Archive for the ‘Florida-Friendly Landscaping’ Category

Your Extension Agents are Serving up Coffee and Thursday Morning CEUs: May 30th

Potassium deficiencyYou’re invited to attend:

Fertilizing the Florida Landscape to Minimize Impact on Ground and Surface Waters….

… to enjoy breakfast and time to socialize with other green industry professionals. University of Florida fertilizer recommendations will be presented, with an emphasis on applying appropriate amounts and formulations of fertilizer. This program will include a discussion of the effect of turf fertilizers and reclaimed water on the landscape. An activity will prepare participants to convert water quality data into the amount of fertilizer applied, and consequently adjust fertilizer as needed.  View the flyer.

Two Category CEUs offered in: Private Applicator Ag., O&T, Limited Landscape, Limited L&O, or COmmercial L&O

Facts About the New County Fertilizer Ordinance

Palm Beach County’s Board of County Commissioners passed its “Florida Friendly Fertilizer Use Ordinance” on October 30, 2012.  This ordinance was required by the state legislature to address water quality related to landscape practices.  It is intended to protect Palm Beach County ground and surface waters.  The following is a summary of the ordinance.  Download a printer-friendly version of this fact sheet here.

  • Florida-Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries (GI-BMP) is a research-based training program that includes an overview of the training and water legislation, irrigation, fertilization, pest management, and landscape best management practices.  Participants take a post-test following this one-day course.  Those achieving a 75% or better score receive a GI-BMP certificate of training.  This document is the prerequisite for the Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Fertilizer.  GI-BMP training is available at UF / IFAS Palm Beach County Extension multiple times per year and is also available online.  To sign up for an online class, visit or call 561.233.1759 for local offerings or more details.
  • Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Fertilizer is the new “fertilizer license”.  It is obtained from the Florida Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control by submitting the GI-BMP certificate of training and a completed application form and must be renewed every four years.  The application can be found at:
  • Commercial fertilizer applicators are those who apply fertilizer for hire, generally working on multiple properties owned by paying individual clients.  Commercial applicators must hold a Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Fertilizer by January 1, 2014 to apply fertilizer in the landscape.  Businesses must provide proof of successful GI-BMP training to obtain or renew a business license from the PBC Tax Collector.
  • Institutional fertilizer applicators are those who apply fertilizer to properties owned by their employer.  This group includes golf course, municipal and county parks and public works employees, and staff of hotels and multi-family communities.  Institutional fertilizer applicators must hold a GI-BMP certificate of completion by January 1, 2014 in order to apply fertilizer in the landscape.
  • Non-commercial and non-institutional fertilizer applicators include homeowners, nurseries, and farm operations and should follow the University of Florida / IFAS “Florida-Friendly Landscape Program” and label instructions when applying fertilizers.
  • Anyone (including commercial and institutional applicators and homeowners) that applies fertilizer is encouraged to follow the principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping and Green Industries Best Management Practices, which includes the following:
    • No fertilizing during the Prohibited Application Period (when any part of Palm Beach County is under National Weather Service Flood Watch / Warning, a Tropical Storm Watch / Warning, a Hurricane Watch / Warning or if 2 inches of rain, or more is expected to fall within a one-day period).
    • No fertilizing within 10 feet of a water body (3 feet if a deflector shield is used).
    • Fertilize with rates at or below those currently recommended by the University of Florida and the fertilizer label.
    • Deflectors should be used with broadcast spreaders where needed.
    • Fertilizer spilled on an impervious surface must be cleaned up and either applied to landscape or returned to the package. Fertilizer and grass clippings should never be blown into water bodies, storm drains, sidewalks, or roadways, or allowed to wash into these areas.

Find more information in the GI-BMP manual ( and through our many Florida Friendly Landscaping publications (


Virtual Field Day for Property Managers! ~ Slide Show Attached

Palm Beach County / IFAS Extension conducts a biannual field day for property managers at a multifamily property.  The informal event consists of approximately 1 1/2 hours of plant, weed, insect, disease, and nutrient deficiency identification.  Best management practices are discussed and practical recommendations made.  This slide show, which can be downloaded below, was developed to provide a virtual field day experience, mirroring the live event held in November of 2011.

Virtual Field Day Fall 2011


Congratulations to the UF / IFAS Palm Beach County 2012 Master Landscape Management class!

Congratulations to our 2012 Master Landscape Management participants!  On March 8, 2012, the 8-week program concluded.  38 professionals completed the program, with an additional 21 persons completing individual classes.  A total of 494.75 Continuing Education Units* were earned by this hard-working group!

2012 Master Landscape Management program

2012 Master Landscape Management program

Congratulations to all on a job well done!

This program was developed by Laura Sanagorski, Environmental Horticulture Extension Faculty, to encourage the use of University of Florida / IFAS research-based best management practices in the landscape, with a focus on the nine components of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping program.  If you missed the class this year, watch for program announcements this coming December for information about the 2013 program.

*  CEUs earned include: 8 Landscape Inspectors’ Association of Florida (LIAF), 60 Florida Nursery, Growers, and Landscape Association (FNGLA), 345 pesticide applicators, and 81.75 International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Tropical Fruit in Your Garden ~ (brochure in English and Spanish attached!)

Do your customers want a tree with a tropical flair?  Maybe something edible? Sometimes the Right Plant, Right, Place principle leads us to choose fruit trees for our Florida-Friendly landscapes.

Please see the attached Tropical Fruit for Your Garden brochure for information on fruit trees that thrive in South Florida, as well as how to care for them.


Algunos de sus clientes están interesados en árboles de frutas tropicales? Quizás algo para comer? En algunas ocasiones el principio: “las plantas correctas para el sitio adecuado” nos lleva a seleccionar árboles frutales para nuestras áreas verdes.

Por favor, revise el panfleto anexo para obtener información sobre las frutas tropicales con mayor adaptación en el sur de Florida y como cuidarlas.

Reclaimed Water May Affect Fertilization Needs

Reclaimed water is being used more frequently in the landscape.  It’s important to remember that reclaimed water has different properties than drinking water processed by our local water plants.  While it is perfectly safe to use, reclaimed water can have a higher salt and nutrient content than rainwater or drinking water.  If a property you maintain uses reclaimed water as its irrigation source, you should manage the landscape a bit differently.  Most importantly, you’ll want to test the water or otherwise obtain current test results so you know what level of salt and nutrients is being applied in the landscape.

From a landscape perspective, the most important item of interest is the Continue reading

Wind-Resilient, Florida-Friendly Landscape Design and Management (presentations in English and Spanish attached!)

South Florida sustained a lot of damage in the landscape in recent hurricanes.  We may be half a year away from hurricane season, but it is important to always design with year-round weather in mind.  Your clients may want to know what they should plant and how they should design landscapes with an emphasis on wind-resilience.  Appropriate landscape design can reduce damage sustained in a hurricane, while poor design and plant selection can contribute to the extent of the damage.

In 2002, a small coastal village in India planted over 80,000 trees to break a Guiness book world record.  About two years later, when the Tsunami ravaged parts of India, this village sustained very minimal damage, thanks to the buffering of the trees.  This is a great example of how landscape can be used to increase storm resistance in the landscape.


Last year, your UF / IFAS Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service offered a Paisaje, Arboles, y Huracanes / Landscape, Trees, & Hurricanes workshop.  If you missed it, you can check out this presentation that was given:  

El año pasado, UF / IFAS Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service ofreció un taller  sobre Paisaje, Arboles, y Huracanes / Landscape, Trees, & Hurricanes workshopSi te lo perdiste, aquí puedes ver la presentación.


Certain factors in landscape design contribute to wind resilience.  These include:

Continue reading