO Commercial Lawn & Ornamental exam is still required to meet all mandated qualifications of education and/or experience. Applicants must then apply online https://aesecomm.freshfromflorida.com/ with FDACS to obtain a voucher and schedule the test with a local Extension office.

This class will also provide CEUs for current license holders in the following categories (please check 2018 CEU Commercial L&O Flyer for dates – not all CEUs available both days): Commercial L&O, Limited L&O, LCLM, O&T, Private Ag, Limited Urban Fertilizer. Core CEUs will be available both days.

Registration is customized based on attendees needs as one-day of your choice or two-day. If you plan to take the Comm. L&O Exam, it is strongly encouraged that you attend both days.

To register please visit https://lawn-ornamental.eventbrite.com

For questions about the class, please contact Julie McConnell at juliebmcconnell@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Extension Bay County Horticulture Agent
B.S. Horticulture, Auburn University
M.S. Entomology, University of Florida

Controlling Weeds in Landscape Beds

Controlling Weeds in Landscape Beds

Author: Dr. Chris Marble, UF/IFAS MREC

While the bulk of most residential weed control programs focus on controlling weeds in turf, weeds can also be very problematic in landscape planting beds. Controlling weeds in landscape beds can be very difficult because unlike turf, planting beds typically contain several different ornamental species that can range from trees to shrubs to herbaceous annuals and perennials.

One of the most common ways to control weeds in landscape planting beds is to make “spot treatments” of glyphosate to control escaped weeds. While this method is effective, it is important to remember that glyphosate is a systemic herbicide, meaning that it can move through plant tissues. Ensure that none of the spray contacts any leaf or stem tissues of desirable plants either through direct contact or through inadvertent drift. If contact is made, the plant tissues that were sprayed will need to be washed or pruned off as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Be especially mindful when applying near species that are known to sucker near the ground such as crape myrtles. Glyphosate can also cause damage when applied to young tree bark or to some trees with very thin bark. Herbicides that have only contact action can also cause damage to ornamentals but these herbicides will not move throughout the plant and the injury will remain localized. Contact herbicides are not as effective on perennial weeds such as Florida betony (Stachys floridana) or nutsedge species (Cyperus spp.).

Nutsedge can be very difficult to control. Photo Credit: Chris Marble

Nutsedge can be very difficult to control. Photo Credit: Chris Marble, UF/IFAS

Mulching is one of the safest and most effective methods of weed control in landscape beds. Coarse textured mulches (such as pine bark nuggets) are typically preferred over smaller textured mulch because they provide a less favorable environment for weed seed germination. Mulch should be applied at a depth of 2 to 3 inches for best results. In addition to controlling weeds, mulch can also help to add organic matter to the soil and help to conserve water.

In addition to mulching and some postemergence herbicides, there are many preemergence herbicides that can be used “over-the-top” of hundreds of landscape plants. The same as with all pesticides, be sure to carefully read product labels before making a peemergence herbicide application to a landscape planting bed and make sure that your equipment is calibrated properly. Do not apply granular herbicides if plant foliage is wet and do not apply when the landscape plants have tender new flushes of growth. It is important to irrigate as soon as possible after applying preemergence herbicides to wash the herbicide off of plant foliage and to activate the herbicide. More information on specific herbicides that can be used in these areas and other precautions can be found at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep523.

As a final note, never apply “weed-n-feed” or other herbicides that are labeled only for use in turf areas to landscape planting beds. In most cases, these products can cause severe damage or death to landscape plants through drift and root uptake. Always be sure that the herbicide you are using is labeled for use in landscape planting beds and labeled for use on the ornamental species you have.

Santa Rosa County Extension
Agent I, Commercial Horticulture