SWFWMD Extends Water Restrictions

This is from the local Water District...

District Extends Water Restrictions

Residents Urged to Check Their Irrigation Systems

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted today to extend Phase I water shortage restrictions for the District’s entire 16-county area through Oct. 31, 2011, because the region’s water resources have not been replenished due to a delayed start in the summer rainy season.

The Phase I order is intended as an alert to prepare for worsening conditions. Under Phase I, residents are asked to check their irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly. This means testing and repairing broken pipes and leaks, and damaged or tilted sprinkler heads. Residents should also check their irrigation timer to ensure the settings are correct and the rain sensor is working properly in accordance with state law.

There are no changes to watering days or times in a Phase I water shortage compared to the District’s year-round water conservation measures. This means lawn and landscape watering remains limited to a two-day-per-week schedule, and residents may only water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Some local governments have stricter local ordinances limiting lawn watering to one day per week or using different watering hours, so residents should always check with their local government or utility.

“Our rainy season has gotten off to a slow start,” said Lois Sorensen, District demand management program manager. “The region’s public water supplies are in relatively good shape for now, but we may need to consider stricter measures if the rest of the rainy season isn’t more consistently productive.”

When Phase I first went into effect, water utilities and their local governments were expected to review and revise their watering restriction enforcement procedures. The extension means they must continue to report enforcement activity to the District on a monthly basis.

For additional information about water restrictions and water conservation, please contact your local utility or visit the District’s website at www.WaterMatters.org/conservation/. To report a possible violation, call 1-800-848-0499 or email Water.Restrictions@WaterMatters.org/.


Nickle, Not Just for Piggy Banks

Introducing Nickel – The Newest Essential Element for Plants

Posted on July 5, 2011 by Dave

IFAS Extension recently published a publication of interest to growers on the plant micronutrient nickel. This 5 page publication begins with an introduction to the 17th essential plant nutrient. It then explains the function of nickel in plants and what symptoms to look for when plants are deficient.

The publication explains that nickel is required by the urease enzyme in plants for the efficient conversion of urea to ammonia. When nickel is at an insufficient level in the plant, urea is not converted as efficiently and toxicity may develop.

Uptake, transport, bio-transport and soil testing are covered, as well as how to fertilize to avoid nickel deficiency. The publication is here: http://bit.ly/lv6jaF


Trees are Beneficial

Here is a nice article about the benefits of trees from Nursery Management and Production.  I've created a link to the article in the magazine.  You can flip through the rest of the magazine from the link.  If you are a grower and don't get the magazine it is worth your while and it is free to subscribe.  The article is basically a summary of different benefits shade trees convey to urban areas. It is also a good article to use when trying to let your buyers be aware of how valuable your product really is and how important trees are to society.  Correctly planted and maintain trees have benefits of reducing storm water runoff, increasing property values, creating natural resource jobs, reducing energy consumption, increasing community health and welfare, decreasing stress, and creating natural habitat for wildlife. Remember the marketing saying, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”  If you would like to read further here is the link to the NM Pro article: http://tiny.cc/nmprotrees


Rose Production Seminar

Here is an interesting, free seminar I will be hosting on roses and their production at the UF/Plant City Campus on July 22.  It is work done with Drs. Gary Knox and Sydney Park Brown on low maintenance shrub roses.  A collection of roses have not been pruned, sprayed, and have been minimally fertilized to see what performed well under our local conditions. Find out what did well and what didn't. There is also a disease and pest component to the seminar.  I also have propagated some of the better performing varieties and hope to give some of them out as trials at the meeting.

Here is the agenda.
9:00 a.m. Registration & Welcome
9:15 a.m. Performance of shrub roses in northern, central &
southern Florida under low maintenance conditions-
Gary W. Knox
10:00 a.m. Observations and effects of chili thrips on twelve cultivars
of Old Garden and Modern Shrub roses-Sydney Park Brown
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Banker plants for nursery production—Juanita Popenoe
and Lance Osborne
11:15 a.m. Diseases of rose and their management-Mathews Paret
11:45 a.m. Resources on roses: new and updated publications on
roses-Gary Knox and Mathews Paret
12:00 p.m. View rose planting in Gardens

If you would like to attend send me an email ststeed@ufl.edu or call 813-744-5519 ext.147