A random sample was made from 2000 Extension customers who had attended programs on Environmental Landscape Management within 17 counties in Florida. Four-hundred Master Gardeners and 500 other citizens were sent a questionnaire that gathered information on demographics as well as six landscape practices. Incentives and barriers to practice adoption were also examined. The return rate of the questionnaires was 83%. Results of the analysis and their implication for Extension programming will be presented.
Environmental Landscape Management (ELM), an extension education program, approaches every landscape as a “system” in which cultural practices interact with each other and the environment. ELM guidelines integrate site conditions, landscape design, plant selection, cultural factors, and recycling in a comprehensive, environment-friendly strategy for managing a landscape. Use of ELM practices by Floridians will conserve resources and protect the environment. The ELM program was evaluated from 1992 to 1994 in 10 counties to measure the program's impact on participants' landscape practices and to provide information on ways to improve program delivery and effectiveness. The evaluation was accomplished by comparing pre-program information on the use of ELM practices with that of a follow-up conducted six months after the program. Responses of this Program Group (n = 473) were compared to those of a Comparison Group of randomly selected Floridians (n = 186). ELM training increased the Program Group's adoption of most practices pertaining to pest management, irrigation, and mowing and pruning. ELM training increased adoption of some fertilization practices and a few recycling and wildlife practices. Energy conserving practices were not widely used by respondents. Respondents maintaining their own yards or those without a permanent irrigation system were more likely to adopt a wide range of ELM practices. The Program Group generally had higher initial levels of adoption of ELM practices than the Comparison Group.
Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) and 14 cultivars were transplanted in northern and southern Florida and evaluated for landscape performance, flowering, growth, and seed viability. All plants survived the 84-week study at both locations with the exception of `Morning Light', where 22% to 33% of the plants died. In northern and southern Florida, `Arabesque', `Adagio', `Cosmopolitan', and `Gracillimus' received the highest visual quality ratings on average throughout the entire study, yet other cultivars such as `Central Park' and `Silberfeder' performed well but had much narrower windows of peak performance. Cultivars such as `Little Kitten' and `Sarabande' performed far better in southern Florida than in northern Florida. Regardless of location, `Morning Light' and `Puenktchen' generally did not perform as well as other cultivars. In northern Florida, four consecutive months of very good to excellent flowering (75% to 100% canopy coverage) were observed for `Adagio', `Arabesque', `Cosmopolitan', `Gracillimus', `Little Kitten', `Sarabande', `Silberfeder', and `Zebrinus'. However, in southern Florida, peak flowering periods for these cultivars were delayed and generally only lasted for 1 to 2 months. On average, plants in northern Florida were larger and produced 2.8 times more flowers than plants in southern Florida. All cultivars produced viable seed with germination of viable seed ranging from 53.6% (`Cabaret') to 100% (`Gracillimus') in southern Florida, and from 49.8% (`Arabesque') to 100% (`Adagio', `Little Kitten', `Sarabande', and `Variegatus') in northern Florida.
The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program (FYN) provides special educational and outreach activities directed at the community to help Floridians reduce pollution and enhance their environment by improving landscape management. The Commercial Landscape Industry Professionals program (CLIP) was developed to provide training in FYN principles to Florida's landscape professionals. CLIP was pilot-tested from 1997 to 1999 in the six-county Indian River Lagoon area of coastal east-central Florida. Teaching resources, audiovisuals, teaching outlines, and reference materials were developed to create an FYN/CLIP curriculum, which was delivered to landscape maintenance personnel through a series of training programs. In addition, the pilot program developed marketing approaches, incentives, and recognition programs for landscape professionals to encourage their participation in CLIP training programs. Evaluations of training programs and results of pre- and post-test questionnaires demonstrate the effectiveness of the FYN/CLIP program.
Plant growth, visual quality, flowering, and seed production were assessed for 10 fountain grass (Pennisetum) cultivars planted in northern and southern Florida. All fountain grass cultivars except Rubrum Dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) and Red Buttons fountain grass (Pennisetum messiacum) achieved flower ratings of 3 to 5 in both locations during the first growing season. During the second growing season, chinese fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), ‘Cassian’ chinese fountain grass (P. alopecuroides), ‘Hameln’ chinese fountain grass (P. alopecuroides), and ‘Red Buttons’ fountain grass flowered better in northern Florida, and green fountain grass (P. setaceum) and ‘Rubrum Dwarf’ fountain grass flowered better in southern Florida. Visual quality of chinese fountain grass and its cultivars generally declined in October without resuming growth through May. ‘Little Bunny’ chinese fountain grass (P. alopecuroides) and oriental pennisetum (Pennisetum orientale) declined dramatically during the first season and did not survive the 84-week study in northern or southern Florida. ‘Rubrum’ fountain grass (P. setaceum) and ‘Rubrum Dwarf’ fountain grass did not produce any seeds.
Bacterial leaf spot on roses caused by a Xanthomonas sp. is a new disease affecting commercial rose production with the potential to cause major economic losses. In the past few decades, antimicrobial photocatalyst technology has emerged from basic research and development to provide convenient formulations of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles, which have the ability to destroy bacteria on surfaces in the presence of light. In this study, a TiO2 nanoparticle formulation containing zinc (TiO2/Zn) was tested for management of bacterial leaf spot on Rosa ‘Noare’. TiO2/Zn caused significant reduction in the survival of Xanthomonas sp. strain Xr-1 on glass coverslips coated with the nanoparticles on exposure to light at 3 × 104 lux for 10 minutes. There was no reduction of bacterial viability in non-coated or non-illuminated controls. Field applications of TiO2/Zn at ≈500 to 800 ppm on Rosa ‘Noare’ significantly reduced bacterial spot severity compared with the untreated control. TiO2/Zn activity was better or on par with the ornamental industry standard for management of rose diseases.
Leaf physiology and growth parameters of Aucuba japonica (Thunb.) cv. Variegata were assessed under conditions of full sun (photosynthetic photon flux = 1531 to 2073 μmol·m-2·s-1) and under shadecloth (light transmittance of 69%, 47%, and 29% full sun) over 2 years. Two days after treatment initiation, net CO2 assimilation (A) was proportional to light level, although stomata1 conductance to water vapor (gs) was not influenced by shading. Subsequently, A, gs, transpiration rate, and water use efficiency of 100% sun-grown plants were often <50% that of shade-grown plants. After 1 month of exposure to 100% sun, leaves were chlorotic and necrotic; plant appearance was normal for plants grown under shadecloth. The growth index and total, leaf, stem, and root dry weights were inversely related to light level. Relative water content and chlorophyll concentration in leaves that had expanded before treatment initiation were reduced with increasing levels of irradiance, but these variables were not altered in leaves produced after treatment initiation. Plants from all treatments experienced dieback when transplanted to the field under conditions of full sun. We conclude that A. japonica is shade obligate, performing best with exposure to 47% of full sunlight.
Environmental Landscape Management (ELM) is an extension education program developed to promote resource conservation and environmental protection through appropriate landscape design and maintenance practices. Use of ELM practices by Florida home owners and landscape professionals will conserve energy and water, recycle yard wastes, and reduce inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. Site analysis and appropriate landscape design and plant selection are inherent components of ELM. Guidelines for ELM integrate irrigation, fertilization, pest control, recycling of yard wastes and other cultural practices to result in a holistic approach to landscape management.
Five videos, 3 slide sets, 20 newspaper releases, and a 45-page booklet, The Florida Environmental Landscape Guide, have been produced to support ELM. This information also will be available on CD-ROM in each county extension office.
Certain cultivars of magnolia are desirable in landscapes for their uncommon yellow flowers. While cultivars derived from Magnolia acuminata L. (cucumbertree magnolia) are difficult to propagate by stem cuttings, some with mixed parentage appear easier to propagate in this manner. We propagated six yellow-flowered cultivars vegetatively by applying 0, 8, 16, or 30 g·kg–1 (0, 8,000, 16,000, or 30,000 ppm) indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) in talc to bases of terminal stem cuttings collected 5, 7, 9, or 11 weeks after budbreak. Mean rooting percentage over all cultivars increased from 12% (in the absence of IBA) to 34% (after application of 30 g·kg–1 IBA). Rooting percentage and basal stem diameter of a cutting did not seem related. For each collection date, more cuttings of `Ivory Chalice' and `Yellow Lantern' developed roots than the other cultivars. More roots (mean = 5) developed on cuttings of `Yellow Lantern' collected 5 weeks after budbreak or when treated with 30 g·kg–1 IBA than the other cultivars. `Butterflies' largely remained unresponsive, whereas rooting of `Golden Sun,' `Hot Flash,' and `Maxine Merrill' collected 5 weeks after budbreak was 31%, 22%, and 28%, respectively. When data were analyzed separately for selected cultivars, 63% rooting was observed among cuttings of `Ivory Chalice' collected 7 weeks after budbreak. Rooting percentage was higher (22%) among cuttings of `Hot Flash' collected 5 or 7 weeks after budbreak in comparison to later collection dates, but harvest date did not influence rooting of `Yellow Lantern,' which ranged from 44% to 59%. Collection of stem cuttings early in the growing season (5 weeks after budbreak) was beneficial (31% rooting) for inducing rooting among cuttings of `Golden Sun.' We conclude that `Ivory Chalice' and `Yellow Lantern' are promising choices for growers interested in clonal propagation of yellow-flowered cultivars of magnolia. To maximize rooting among these cultivars, terminal cuttings should be collected within 5 to 11 weeks after budbreak and treated with 16 or 30 g·kg–1 IBA in talc. Early collection dates (5 to 7 weeks after budbreak) improved rooting among cuttings of other cultivars but these, particularly `Butterflies,' remain variably recalcitrant and merit further study.