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  • Author or Editor: Sydney Park Brown x
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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.

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Environmental conditions in Florida are favorable for the development and persistence of insects and diseases that affect rose (Rosa sp.) plants, necessitating periodic applications of pesticides to maintain plant appearance. In addition, nutrient-deficient and well-drained soils in Florida force gardeners to provide supplemental fertilizer and water. Landscape performance is rarely considered for the development of new rose cultivars; consequently, careful selection of cultivars adapted to local conditions is necessary to reduce maintenance. The objective of this study was to develop recommendations of own-root, low-maintenance roses among 11 old garden and modern cultivars for central Florida. Plants were provided with minimal amounts of water and fertilizer, no control for diseases and insects, and no grooming or deadheading. Weekly evaluations were performed on all plants for plant quality, flower coverage; and incidence of black spot (caused by Diplocarpon rosae), cercospora leaf spot (caused by Cercospora rosicola), and foliar damage [caused by chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis)]. Damage caused by the foliar diseases and chilli thrips were the major factors that affected plant quality, vigor, and subsequently, flower production. Differences in susceptibility to these three factors were found among cultivars, enabling the classification of the 11 cultivars as recommended, cautiously recommended, and not recommended for central Florida. After two years, ‘Mrs. B.R. Cant’ appeared to be the most suited for central Florida as plant quality and flower production were fairly constant. ‘Duchesse de Brabant’, ‘RADrazz’ (Knock Out®), and ‘Spice’ were the next best performers and are cautiously recommended for central Florida. These cultivars were minimally affected by both diseases, showing low severity of yellowing and defoliation nor a decline in flower production. “Bailey Red”, ‘Old Blush’, ‘Belinda’s Dream’, ‘Perle d’Or’, ‘BUCbi’ (Carefree Beauty™), ‘Mutabilis’, and ‘WEKcisbako’ (Home Run®) had severe defoliation, poor growth, and low vigor in this study and do not appear to be low-maintenance landscape roses for central Florida.

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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.

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