36th Annual Youth Plant Show and Sale

We are getting underway with final preparations for the Florida Strawberry Festival Youth Plant Show and Sale. Youth involved with 4H and FFA have been growing their plants (hopefully avoiding cold damage) to get ready for the big auction that will take place on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City. We will have both a silent and a live auction this year. The silent auction will take place at 12:00 and will end 30 minutes after the live auction. The live auction will start at 2:00pm and will hopefully end at 6:00pm.

We hope that you will come out and support the environmental horticulture endeavors of the youth of our county. The auction raises around $30,000 for the entrants and is a good economic boost to them. It is also a great way for them to put their spare time to use and get rewarded for it. I also believe that it is a great opportunity for kids to learn about horticulture and the business of growing plants and develop the appreciation of how horticulture affects them in their everyday lives.

So we hope to see you at the Plant Show and Sale...and bring the check books!


Numeric Nutrient Criteria

Most of you have already heard about the proposed EPA numeric nutrient criteria. You also probably know that it can have a major impact in your daily business life. The EPA is giving us guidelines as to how clean the water that leaves your farm needs to be. If the water does not measure up to the standards then measures to monitor and treat this water would be necessary. If you have already signed up for the Nursery Best Management Practices (BMP)you have a waiver of liability if you follow the practices and are found to be in violation of the standards. If you have not signed up yet...SIGN UP NOW!!! Call Jemy Hinton at 813-478-6630. She will walk you through the painless process and can even help you get cost share money to improve your production practices.

And for a reference guide to understand all this talk about the numeric nutrient criteria, IFAS has just published a handy guide to help you understand what is going on and how to be in on the process. Just click on the link below for A Guide to EPA's Proposed Numeric Nutrient Water Quality Criteria for Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss528


Plam Production Classes

For those of you who may have had some damage with the freezes to traditionally cold tolerant palms, you may want to pull the damaged spear leaf from the top of the palm to expose and dry out the apical bud. You should also follow up with a copper fungicide spray to eliminate the possibility of pathogens from infecting the exposed growing point.
Here is an IFAS publication about treating cold damaged palms: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg318

There is also an opportunity to learn more about palm production from the experts at UF/IFAS. There will be a two day course on the production of palms.

Here is the link to Dr. Elliot's class at Leu Gardens.

Some of the topics are:

Topics: (classroom presentations and field trip to palm gardens on site)
􀁹 Diagnosing Palm Problems 􀁹 Palm Insects
􀁹 Palm Anatomy and Growth 􀁹 Palm Diseases
􀁹 Physiological Disorders 􀁹 Normal Abnormalities
􀁹 Nutrient Deficiencies 􀁹 Fertilizer Formulations & Techniques
􀁹 Transplant Issues 􀁹 Pruning Palms


Tampa Spring Expo

Just wanted to remind you of the upcoming Tampa Spring Expo. This will take place at the State Fair Grounds in Tampa on February 19 and 20. This is a good time to try and drum up some sales, catch up on all the latest happenings with your fellow industry members, and share some camaraderie with your friends.

For having fun, before the Expo there will be the event Birds and Birdies which are independent golf and shooting events.

For educaton there will be the Tree and Landscape Short Course on the 19th. With good information on irrigation, landscaping, and core topics. Here is the brochure if you would like more information:http://prohort.ifas.ufl.edu/events/CalendarPubs/TLSC_Brochure.PDF This course will take place at the Trinkle Center.

The event will also culminate with the plant auction on the 20th before the trade show ends. Any participants can donate their booth to the TBWG and we will auction it off. It is a great chance to purchase plants at deep discounts. This is a great opportunity for landscapers and retailers! The money raised will be donated to the Hillsborough County Environmental Horticulture Extension Program as well as research in Env. Hort. at UF.

Here is a link with all the information:http://tbwg.org/TSE.html