Monthly Archive: May 2017

Tired of Turf? Try Groundcover Alternatives Instead!

If you’re like me, growing turfgrass is often more of a hassle than anything else.  Regardless of the species you plant, none tolerates shade well and it can seem like there is a never-ending list of chores and expenses that accompany lawn grass:  mowing (at least one a week during the summer), fertilizing, and constantly …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/18/tired-of-turf-try-groundcover-alternatives-instead/

Bark Stripping Squirrels

Squirrel bark stripping damage on a Chinese elm.

The squirrels are at it again! This time they are stripping the bark from the trunks of my Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia) trees. Squirrels feed on the bark of a number of other different tree species including oaks, maples, and pecans. There are a few theories as to why squirrels feed on tree bark. Pregnant Females …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/18/bark-stripping-squirrels/

Landscape Pruning

Pruning is something all homeowners and landscapers know is one of the many chores to be completed in the landscape. Everyone recognizes that pruning needs to be done on occasion, but it can be confusing to know how to prune the variety of species that can be in a landscape. There are some simplistic principles …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/18/landscape-pruning/

Farmers Prepare for the New Food Safety Standards

If you are a farmer, you have most likely heard about the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, by now. If you are not a farmer, you probably do not know that food safety regulations are going through a big change. The FSMA, which was passed in 2011, is considered the largest update to food …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/11/farmers-prepare-for-the-new-food-safety-standards/

Benefit from Beneficial Insects

A number of summers ago, I noticed whiteflies on a confederate rose plant in my landscape. I considered using an insecticide to control the whiteflies but decided against doing so after taking a closer look. What I found was a population of ladybugs – eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Ladybug adults and larvae eat whiteflies, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/11/benefit-from-beneficial-insects/

Citrus Canker in Northwest Florida

In November 2013, citrus canker was found for the first time in the Florida panhandle in Gulf Breeze in southern Santa Rosa County. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) tested and confirmed the disease on grapefruit trees in a residential landscape. Since that time, citrus canker has been confirmed on citrus trees …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/11/citrus-canker-in-northwest-florida/

Love Blueberries? Thank the Blueberry Bee!

This time of year, blueberry bushes are flowering and small fruit are coming onto the wild and cultivated bushes in north Florida. Many of us, myself included, look forward to the late-spring harvest of blueberries, taking our children out to u-pick operations and digging out family recipes for blueberry-filled desserts. What many do not know, however, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/01/love-blueberries-thank-the-blueberry-bee/

Tick Tips

You’ve probably heard some tips to prevent picking up ticks in the past, but did you ever wonder why some work and others don’t? Understanding the life cycle and behavior of common ticks can help you succeed with your prevention measures. A general life cycle for ticks includes four life stages: egg, larva, nymph, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/01/tick-tips/

Drama in the Garden with Amazon Dianthus Series

We may shy away from drama in our lives but drama in the garden is always welcome. One plant series that will be a prominent feature in any garden bed is the Amazon Dianthus series. Although we normally consider Fall the time to plant dianthus, the Amazon Series developed by PanAmerican Seed company can be …

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Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/01/drama-in-the-garden-with-amazon-dianthus-series/