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William E. Klingeman, Gretchen V. Pettis, and S. Kristine Braman

In past surveys, lawn care and landscape maintenance professionals have reported their willingness to adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and use nonchemical pest management alternatives ( Braman et al., 1998a ; Garber and Bondari

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Wojciech J. Florkowski, Carol D. Robacker, Joyce G. Latimer, and S. Kristine Braman

A survey indicated that the landscape maintenance and lawn care industry of the Atlanta metro area was localized in densely populated counties with a high concentration of commercial activity and residential housing. A relatively young age and limited size of most of the firms suggested a lack of barriers to entering the industry, which was supported by gross sales and equipment owned by surveyed companies. Most firms generated no more than $100,000 in sales in 1993 and owned equipment valued at less than $25,000. Most residential accounts were under 10 acres.

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Reuben B. Beverly, Wojciech Florkowski, and John M. Ruter

In response to a mail survey of the landscape maintenance and lawn care (LM-LC) industry in metropolitan Atlanta, we learned that 76% of respondents fertilized lawns and turf and 68% fertilized ornamental beds. Less than one-fourth of those who provided fertilization services offered an organic fertility option; for those who reported an organic option, an average of 25% of their residential customers used such a service. Complete fertilizers (N-P2O5-K2O), ammonium nitrate, urea, and N solutions were the products applied by most respondents. Average amounts of N per application were ≈1.5 lb/1000 ft2 on lawns and 1.1 lb/1000 ft2 on ornamentals. Of firms that provide fertilization services, 88% use a predetermined application schedule, whereas 88% use visual observation and 69% use soil testing to guide fertilizer management. Only 5% reported using tissue analysis as a fertilizer management strategy. Nitrogen fertilizers were applied most frequently in the spring, with nearly equal amounts applied in summer and fall. Phosphorus was applied most commonly in the fall or spring. Relatively few firms reported applying significant amounts of either N or P in winter. Most respondents indicated that they received adequate information about fertilizers, but few received information about organic fertilization. Commercial sales representatives and trade magazines were cited most often as sources of information; university specialists were the least-cited formal source of information concerning fertilization. We have suggested some research and educational issues to be addressed based on these results.

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Janet S. Hartin, Rachel A. Surls, and Joseph P. Bush

to a desire to conserve water, reduce landscape maintenance and related costs, and a greater familiarity with lawn alternatives ( Barnes et al., 2018 ; Hugie et al., 2012 ; Hurd et al., 2006 ; Larson et al., 2009 ; St. Hilaire et al., 2010 ; Yue

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Wojciech J. Florkowski, Carol Robacker, and Paul Thomas

Managers and employees of landscape maintenance and lawn care industry (LM/LC) applying pesticides can prevent pollution. Adequate information about application of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and nematicides is a prerequisite for proper application. A survey, prepared by an interdisciplinary research team “Ornamentals Working Group,” was implemented in 1994 to Atlanta metro area firms. The gross return rate was 25.4%. The majority of respondents had 10 or fewer years of experience in providing landscape services; had at least 13 years of schooling; and were in their thirties or forties. The categorical nature of dependent variables suggested ordered probit procedure as the statistical estimation method. Independent variables included characteristics of the respondent, firm characteristics, and information sources about the application of a specific pesticide. Extension and research personnel and commercial representatives were important information sources about insecticide and fungicide application. The use of all three sources of information by the LM/LC industry seems to depend on pesticide type, with commercial representatives, and extension and research personnel often acting as complementary information sources.

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S.K. Braman, J.G. Latimer, and C.D. Robacker

Questionnaires on pesticide use and other aspects of integrated pest management (IPM) were mailed to 1678 lawn care and landscape maintenance firms in the 20 county metropolitan Atlanta area. The survey return rate adjusted for nonapplicable addresses and undeliverable mailings was 25.4%, yielding a total of 350 usable surveys. Responding lawn care and landscape maintenance professionals purchased a total active ingredient of 250,527 lb (93,447 kg) of herbicide, 35,416 lb (13,210 kg) of insecticide and 10,367 lb (3,867 kg) of fungicide during 1993. Most insecticides and fungicides were applied during June, July, and August. About one-third of herbicides were applied during March to May, one-third during June to August, and one-third during September to February. Key pests and plants were identified by survey respondents. Opportunities and impediments to implementation of IPM in the landscape as reported by respondents are discussed.

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Amy L. Shober, Kimberly A. Moore, Gitta S. Hasing, Christine Wiese, Geoffrey C. Denny, and Gary W. Knox

Research supporting recommendations for fertilizer needs of landscape-grown vines and groundcovers is lacking. The objectives of our study were to (1) evaluate the quality response of selected vine and groundcover species to nitrogen (N) fertilization at five rates and (2) validate the recommended N fertilizer rates (from the initial evaluation) by monitoring quality of additional landscape-grown vine and groundcover species. Three vine species and two groundcover species were planted in west-central Florida into raised beds containing subsoil fill material in a completely randomized design. Plants were fertilized every 6 weeks with a controlled release fertilizer (20N–0P–0K–23S) at an annual N rate of 0, 2, 4, 6, or 12 lb/1000 ft2. Plant aesthetic quality (0–5 scale) was assessed every 6 weeks for 30 weeks after planting. Although quality of some species increased significantly as N rate increased, all plants supplied with at least 4 lb/1000 ft2 per year N fertilizer had acceptable quality ratings of 3 or better. Screening of three additional vines and four additional groundcovers fertilized with controlled release fertilizer (42N–0P–0K) at an annual N rate of 3, 5, or 7 lb/1000 ft2 confirmed that fertilization with 2 to 4 lb/1000 ft2 per year should be adequate to maintain acceptable vines and groundcovers grown in the landscape in west-central Florida.

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Kimberly A. Moore, Amy L. Shober, Gitta S. Hasing, Christine L. Wiese, Geoffrey C. Denny, and Gary W. Knox

Recent research suggested that the nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates needed to maintain high-quality landscape plants was lower than rates needed to grow the largest size plants. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of N fertilizer rate on the aesthetic quality of various landscape-grown annual and perennials species. Nineteen cool-season annuals, 20 warm-season annuals, and 4 perennials were planted into raised beds containing subsoil fill material in a completely randomized design in west-central Florida (U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 9b). Plants were fertilized every 12 weeks with polymer coated, slow-release N (42N–0P–0K) fertilizer at annual N rate of 3, 5, or 7 lb/1000 ft2 (annuals) or 1, 3, or 5 lb/1000 ft2 (perennials). Plants were rated for aesthetic quality every 6 weeks for a period of 18 weeks (annuals) or 54 weeks (perennials). For most species, quality ratings of plants fertilized with 3 lb/1000 ft2 of N per year (annuals) or 1 lb/1000 ft2 of N per year (perennials) were not significantly lower than plants receiving higher rates of N annually. Previously reported N fertilizer recommendations for central Florida of 2 to 4 lb/1000 ft2 per year should be adequate for maintaining acceptable quality landscape-grown annual and herbaceous perennial plant species.

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Gitta Shurberg, Amy L. Shober, Christine Wiese, Geoffrey Denny, Gary W. Knox, Kimberly A. Moore, and Mihai C. Giurcanu

There is limited research regarding proper fertilization rates and timing for landscape-grown herbaceous perennials. Most current nitrogen (N) fertilizer recommendations for landscape-grown perennials are based on rates for woody landscape plants or on rates for greenhouse-grown perennials. In addition, most fertilizer guidelines are defined to achieve peak growth, which may not be the best indicator of desirable plant quality. Basing fertilizer input rates on plant quality levels rather than maximum growth may result in a lower fertilizer application rate and a reduction in excess fertilizer available for leaching. The objective of this research was to evaluate the response of landscape-grown herbaceous perennials to N fertilizer applied at five rates. Five herbaceous perennials [bush daisy (Gamolepis chrysanthemoides), ‘New Gold’ lantana (Lantana ×hybrid), ‘Mystic Spires’ salvia (Salvia longispicata ×farinacea), ‘Evergreen Giant’ liriope (Liriope muscari), and ‘White Christmas’ caladium (Caladium bicolor)] were transplanted into raised landscape beds containing subsoil fill in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zone 9a. Controlled-release N fertilizer was applied at an annual N rate of 0, 2, 4, 6, and 12 lb/1000 ft2 for 96 weeks. Plant size index (SI), tissue chlorophyll, and plant quality were measured every 6 weeks for 96 weeks. Flower cover was determined every 6 weeks from 42 to 96 weeks. Shoot biomass and tissue total Kjeldahl N (TKN) were measured at 96 weeks after planting (WAP). Regression analyses suggested that some species required in excess of 12 lb/1000 ft2 N to reach maximum size, chlorophyll content, and shoot biomass. However, plants exhibited quality ratings of good to excellent at annual N rates of 2 to 4 lb/1000 ft2 N per year. We suggest that these low to moderate levels of N fertilization (2 to 4 lb/1000 ft2 N per year) will provide sufficient N to produce acceptable size and quality herbaceous perennials in the landscape.

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Amy L. Shober, Kimberly A. Moore, Nancy G. West, Christine Wiese, Gitta Hasing, Geoffrey Denny, and Gary W. Knox

Despite inconsistent reports of nitrogen (N) fertilization response on growth of landscape-grown woody ornamentals, broad N fertilization recommendations exist in the literature. The objective of this research was to evaluate the growth and quality response of three landscape-grown woody shrub species to N fertilizer. Three ornamental shrub species, ‘Alba’ indian hawthorn (Raphiolepis indica), sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum), and ‘RADrazz’ (Knock Out™) rose (Rosa) were transplanted into field soils in central Florida (U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 9a). Controlled-release N fertilizer was applied at an annual N rate of 0, 2, 4, 6, and 12 lb/1000 ft2 for 100 weeks. Plant size index measurements, SPAD readings (a measure of greenness), and visual quality ratings were completed every month through 52 weeks after planting (WAP) and then every 3 months through 100 WAP. Plant tissue total Kjeldahl N (TKN) concentrations and shoot biomass were measured at 100 WAP. Results of regression analysis indicated little to no plant response (size index, biomass, SPAD) to N fertilizer rate. Shrub quality was acceptable for all species through 76 WAP regardless of the N fertilization rate. However, quality of rose and sweet viburnum fertilized with N at the low rates (<2 lb/1000 ft2) was less than acceptable (<3 out of 5) after 76 WAP. Results suggest that posttransplant applications of fertilizer may not increase plant growth, but that low-to-moderate levels of N fertilization (2 to 4 lb/1000 ft2 per year) may help plant maintain quality postestablishment.