No previous experience or accreditation it required to be a landscaper in the state of Florida. So when homeowners are searching for service providers, it is important that they question potential companies about their skills. One good measure is completion of voluntary certifications such as the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP). The FCHP program has been the industry’s standard for measuring horticulture and landscape knowledge since 1984. The training is also useful for property managers, homeowner associations, retail garden center employees, or anyone that wants to know more about Florida’s plants and their care.
Plants are complex and variable living things that range from microscopic to the largest of living organisms. With steady population growth in the state of Florida, environmental damage risks created by the use of improper products and practices has continually risen. State and federal natural resource protection agencies have restricted certain horticultural practices including fertilizer and pesticide application. It takes scientific knowledge to properly maintain lawns and landscapes, not just a “green thumb” in order to keep plants healthy while reducing contamination to the soil, air and water that we all need.
The Florida Certified Horticulture Professional training covers 16 areas, including identification, fertilization, irrigation, pest management, safety and business practices. Lecture and hands-on activities are utilized at each session. The 60-hour course will enhance anyone’s knowledge and will provide the basis for professionals to deliver a skilled service to clientele. The course is available in-person or virtually via Zoom.
If you are a green industry worker or a concerned citizen interested in attending a FCHP preparatory course, there is an opportunity coming up in Crestview. Beginning Thursday, January 6, 2022 and continuing for 8 weeks to February 24, 2022, the Okaloosa County Extension office will be providing training for $185, which included the newest hard copy manual and plant identification book. Contact Sheila Dunning, 850-689-5850, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For more details and to register go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/florida-certified-horticulture-professional-fchp-training-tickets-215748017127
Here in Northwest Florida, finding horticultural supplies and plant material available locally is a challenge. Due to our location, looking to the neighboring states is very practical. A great resource to fill these needs is The Gulf States Horticultural Expo (GSHE) trade show and education event for green industry professionals will be held in Mobile in January, 2022. Attendee profiles include wholesale growers, landscape professionals, retailers, manufacturers, and distributors. Produced in partnership between the Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association (ALNLA), the Mississippi Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA), and the Louisiana Nursery & Landscape Association (LNLA), the Expo’s goals are to increase commerce, networking, and professional development among the green industry and allied suppliers. Since the first Expo in 1999, GSHE has grown to become THE premier winter trade show of the South.
Awareness of pest problems present in neighboring states helps Northwest Florida green industry personnel develop more effective scouting programs. On Wednesday, January 19, 2022 researchers, professors and faculty from well-known Southern universities and colleges across the United States will present valuable information during the Pest Management education session. You can earn up to 8 Florida CEUs in multiple categories including all the Lawn & Ornamental, Demo & Research, Forest Pest, Natural Areas, Ag Tree, Private Applicator, and Right-of-Way. Please note that no CORE CEUs will be available at this event.
If learning more about business management or new plant varieties appeals to you, plan on attending the Business and Culture or Plant Conference session. Jeff Manus from the University of Mississippi delivers a two-part session on Weeders to Leaders during the business training. Speakers from Southern Living, Bracy’s Nursery, Proven Winners, Louisiana State University, Ball Horticultural Company and Plant Development Services will introduce new and exciting plant selections for 2022 during the plant conference.
If landscape design is your passion, spend all day Wednesday through Friday with Richard Ludwig and Bill Slack in the Landscape Design sessions. Learn the fundamentals of profitability, color graphics and how to create the ultimate landscape design over the three days.
For more information and to register go to: https://www.gshe.org/schedule.cfm
We’re back! After the COVID-19 hiatus, the Gulf Coast Turfgrass Field Day & Expo returns to the normal third Wednesday in June time slot.
Join us June 16, 2021 for a COVID-19 friendly, in-person field day. Due to COVID-19 protocols, ALL ATTENDEES MUST PREREGISTER before June 15th. There will be NO on-site registration, so get your ticket now!
ATTENDEE REGISTRATION: Choose ONLY one of the four ticket options:
- Field Tour, Scouting Insects, Spill Drills
- Field Tour, Scouting Insects, Natural Pesticides
- Field Tour, Spill Drills, Natural Pesticides
- Field Tour ONLY
MORNING RESEARCH FORUM – Everybody is ready to get back to “normal” and so are the University of Florida scientists who are coming to the Turfgrass Field Day in full force – even a few you’ve likely never met in person! Change abounds and this year’s field day is no different. The line-up this year will have four focus areas and will allow greater time for interaction with the researchers.
Future Urban Landscapes – water quality and quantity concerns are major drivers leading to changes in what future landscapes will look like.
- Agustin Boeri, Graduate Research Assistant
- A.J. Reisinger, UF Soil and Water Scientist
- Mark Lusk, UF Soil and Water Scientist
- Michael Dukes, UF Irrigation Specialist
- Adam Dale, UF Turf Entomologist
- J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist
Pest Management – pests continue to create challenges when managing turf.
- Billy Crow, UF Turf Nematologist
- Adam Dale, UF Turf Entomologist
- Phil Harmon, UF Turf Pathologist
- Pawel Petelwicz, UF Turf Weed Scientist
Turfgrass Breeding & Cultivar Development – tremendous effort is underway to bring improved turfgrasses (color, quality, reduced water and nutrition) to the market.
- Kevin Kenworthy, UF Turf Breeder
- J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist
- Chase McKeithen, UF Turf Biological Scientist
Cultural Management – research on how to better manage turf.
- Jason Kruse, UF Athletic Turf Specialist
- Marco Schiavon, UF Turf Specialist
- J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist
VENDOR EXPO – This year’s vendor expo will be an open air “tail-gate” style event to allow for social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols. Vendors will be stationed in the grassy areas around the perimeter of the turfgrass research plots. Attendees will have opportunity to visit before, during, and after the research tours.
A limited number of tables and chairs will be available for the vendors. Vendors should plan to bring a pop-up tent if you have one!
Please note: To see all ticketing options please do the following: Upon entering Eventbrite site using link below, click “Tickets” link and then “I want to get tickets” “As an individual” to see all ticketing options.
LUNCH – BBQ Buffet lunches aren’t the most COVID friendly so we are changing up the menu and the venue a bit. Box lunches will be provided out on the research plots. Grab your lunch and find a shade tree, huddle under a vendor tent, or head back to your vehicle for a bit (you may want to turn your A/C on to cool off!).
AFTERNOON PESTICIDE LICENSE CONTINUING EDUCATION – Three sessions will be offered this year. All three classes will be available from ~ 12-1 and 1-2; each class will repeat with different audience so attendees can choose to get 2 different core or 1 category and 1 core CEU.
Scouting for Insects in the Landscape. This session will focus on identification of signs and symptoms of common insect pests in landscape plants. 1 Category CEU O&T, LCLM, LLO, Comm L&O will be requested for this session.
Spill Drills. Do you know what to do in an emergency? This session will cover multiple spill scenarios and what action needs to be taken to prevent injury and environmental harm. 1 Core CEU will be requested for this session.
Natural Pesticides for the Landscape. Many property owners are interested in using “natural” or low-risk pesticides but are they really effective? This session will discuss pesticide products that are labeled as natural and/or organic. 1 Core CEU will be requested for this session.
REGISTER NOW: https://2021gcturfgrassexpo.eventbrite.com
Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 we have had a lot of questions from the Green Industry concerned about their status as essential employees. As noted in the excerpt below from the State of Florida Office of the Governor Executive Order Number 20-91 (Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency) landscapers are included under the Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services Category.
PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT SERVICES
Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations, including bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues.
Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals, senior living facilities, any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response.
Workers who support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of and access to needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications.
Support to ensure the effective removal, storage, and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and hazardous waste, including landfill operations.
Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential dams, locks and levees.
Workers who support the inspection and maintenance of aids to navigation, and other government provided services that ensure continued maritime commerce.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recommends that all essential employees carry a letter from their employer that describes their role as an essential employee.The Governor’s Office has provided a template that can be found at the following link. Download and modify to fit your business role. http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/nfrecsv/files/2020/03/2020-04-01-Essential-Worker-Movement-Letter-DRAFT-2.0-2.pdf
Please be mindful that although the landscape industry can continue working, it is imperative that all citizens follow CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These can be found here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
In addition to this resource, consider incorporating recommendations from The Urban Ag Council of Georgia where appropriate.
*Stagger start times so that each manager will only work with their team. No more than 5-person crew.
* Employees are required to keep 8-foot separation between colleagues and/or any other people. Focus on social and work distancing.
*No more than 2 people per single cab truck and 4 people per crew cab truck (exceptions are made for employees who need to use personal vehicles to accomplish this).
*Wear dust masks when in vehicle and outside.
*Trucks are to be thoroughly cleaned at the end of every day.
*Crew leaders must clock in their crew. Do not pass phone around for them to clock-in.
*Daily – every employee (office and field) is screened with questions before starting work.
- Do you currently have a fever? Or have you had a fever in the last week?
- Do you have a cough?
- Do you have shortness of breath?
- Do you have vomiting/nausea?
- Do you have diarrhea or stomach issues?
- Have you been in contact with anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of the COVID-19?
Any employee that answers yes to any question will be asked to return home and HR will be notified to receive additional instructions.
Please be safe and let us know if we can assist in any way.
Your UF/IFAS Panhandle Commercial Horticulture Team
Bay – Julie McConnell email@example.com
Escambia – Beth Bolles firstname.lastname@example.org
Okaloosa – Sheila Dunning email@example.com
Santa Rosa – Matt Lollar firstname.lastname@example.org
Walton – Evan Anderson email@example.com
Washington – Matt Orwat firstname.lastname@example.org
Calhoun – Daniel Leonard email@example.com
Leon – Mark Tancig firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you looking for more selective herbicide options for annual beds and around shrubs and trees? The Santa Rosa County Extension Office will be hosting guest speaker Dr. Chris Marble from the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research & Education Center on Thursday, May 23. Dr. Marble is a Nationally Renowned Weed Scientist who has published numerous research and extension publications.
2 FDACS CEUs available in LCLM, Limited Lawn & Ornamental, Commercial L&O, O&T, Natural Areas, ROW, or Private Ag.
Pre-registration fee is $15, or $20 registration at the door the day of the event (includes lunch and resources). Pre-register online at Eventbrite Ticket or bring cash, check, or money order to the Santa Rosa County Extension Office, 6263 Dogwood Dr., Milton, FL before May 23. For additional questions, please contact Matt Lollar at email@example.com or 850-623-3868.
9:30 Registration & Welcome
9:45 Presentation Begins
11:30 Question & Answer w/Dr. Marble
11:45 Evaluation & CEUs
12:00 Lunch & Discussion on Glyphosate Registration