GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Floridians remain concerned about water and are willing to make changes to conserve it, at least until their efforts cramp their lifestyles, according to an annual University of Florida study on state residents’ attitudes about this precious resource.
For the second consecutive year, an annual online survey conducted by UF’s Center for Public Issues in Education shows that water ranks third on a list of 10 topics people consider important — behind the economy and healthcare and ahead of public education and taxes. Eighty-three percent of 749 respondents indicated water is an important or extremely important issue.
Yet while three-quarters of them said they were likely to vote to support water conservation programs and nearly as many said they would support water restrictions issued by their local government, only 42 percent were willing to take action to conserve water if it meant their lawns would suffer.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ever wonder what that plant is in your yard that seems to be taking over? The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has a new website designed to help you figure it out.
Researchers with UF/IFAS’ Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants spent more than a year developing a searchable website and database to help Floridians assess problem— or just plain puzzling —non-native plants. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With home gardens in the “Land of Flowers” stretching from the panhandle to the keys, Florida gardeners have so many choices for beautiful landscaping plants that it can be a dilemma to know what to plant where.
Planting decisions are now easier with the release of a mobile web application from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The new app features more than 400 Florida-Friendly plants that can be selected by their type, shape, and sun tolerance. Each plant is accompanied by a color photo.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Spring is right around the corner, and for some residents it may be time to think about sprucing up the yard with new landscaping.
Covering more than 5 million acres in Florida, turfgrass is the state’s most popular groundcover – but it may not be the ideal choice for every situation, say experts with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Emphasizing the Florida-Friendly Landscaping principle “right plant, right place,” UF/IFAS Extension faculty members suggest that residents who are considering groundcover options start by assessing their needs and site conditions.
“We need turf for recreation, for that open front-yard spot in your landscape, and to give us that green look,” said Wendy Wilber, an Alachua County environmental horticulture Extension agent. “A good-looking Florida-Friendly Landscape can have a mix of plants and features, if the conditions call for it.”
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Good news for your utility bills and the environment: New University of Florida research shows that landscape shrubs need much less water to establish healthy roots than you might expect.
“We finally have our irrigation recommendations for establishing shrubs backed up with science. We need less irrigation than many people think,” said Ed Gilman, a UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences environmental horticulture professor who led the research study.
The six-year study’s objective was to determine how best to irrigate shrubs during “establishment” — the 20- to 28-week period when shrubs’ roots grow until the plant can survive without irrigation.
The research examined irrigation frequency and volume on the quality, survival and growth rates of three-gallon, container-grown shrubs. Plants were examined in Fort Lauderdale, Balm, Apopka and Citra, locations that span three water management districts in Florida and have varied growing conditions.
Some of the state’s most popular ornamental shrubs were evaluated, including both native and non-native species, such as yaupon holly and gardenia.
“One of the results that we noted was that there are no differences between native and non-native species for amount of water required for establishment, “Gilman said. “This often surprises people, but it emphasizes that the Florida-friendly principle — right plant, right place — is worth following.”
Florida-friendly gardening means planting that accounts for site conditions, maintenance needs and local climate. Such landscapes may use both native and non-native plants, as long as the non-native plants aren’t an invasive species. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Southern gardeners will soon have a new tool to help them in the garden. “Your Southern Garden” with Walter Reeves is an educational television show created to help gardeners of all levels learn new tricks, get fresh ideas and visit interesting sites.
“This show provides the opportunity to really educate Floridians and others in the region about landscaping and outdoor water conservation,” said Millie Ferrer, interim extension dean for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “Watering in the landscape is such an important issue right now and the faculty at UF and UGA can provide great tips and information to help conserve water.”
The show, produced by University of Florida IFAS Extension and the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is a one-of-a-kind program specifically for the Southeast.
The 2009 season of “Your Southern Garden” premieres May 9 on public broadcast stations in the Tampa Bay and north central Florida areas. Beginning in April 2010, it will air throughout most of north and central Florida area and the Georgia Public Broadcasting viewing area. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Home buyers appreciate the benefits of “green” communities, but residents don’t necessarily lead more eco-friendly lives than their neighbors in traditional homes, according to two University of Florida studies conducted in the fast-growing state.
The findings could mean some homeowners in green communities don’t know enough about how to reduce their environmental impact, said Mark Hostetler, an associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Soil-moisture sensors hooked to sprinkler systems could put a huge dent in homeowners’ utility bills – and help conserve much-needed water, a new University of Florida study says.
Researcher Michael Dukes found that for three of four soil-moisture sensors tested, water savings ranged from 69 percent to 92 percent, compared to grass watered without the help of sensors. (more …)
Mickie Anderson (352) 392-0400Source:
Russell Nagata firstname.lastname@example.org, 561-993-1557
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Imagine life with fewer Saturday afternoons stuck behind a noisy lawn mower.
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has released a new slow-growing turfgrass that you may be able to buy as early as next year.
And you can put down that fertilizer bag: The new St. Augustinegrass variety’s finer leaf blade and dark green hue make for a prettier lawn and it’s far more resistant to sap-sucking, lawn-killing chinch bugs than current varieties. (more …)
Stu Hutson 352-392-0400
Lori Warren email@example.com, 352-392-1957
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — On June 9, the final horse race of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, will run. But there’ll be more than confetti to pick up afterwards.
Horse tracks like Belmont Park produce up to 600 cubic feet of manure a day—with or without a race. Add to that the thousands of horse farms around the country and you have one big problem. (more …)