Helpful Hints for Cutting Propagation

Here is a relatively new publication from Dr. Tom Yeager entitled "Helpful Details for Commercial Propagation of Woody Plant Stem Cuttings."  It would be a good read for a beginning propagator or a new employee in the propagation department.  This three-page fact sheet provides information for successful propagation of woody plant stem cuttings, such as sanitation, quality of cuttings, the time of year/day to take cuttings, stem size diameter and length of cutting, location of cuts/terminal bud removal, and environmental conditions.   Here is the link to read the publication.   http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP53600.pdf

Water Restrictions and Burn Ban

Hillsborough County continues its lack of rainfall and various agencies have decided to take actions.  SWFWMD has declared a Phase I water shortage and Hillsborough County has issued an open burning ban.  More information can be found below.

Hillsborough County, Fla. (April 27, 2017) - The Emergency Policy Group today approved an executive order banning open burning in Hillsborough County until at least May 4.

Warm temperatures and dry conditions have combined to increase the danger of wildfires in our area.
See Video of Emergency Policy Group meeting

Under the executive order:

A local state of emergency is declared.
All outdoor open burning is prohibited. The only exception is burning that has been specifically allowed in writing by the Florida Forest Service.
Any authorized outdoor burning shall be conducted in strict compliance with state statutes, agency rules, or any other written conditions imposed by the agency or department. Any person conducting outdoor burning authorized by a state agency shall provide a copy of the written authorization to the Emergency Dispatch Center no less than 24 hours prior to conducting the burn.
The order bans fireworks and sparklers.
Outdoor grilling is allowed, as long as the flames are contained within a grill or other fireproof container, and the fire is constantly attended and extinguished fully. By law, the order can be made for no more than seven days. If conditions persist, the order can be extended.
Safety Tips

Remove fuels that can lead flames to your home or that can be ignited by windblown embers.
Clear away dead grass, leaves, twigs, and branches from structures, roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways.
Store firewood at least 30 feet from occupied structures.
Plant landscaping that retains moisture and resists ignition, such as native, fire-resistant vegetation.
Help emergency responders find your home faster by making sure that street numbers are easy to read.
Install metal screening that blocks embers from entering structures.
Know where the closest firefighting water source is to your home or building. Dispose of cigarette butts properly.
Pick up light-refracting metal items, such as soda cans, that can spark a fire.
Don't park vehicles over high grass that could come into contact with hot engines and other components.
Although no large wildfires have yet occurred in Hillsborough County, it's important to stay in the know. Residents and visitors should register for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County's official public notification system for emergency and urgent alerts. To receive messages by email, phone, and text, go to HCFLGov.net/HCFLAlert.

District Declares Phase I Water Shortage throughout 16-County Region
04/25/2017 12:00 AM EDT

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board voted today to declare a Phase I Water Shortage for all 16 counties throughout the District’s boundaries. Included in the order are Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties.

The primary purpose for a Phase I water shortage is to alert the public that watering restrictions could be forthcoming. The order also requires local utilities to review and implement procedures for enforcing year-round water conservation measures and water shortage restrictions, including reporting enforcement activity to the District.

Phase I water shortage order does not change allowable watering schedules, however it does prohibit “wasteful and unnecessary” water use.

The District considers both natural water resource conditions and the viability of public supply when deciding to declare a water shortage order – that means, restricting the amount of water the public can use. For the past 20 years, the District has worked diligently with our partners to develop alternative water supplies. Even though we are experiencing drought conditions, there is adequate water supply available to the public.

Florida’s dry season runs October through May and April is historically one of the driest months of the year. The District encourages water conservation year-round, and offers many tips to reduce water use and additional information on our website WaterMatters.org/conservation.


Amaryllis Herbicide Demonstration

I completed a short-term demonstration trial on amaryllis recently to determine a few safe preemergent-herbicides that might prove useful to prevent hand weeding since I couldn't find anything in the literature.  Eight different herbicides were applied over the top of three pots and then on another set of three pots herbicide was applied under the canopy of the leaf blades to see if there were any differences.  The rates were about twice the high labeled rate to make sure they would be relatively safe even with an over-application.  Only above ground plants were evaluated.  Herbicide injury could show up in slower growth rates, longer term growth, and root damage but these were not evaluated.
Here are the results three weeks after treatment application. Herbicides that look relatively safe were Corral, FreeHand, Tower, Snapshot.  Ones that caused injury were OH2, O-O Herbicide, Jewel, Rout, and OHII.  Almost all damage was in the axil of the leaves right at the base of the bulb (see red arrow in above picture).  There was less injury when herbicides were applied under the canopy but nothing was 100% injury free if it caused damage in the overhead trial (see red arrow at bottom right picture above).  It would be extremely difficult to apply these herbicides under canopy if there were any number of pots that would need to be applied and there would be no way to guarantee the application would be only to the soil.  As a caveat with this information, this was done in a limited number of plants in April in West Central Florida with overhead irrigation.  Data may be different with other environmental conditions, irrigation practices, media, etc.  UF/IFAS Extension is not making any recommendations with this data, just showing the results of the small-scale demonstration. The use of trade names or registered products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information.  UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition.  All chemicals should be used in accordance with directions on the manufacturer's label.  Use pesticides safely.  Read and follow direction on the manufacturer's label.    


Hillsborough County Extension Arbor Day Tree Giveaway Contests

UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County is sponsoring two Arbor Day contests with the help of Florida Forestry Service and Kerby's Nursery, to promote the the appreciation and planting of trees.  We will be having a Mail Art Contest and a Written Word Contest. Both contests are open to any aged resident of Hillsborough County.  The winner will receive a tree of their choice from Kerby's Nursery and a tree planting kit (may include items such as fertilizer, shovel, gloves, pruners, etc).  Rules and information are available at these two links...
Mail Art Contest-    http://tiny.cc/9iedky
Written Word Contest- http://tiny.cc/akedky

Please share this information to those who may be interseted.
Contest closes 4/14/17!


Southeastern US Pest Control Guide for Nursery Crops and Landscape Plantings

Wondering which herbicide to use with what weeds or what herbicide rotation you should use?  How about how to control beetles on the roses?  There is a new tool for you to use...
The Southern Nursery IPM Group (SNIPM) just released the 2017 Southeastern US Pest Control Guide for Nursery Crops and Landscape Plantings. This new resource contains information about products used to control diseases and pests on nursery crops and landscape plantings. The intent is that the information be used a guide to pest control decision-making and not a substitute for other aspects of IPM (Integrated Pest Management). The Guide was developed by Joe Neal (North Carolina State University), J.C. Chong (Clemson University) and Jean Williams-Woodward (University of Georgia) with contributions from many other university faculty, including from the University of Florida. The Guide is available for download at the NC State webpage, https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/southeastern-us-pest-control-guide-for-nursery-crops-and-landscape-plantings, and check out additional IPM resources on the SNIPM website.