Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring Obsession is on its way!

Each year we participate in a local non-profit event called Spring Obsession (http://www.springobsession.org/). As usual, the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program will have painted rain barrels for sale at our booth. The rain barrels, painted by local students, are a beautiful way to integrate water conservation into your garden. The event begins at 9:00 am and ends at 4:00 pm. Come early if you want to purchase a painted rain barrel as they go quick!





A beautiful display of painted rain barrels! Who knew water conservation could look so good! For more information on rain barrels go to http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/rainbarrel/.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Neighborhood Effort!


This grouping of homes have all landscaped their front yards using the Florida-friendly landscaping principles. Their yards flow into one anothers creating a continuous (and beautiful!) landscape!
Good job neighbors!

Florida-Friendly Fertilization Workshop this WEDNESDAY!

Come and learn from the experts!

Wednesday, February 11 at 6:00 pm at the Magnolia Building in Lakeland. Dr. David Shibles will be presenting a program on Florida-friendly fertilization techniques.

Many homeowners use fertilizer in their landscapes. You may wish to increase fruit production, encourage faster growth, produce larger and more abundant blooms or green up leaves. Whatever the case, it is important to know what kind of fertilizer to use and to read the label before you purchase it.
When you select your fertilizer at the local nursery or home center, look at the three numbers on the bag. They will say something such as; 15-0-15 or 16-2-8. These numbers mean the percentage of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium that are in the bag of fertilizer. So the bag that reads 15-0-15 has 15% Nitrogen in the bag. Another important thing to look for on the label is slow-release Nitrogen. Slow release fertilizer is much more beneficial to the environment because it leaches less than a soluble product. You will have less thatch build up and less rapid growth in your plants if you use a slow release product.
When you are ready to apply the fertilizer, make sure you read the label so that you know how much to apply. This may mean you have to do some quick calculations. Grass will have different requirements than landscape plants.

Take the following precautions when applying the fertilizer as they will reduce environmental impact:

1. If you spill granules while applying, sweep them up and reuse them or sweep them into the lawn.

2. Do not spread fertilize onto water bodies. It is best to establish a 10-30 foot "no pesticide, no fertilizer" zone around any ponds, lakes or rivers.

3. Use a drop spreader rather than a rotary spreader. The rotary spreader flings the particles further.

4. Avoid using "weed and feed" products or products that have herbicides and fertilizers in one.
They may injure nearby plants or tree roots.

5. Do not fertilize if a heavy rain is expected.

6. Apply iron to the lawn in the summer to green it instead of Nitrogen