Archive for the ‘IFAS / PBC’ Category

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We hope to see you soon at an upcoming program, such as :

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 (


Celebrating 150 Years of the Morrill Act!!

The signing of the Morrill Act happened on this day in 1862.  We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act, which created the land‐grant university system, of which the University of Florida is a part. This public investment in higher education has made a significant difference in the quality of life for Floridians. Not only did it allow for access to higher education by all, but it created a mechanism through which the public in all parts of the state can access research-based knowledge and discoveries from university faculty and researchers.

For a century and a half, in thousands of ways, big and small, the University of Florida has helped make Florida a great place to live, work and play through its core mission of teaching, research, and outreach, and it has played  a vital role in helping the United States produce the safest and most plentiful food supply on earth.  That’s something to celebrate!

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).

Urban Forestry Grant Awarded to Palm Beach County

Urban Forestry Education <UF Laura Sanagorski>

Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service would like to thank the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Forest Service for their award through the 2011 National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program. This grant will support a project entitled ” Strengthening our Urban Forest Through Education”.  This project will support arboricultural training for professionals, residents, and Master Gardener volunteers, as well as the creation of electronic learning modules available to all for free.

We look forward to implementing this project and give a special thanks to Mr. Adam Putnam, Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr. James Karels, Director of Florida Forest Services, and Mr. Charlie Marcus, Urban Forestry Director of Florida Forest Services.

IFAS / PB County Environmental Horticulture

** Please note, this blog is no longer being updated, but will remain active for informational purposes.**

For more information about IFAS / Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension, please visit

This page was developed by Laura Sanagorski, past Environmental Horticulture Extension Faculty, UF / IFAS Palm Beach County Extension, to provide green industry professionals with the latest research in the horticulture field: pests, diseases, landscape issues, as well as educational and CEU opportunities.

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