Archive for August, 2011

Are Your Customers’ Yards Ready for Florida-Friendly Yard Recognition? County’s Largest Group of Yard Advisors Ready to Visit!

Are your customers’ yards Florida-Friendly?  Give them the chance to let the neighborhood know!

The Palm Beach Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the University of Florida IFAS, administers the Florida-Friendly Landscaping ™ program that encourages the use of environmentally sound practices to create beautiful yards and gardens while protecting precious resources and saving costs.   The program relies on master gardeners who volunteer as yard advisors and visit properties to determine eligibility for Florida-Friendly certification.  This year, the group of advisors is the largest ever.

Yellow Necklacepod. UF Laura Sanagorski

In previous years, there have only been approximately 10 trained yard advisors, but currently, more than 30 volunteers are ready to certify yards throughout the county.

The program is based on nine principles that include using the right plant in the right place, watering efficiently, fertilizing appropriately, using mulch, attracting wildlife, managing yard pests responsibly, recycling yard waste, reducing stormwater runoff and protecting waterfront areas.  The Cooperative Extension Service offers a recognition program for property owners who follow these principles.  If the criteria are met, a sign is placed in the front yard of the home that is certified.  In addition, the property in entered into a statewide database, and recognition also earns points towards the Florida Green Building Coalition Green Home Certification.

For detailed information on the nine principles, visit the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods website.  The checklist of minimum requirements is here: FYN checklist .  This checklist also serves as an application form that can be emailed to lsanagorski@pbcgov.orgor faxed to (561) 233-1782.For more information, call the Cooperative Extension Service (561) 233-1759.

GI-BMP Class- Spaces Currently Available 9/14/2011

If you haven’t taken the GI-BMP class yet, you might want to consider signing up for the next class on September 14.  Currently, there is no license requirement for the application of fertilizers in the landscape.    Beginning on January 1, 2014, all commercial fertilizer applicators will be required to hold a Limited Certification for Urban Fertilizer Applicators, issued by the State of Florida’s Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control.  The prerequisite of this license is the successful completion of the Green Industry Best Management Practices, or GI-BMP program.  

GI-BMPs teach safe landscaping practices that protect the environment, including our ground and surface waters.  The University of Florida IFAS Florida Friendly Landscaping™  program presents GI-BMP programs throughout the state.  

The GI-BMP program will be offered by Palm Beach County on the following dates:


  • September 14, West Palm Beach
  • October 14 (in Spanish), West Palm Beach


  • January 24, Boca Raton
  • March 22, West Palm Beach
  • May 15, West Palm Beach
  • September 13, West Palm Beach
  • October 23, Boca Raton
  • November 8, West Palm Beach

Corporate, governmental, environmental, and other personnel should attend the GI-BMP program, which was developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and is endorsed by the pest control industry.  

To attend classes, individuals can now register online or via mail.  GI-BMP training is also available online.  More information is  available on the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ website. 

In Palm Beach County, your GI-BMP team is:

  • Cesar Asuaje, Spanish Language Multi-County Extension Agent email
  • Frank Dowdle, Agricultural Safety Extension Agent email
  • Laura Sanagorski, Environmental Horticulture Extension Agent email
  • Bill Schall, Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent email
  • other knowledgeable individuals from the industry
Call 561.233.1725 with any questions you may have.  

Nursery Insect Pest Scouting ~ a Tank Talk Workshop

August 23rd, 2011 : 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Presented by the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Nursery, Landscape, and Growers’ Association and Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service

 Exhibit Hall A

531/559 North Military Trail

West Palm Beach, FL 33415 561.233.1725

  • Systemic scouting can reduce pest management costs
  • “Hands On” ID and management of top 25, or so insect pests
  • Learn effective scouting program methods
  • Afternoon practice session will be in a nursery
  • Catharine Mannion, PhD… Associate Professor of Ornamental Entomology at the UF Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead.  Dr. Mannion is well-known throughout Florida for her work on nursery and landscape insect pests.
  • Bill Schall…. Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent at the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service.
The cost is $20.00 and includes lunch.  Seating is limited.  Download the full brochure here: scouting brochure or call 561.233.1725 with questions.

Red Date Scale on Phoenix Roebellinii

We’ve had a number of concerns the past few weeks over Phoenix Robellinii palms in Palm Beach County.  Several landscape professionals have indicated that they are noticing that new fronds emerge but do not open up.  The fronds eventually die.  If this is something you’re seeing, it may be caused by Red Date Scale.  Red Date Scale can be difficult to identify, especially at the egg stage.  Eggs are tiny and pink and tend to blend in with the natural scurf of the palm.  You can use your hand lens to see if there are eggs present.  The reddish adults are easier to identify, as pictured below.  Wax is often present with the adults.

United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs Archive, USDA Agricultural Research Service,

Red Date Scale can infest any palm in the Phoenix genus as well as Washington and Rattan palms.  A very heavy spray of water can remove many of the scale insects.  Horticultural oil or soap can be used, but will need to be applied frequently.  A soil drench with an insecticide from the neonicotinoid family is the most effective method of chemical treatment.

Need more details?  Read more here: Red date scale, Phoenicococcus marlatti (Cockerell) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Phoenicoccidae) by  Adriana Espinosa, Amanda Hodges, Greg Hodges, and Catharine Mannion