Queen Palms Blowout

A grower in Plant City has 175 queen palms in 25 gal containers at about 15' tall and needs to get rid of them.  They will be sold for $30.00 each.  Call Sue at 813-416-1573 if interested.

Graveyard Weed Tale for Halloween

This is an article published from the USDA Agricultural Research Service in the October 2011 Issue of Agricultureal Research.  "A Mississippi Graveyard: The Perfect Place for a Plant Mystery"

Gypsies, Graveyards and Mysterious Plants

By Ann Perry
October 19, 2011

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist has confirmed the identity of a strange grass-like sedge discovered in a Mississippi graveyard, and believes the appearance of the potentially invasive plant is linked to the final resting places of several members of a royal Gypsy family.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) botanist Charles Bryson was asked by Mississippi State University graduate student Lucas Majure to help classify a plant Majure had found in Rose Hill Cemetery in Meridian, Miss. Bryson works at the ARS Crop Production Systems Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

After several months of searching, Bryson identified the plant as blue sedge (Carex breviculmis), a native of Asia and Australia and previously unknown in North America. He also found it growing along railroad tracks, campgrounds used by transients, and in or around four cemeteries in Meridian, including Rose Hill Cemetery.

Visitors from all over the world come to Rose Hill Cemetery to pay their respects at the gravesite of Kelly Mitchell, the Queen of the Gypsies, who was buried there in 1915. Her husband and other family members were also laid to rest in the cemetery.

Given the plant's restricted and distinctive distribution in the region, Bryson thinks that global travelers introduced the sedge to Mississippi, possibly via seeds trapped in clothing or by leaving plants or soil at the gravesites of the Gypsy royalty. Then cemetery caretakers may have spread plant material from the first introduction site to the other cemeteries via contaminated clothing and lawn care equipment.

At two sites where it is now established, the plant exhibits weedy characteristics and reproduces and spreads profusely. To Bryson, these traits suggest that the Old World sedge could someday cause problems in U.S. lawn and turf systems, as well as in fruit and nut crop production.

Bryson and Majure published their findings in the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
Read more about this research in the October 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

Here is the the link. 

SWFWMD Extends Phase I Water Restrictions

This in from SWFWMD.  I would advise growers that this is a good time to check your irrigation system's operational efficiency.

Oct. 25, 2011

District Extends Water Restrictions
Rainy Season Not Productive Enough for Resources to Recover

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 Feb. 29, 2012, because of a disappointing summer rainy season and an approaching winter that is expected to be drier than normal.

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 timers to ensure the settings are correct and the required rain sensors or soil moisture sensors are 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.


New CEU article released

A new article "Using Beneficial Arthropods" by Juanita Popenoe has been added to the free, online, industry sponsored UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Pesticide CEU web page.  This article will give you 1 credit for Private Applicator, Ornamental and Turf Pest Control, Limited Certificate Commercial Landscape and Maintenance, or Limited Certification Lawn and Ornamental.  Just click on the link, read the article, and take the quiz to get your free CEU.  I will email the certification to you if you pass the quiz with a 70% or better.  www.tiny.cc/CEUS

Plant Auction at the Hillsborough County Fair Grounds

UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension, FNGLA Tampa Chapter, and the Hillsborough County Fair would like to invite you to the Annual FNGLA Plant Auction.  The auction will take place at the fairgrounds on Saturday, October 15, 2011.  If you are a plant donor or grower you can get in free and enjoy a free barbecue lunch from the 4-H foundation on us.  We are also having a special silent auction for fertilizers and chemicals strictly for growers.   If you would like to get a ticket call Shawn at the office 813-744-5519 ext. 54147.  If you are a buyer or just love gardening and landscaping, come on out and get great deals on annuals, perennials, woody ornamentals, and trees.  The money that we raise at this auction goes to help scholarships and youth programs.  If you would like to help out at the auction also give Shawn a call. We have a lot of fun and there is a ton of stuff to do at the fair. Not to mention all the fair food!  For more information please click on this link http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/AgCalendar.html