Tag Archive: After

Protecting Fall Vegetable Crops after the Hurricane

Protecting Fall Vegetable Crops after the Hurricane

Figure 1: Rain and leaf wetness exacerbate bacterial spot and can lead to complete blighting or defoliation of the plant. Credit: Josh Freeman

As if the fall season wasn’t challenging enough from a pest and disease perspective, throw in a hurricane and it gets much worse. Luckily, the storm missed most of the Panhandle. Tomato and cucurbit producing areas in Gadsden and Jackson counties likely saw the greatest impacts from Hurricane Irma. The biggest problem was the wind and wind driven rain. It doesn’t take much rain when you’ve got 40-60 mph winds to drive that water into leaves. This factor combined with the plants getting beaten around can create quite a bit of leaf damage. These damaged areas can be just the foothold that some plant diseases need to get started in a big way. The first thing we noticed was bacterial spot of tomato moved into most fields, and in fields where it was already established, it moved up the plant. This is a pretty common progression with this disease; yellowing begins in the lowest leaves near the ground, and it progressively marches up through the canopy. Rain and leaf wetness exacerbate bacterial spot and can lead to complete blighting or defoliation of the plant (Figure 1).

The other major pathogen of concern for the fall is target spot, a fungal disease that typically shows up later in the season when the weather cools off some. Target spot also has the potential to get started in leaf tissue damaged by the wind and rain from Hurricane Irma. Producers should stay on a tight spray schedule, especially in fields that have more damaged foliage from the storm. A link to UF/IFAS tomato production recommendations is provided at the end of this article.

If you haven’t noticed the whiteflies yet, then you haven’t been outside since about July. And it’s not just in and around vegetable crops, they’re everywhere. I had a psychic moment and was concerned about them in April (seeStart Preparing Now for Whiteflies this Fall in Vegetable Crops) and my premonitions have certainly played out. Whitefly populations have been exceptionally high since producers started setting fall plants. Most tomato and cucurbit seedlings had whiteflies on them within hours of planting (Figures 2&3) which means they will need to be managed for 90 days or so.

Figure 2. Tomato seedling plagued by whiteflies shortly after planting. Photo by Josh Freeman.

Figure 3. Cucurbit seedling plagued by whiteflies shortly after planting. Photo by Josh Freeman.

For tomato producers the two major concerns are Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV) (Figure 4) which is transmitted by whiteflies, and irregular fruit ripening (Figure 5) which is caused by whitefly feeding. TYLCV is already bad and it is still a long way to harvest. Unfortunately when plants are infected with TYCLV early they essentially stop growing and likely won’t produce any fruit. We have fields locally that have 40% infection with another 30 days before harvest.

Figure 4. Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV). Photo by Josh Freeman

Figure 5. Irregular fruit ripening caused by the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV). Photo by Josh Freeman.

There are several links below to information about whitefly management. It is very important to rotate pesticide modes of action. It is tempting to rely heavily on neonicotinoids, but if we want to maintain these chemistries for the future, alternative modes of action should be used. We have wondered for the last several years whether TYLCV will become established and be a consistent problem in North Florida and South Georgia, and as of now it appears that during the fall it will be. If we continue to have mild winters it is likely that high whitefly populations may become normal during the fall, and it will be recommended that tomato growers rely heavily on TYLCV resistant varieties. These varieties are listed in the tomato production guide below.

Whiteflies also pose a serious problem for cucurbit and bean producers. Much like tomato, they transmit viruses, Cucurbit Leaf Crumple Virus and Bean Golden Yellow Mosaic Virus.  Whiteflies cause fruit quality issues such as light colored beans or squash from feeding damage. The other major pathogen to be on the lookout for is Downy Mildew. This generally comes on when conditions cool off, enabling the fungus to rapidly move through fields, especially when we get persistent foggy mornings that keep leaves wet for multiple hours. A link to the cucurbit production guide is also below.

In summary, take action, now. These pests and pathogens were likely already present in most fields, and their progression may have been hastened by Hurricane Irma. It is critical when using chemical control options for all the pests and pathogens listed above that  modes of action are rotated. These codes are listed in their respective production guides as well as on the pesticide labels. Chemical control options are generally limited, so it is important that we are good stewards of the tools that we do have.

UF/IFAS Publications and Resources referenced in this article:




Author: Josh Freeman – joshuafr@ufl.edu

Dr. Freeman’s program focuses on vegetable and melon cropping systems important to the state and region. Much of his research and extension efforts are focused in the area of soil fumigants and fumigant alternatives for soil-borne pest and weed management. Many of the vegetable crops in Florida are produced using the plasticulture production system. For decades growers have relied on the soil fumigant methyl bromide for pest management. This chemistry is no longer available and Dr. Freeman’s program is addressing this issue.

Josh Freeman

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/15/protecting-fall-vegetable-crops-after-the-hurricane/

Controlling Prickly Pear after Pasture Establishment

Controlling Prickly Pear after Pasture Establishment

Photo 1. Prickly Pear after cultivation and pasture establishment in Gadsden County. Credit: Shep Eubanks UF/IFAS

Prickly Pear is one of those tenacious, tough to handle weeds that you hate to find growing in your pastures and hay fields.  It can be very difficult to control and eradicate.  This weed typically spreads and reproduces via fragmentation of original plants, such as occurs in the cultivation and planting of new pastures.  Each individual piece can root and produce a new colony of plants.  Mowing is not a good option for controlling this weed, as it actually encourages rapid increase of the plant population.  The barbed quills are a hazard to grazing livestock and can be a source of infections in addition to decreasing animal utilization of the forage, as livestock will avoid infested areas.

Photo 2. Hand removal of prickly pear in small fields Credit: Shep Eubanks UF/IFAS

Hand removal (Photo 2) is one possible option in small fields, but is very labor intensive and costly.  This operation also can cause increased fragmentation increasing populations of the weed.  Repeated trips across the field will be required but may be the only practical option if the crop is a legume such as perennial peanut.

In grass pastures we do have some options for chemical control.  Dr. Jay Ferrell and Dr. Brent Sellers, UF/IFAS weed specialists, recommend the following plans of attack.

Spot Applications

For spot spray situations, Vista XRT can be applied in water at 0.5 oz. per 1 gal, while TrumpCard can be applied at 2 oz per 1 gal of water. Spray the pads to achieve good coverage but not to the point of runoff. Over-application can result in grass damage, but will not likely be as severe as with the traditional triclopyr and diesel program.

Broadcast Applications

Recent experiments conducted at UF/IFAS have found that broadcast applications of Vista XRT herbicide at a rate of 22 oz/A, applied in either spring or fall, can effectively control prickly pear. Additionally, a split application of Vista XRT at 11 oz/A in the spring followed by another 11 oz/A in the fall was also effective. Likewise, TrumpCard can be applied at 48 oz/A followed by an additional 48oz the following season. Failure to make two applications of TrumpCard with a total of 96 oz over two growing seasons will likely result in marginal control.

Photo 3. Prickly Pear After Herbicide Application. Credit:  Jay Ferrell UF/IFAS

It is important to note that even though Vista XRT and TrumpCard are effective on prickly pear, control is generally very slow. After the application, the quills will turn gray and dry out while the pads will swell and turn a green/gray color (Photo 3). It is common for treated plants to persist this way for 6–8 months after the application. But don’t get discouraged when the plants do not disappear quickly.  This does not mean the herbicide is not working.  Prickly pear grows fairly slowly so it takes longer for the herbicides to take full affect.

For newly established pastures, the Trump Card product label recommends allowing establishment prior to herbicide application.  It is generally recommended that bahiagrass should not be treated with herbicides until the seedlings are at least 6″ tall after planting.  Both herbicides have a seven day grazing restriction following application.

Trump Card Label: 

Do not apply to newly seeded areas until grass is well established. Reseeding is not recommended for at least 30 days following application. Addition of a surfactant may increase the risk of injury to newly seeded grasses.

For more information, use the following UF/IFAS Extension fact sheet link: 

Prickly Pear Cactus Control in Pastures




Author: Shep Eubanks – bigbuck@ufl.edu

Shep Eubanks is the County Extension Director and Agriculture Agent in Gadsden County.

Shep Eubanks

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/08/controlling-prickly-pear-after-pasture-establishment/

How to Care for Palms After the Storm

How to Care for Palms After the Storm

Figure 1: Palm damage after storm event. Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS.

Figure 1: Palm damage after storm event.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS.

A common question after a tropical storm or hurricane event is will my palm tree recover? Palms grow different from other trees, so there’s definitely a different way to care for them post-storm.

The growing point of a palm tree is the bud, located in the top of the tree. This is where the palm fronds emerge. If this bud area becomes damaged, no new leaves will develop and unfortunately the tree will die. If by chance the palm tree has multiple-stemmed trunks, the undamaged trunk(s) should survive. Often times palm trees are so tall that it is very difficult to visibly determine if the bud has been damaged. Time will tell.

It’s important to wait at least 6 months to see if palms develop new growth. Palms usually rebound slowly after a storm. It may take a couple of years before the palm tree produces a full canopy of fronds. If a damaged palm tree is determined to be in peril and current rainfall is not sufficient, it’s important to irrigate three times a week for at least six weeks to assist in recovery.

After the storm strikes, it may be beneficial to perform pruning of the canopy. Start by removing any hanging broken or dead fronds that could be hazardous to people or property. It’s a good idea to remove any fronds that are covering the bud, as well. This will allow new fronds to form. Leave any bent green fronts attached. These fronds still have vital nutrients that the tree is utilizing. Once the frond turns brown, then it is safe for removal.

Storm damage cleanup is extremely dangerous, even for professionals. During  cleanup after the storm, remember that safety comes first. Some general safety tips are essential, as in, do not work alone. It’s important to keep a well-stocked first aid kit too. Avoid overexertion at all costs. This is the most common cause leading to injury. Be sure to survey the area, identify the hazards and have a plan for the cleanup. Above all, create a safe area to work within.

Palm tree recovery from storms is a slow process, so please be patient and safe. Contact your local county extension office for more information.

Supporting information for this article can be found in the following the UF/IFAS publications:

“Assessing Damage and Restoring Trees After a Hurricane” by Edward F. Gilman, Mary L. Duryea, Eliana Kampf, Traci Jo Partin, Astrid Delgado & Carol J. Lehtola: http://monroe.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/Hort/Assessing_Trees_After_Hurricane.pdf

An Equal Opportunity Institution.



Author: Ray Bodrey – rbodrey@ufl.edu

Gulf County Extension Director, Agent II Agriculture, Natural Resource & Community Development

Ray Bodrey

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/12/how-to-care-for-palms-after-the-storm/

It is Futile to Fertilize After September

Fertilizer: Image Credit UF / IFAS

Fertilizer: Image Credit UF / IFAS

In Florida, all of our lawn grasses begin to fade and slowdown in growth during fall.They are supposed to go dormant. Some will go dormant earlier than others based on species, location and  management.

The grasses we use to create lawns are warm season grasses such as centipedegrass, St. augustinegrass, bahiagrass, bermudagrass and zoysiagrass.

The cooler temperatures (particularly cooler night temperatures) and the shorter days of autumn trigger these grasses to slow down. Their color begins to fade and eventually they turn brown, usually after a frost or freeze.


Fertilizer Spreader: Image Credit UF / IFAS

Fertilizer Spreader: Image Credit UF / IFAS

As these warm season grasses go dormant, they don’t need to be fertilized, particularly with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Some of the so called “winterizer” fertilizers available in our area can cause more damage than good despite the advertisements.

Nitrogen encourages new growth and interferes with the dormancy process, forcing the lawn to produce new tender growth at the wrong time of year. This sets the lawn up for damage. That young tender growth is very susceptible to cold injury and is likely to be damaged by the first frost. This greatly weakens the lawn and many times the damage goes unnoticed until the following spring when sections of the lawn do not green up. If you insist on “winterizing” your lawn, use a fertilizer with low nitrogen (represented by the first number in the fertilizer analysis) and high potassium (represented by the last number in the analysis). In most cases the center number (phosphorus) should also be low. But never use a high nitrogen fertilizer late in the season.


Fertilizer: Image Credit UF / IFAS

Fertilizer: Image Credit UF / IFAS

Large patch disease is another reason to avoid fertilizing after September, particularly with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Too much nitrogen at the wrong time promotes a common lawn disease called large patch, formerly known as brown patch. This disease is caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia. Large patch functions as a pathogen in our lawns during the cooler weather of fall and spring. Applying a high nitrogen fertilizer when large patch is active can be like applying gasoline to a fire, allowing this lawn disease to rage out of control.

In order for the fertilizer to do any good at all for the lawn, it needs to be applied while the grass is actively growing, when the grass can readily take it in. After the lawn is dormant and when the soil temperature is cooler, much of the fertilizer that could have benefited the grass is wasted.








Author: Larry Williams – llw5479@ufl.edu

Larry Williams is the County Extension Director and Residential Horticulture Agent for the UF/IFAS Extension Office in Okaloosa County.

Larry Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/10/07/it-is-futile-to-fertilize-after-september/

What To Do Before and After a Hard Freeze

What To Do Before and After a Hard Freeze

Florida homeowners enjoy a wide range of landscape and citrus plants and often times desire a tropical or semitropical appearance to their landscapes. Many landscape plants are often planted past their northern limit such as here in Northwest Florida, although microclimates differ dramatically. Tropical and subtropical plants can be used in the landscape, but they must be protected or replaced if necessary during cold weather. A good variety of tender and hardy plants should be planted in order to prevent total devastation of the landscape by extremely cold weather.

The site selection for tender plants should be number one on your list when preparing for a freeze. Tender ornamental plants need a higher site with good air drainage, and not in a low area where cold air settles. Arranging tender plants along fences or other barriers to protect them from cold winds improves the plants’ cold protection, especially from very hard freezes.

Poorly drained soils result in weak shallow roots which are more susceptible to cold injury. Plants grown with the correctly applied rate of nutrients will tolerate colder temperatures better and recover from cold injury faster than plants grown with little or no added nutrients. Be aware that late fall fertilizing of nutrient deficient plants or fertilization before unseasonably warm periods can result in a late growth which is more susceptible to cold injury.

Ornamental plants that are planted under large tree canopies can have more cold protection and require less cold prevention for the owner.

Watering landscape plants before a freeze can help protect plants. A well watered soil will absorb more solar radiation than dry soil and will reradiate heat during the night by as much as 2°F . However, saturated soil conditions can damage the root systems of most plants over a few days, so make sure the ground is well drained.

Avoid late summer or early fall pruning which can alter the plant hormonal balance resulting a flush of new growth. This new growth is more susceptible to cold injury. Healthy plants are more resistant to cold than plants weakened by disease, insect damage, or nematode damage. Routine inspection for pests and implementation of necessary control measures are essential.

Here are a few methods for plant protection. Plants in pots or containers must be moved indoors where heat can be available to them. Containers that have to be left outdoors should be protected by mulches around the container or root ball of plants in the landscape to reduce heat loss from container sidewalls.


Cold Protection for Veggies!
Coverings can help protect plants more from frost than from extreme cold. Covers that extend to the ground and are not in contact with plant foliage can lessen cold injury to the plant. Foliage in contact with the cover is often cold burned or injured because of heat transfer from the foliage to the colder cover. Some examples of excellent plant covers are cloth sheets, quilts or black plastic. If plastic covering is used, it is extremely important to remove the covering during the day to provide ventilation of trapped heat. A light bulb under a covering also is a simple method of providing heat to ornamental plants in the landscape during the night hours. Cold Damage on Fruit Tree
Pictures By Eddie Powell 

Immediately after the frigid weather has passed, plants need to be checked for water loss. The foliage could be losing water vapor or transpiring on a sunny day after a freeze while water in the soil or container medium is frozen. Apply water to thaw the soil and provide available water for the plant. Soils or media with high soluble salts should not be allowed to dry out because salts would be concentrated into a small volume of water and can burn plant roots. Root burn can cause the roots to dry out and not take up water to the plant.

Pruning should be delayed until freezing temperatures have risen or until new growth appears to ensure that live wood is not removed. Dead, unsightly leaves may be removed as soon as they turn brown after a freeze if a high level of maintenance is desired. But it is best to wait until the threat of freezing weather is gone. Cold injury may appear as a lack of spring bud break on a portion or all of the plant, or as an overall weak appearance. Cold injury is usually found in the upper portion of the plant. Branch tips may be damaged while older wood underneath is free of injury. Cold injured wood can be identified by examining the cambium layer under the bark for black or brown coloration. Prune these branches back to a bud 2-3 inches behind the point of discoloration.

For more information on freeze protection of plants see:

Cold Protection of Landscape Plants



Author: Eddie Powell – pep5@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Educate the residents of Walton County who are unfamiliar with growing certain landscape and vegetable plants that grow in north Florida. Provide homeowners with information about why a good looking healthy lawn is important. Teaching proper fertilization and irrigation practices for successful backyard gardening and container gardening. Master Gardener Coordinator Develop in-school programs with use of Master Gardeners to reach school kids and youth. Also provide educational programs for developing community gardens and provide educational material at local festivals.

Eddie Powell

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/22/what-to-do-before-and-after-a-hard-freeze/

Enjoy Your Poinsettias after the Holidays

Enjoy Your Poinsettias after the Holidays

Poinsettia grown in greenhouse
Photo Credits: William Wendt

The poinsettia is a beautiful plant associated with the Christmas holidays. These plants create colorful holiday decorations for any home. After the holidays are over, they can be used as landscape plants.

Poinsettias are non-poisonous and non-toxic. However, some people may be sensitive to the latex in poinsettia sap. Although eating even a large number of leaves will not result in illness, the plant is not considered edible. When used as an indoor plant, it should be kept out of reach of children and pets.

Keep your poinsettias away from drafts and chilly air. Water your poinsettia when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. Place a saucer under the pot, and drain the saucer if water starts to collect in it. Keep the soil from getting soggy. Gently spray the plants with a mist sprayer or place them on gravel trays. Slightly humid air will help prolong the plants’ color and life span. Do not fertilize your indoor poinsettias until you are ready to move them outside. High levels of fertilizer will reduce the quality of the plant.

When the temperatures start to warm up in spring, trim the fading bracts. Leave 4 to 6 inches of the stem on each branch. Begin using a well-balanced fertilizer, and move the plant outdoors to a somewhat shaded area. Once the poinsettia has acclimated to the outdoors, plant it in an area that receives full sun most of the day. Keep in mind that to put out its colorful bracts, poinsettias require 14 hours of complete darkness each day for 6 to 8 weeks. Any interruption to this dark period can delay or prevent the plant from flowering.

Keep the soil moderately moist at all times. Poinsettias grow best in moist, well drained, fertile soils. The ideal soil pH range is 5.5 to 6.5, but the plants will tolerate a range from 5.0 and 7.0. Fertilize your outdoor poinsettias once a month. In north Florida, the plants should be fertilized between May and September.

In the landscape, prune your poinsettias in early spring after they are finished blooming, and when the danger of frost has passed. Cut them back to within 12 to 18 inches of the ground. If the plants have been frozen below this point, cut them back to the live wood. Pruning during the growing season will produce a compact plant at flowering time. After four weeks or when the new growth is 12 inches long, cut the plant back, leaving four leaves on each shoot.

For more information see: Poinsettias at a Glance

Poinsettia offers awesome Christmas color
Photo Credits: William Wendt




Author: Eddie Powell – pep5@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Educate the residents of Walton County who are unfamiliar with growing certain landscape and vegetable plants that grow in north Florida. Provide homeowners with information about why a good looking healthy lawn is important. Teaching proper fertilization and irrigation practices for successful backyard gardening and container gardening. Master Gardener Coordinator Develop in-school programs with use of Master Gardeners to reach school kids and youth. Also provide educational programs for developing community gardens and provide educational material at local festivals.

Eddie Powell

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/12/09/enjoy-your-poinsettias-after-the-holidays/

Handling Lawn and Landscape Problems after a Storm

Handling Lawn and Landscape Problems after a Storm

After severe weather of any kind, homeowners must often spend a considerable amount of time dealing with impacts to their landscapes.  Below are a few lessons we have learned from hurricanes and tropical storms in the past. Many thanks to fellow agent Beth Bolles for her contributions to this article.

Dealing with Toppled Trees

It may be difficult to turn an uprooted favorite tree into firewood, but this is probably the best choice. A small or young tree may be replanted successfully if done immediately. These trees will require bracing for up to two years until the root systems regrow and are able to support themselves. If the roots have been exposed for an extended period of time, don’t try and save the tree. Exposed roots should be covered with soil or moist burlap for protection from drying out. Large or older trees will typically not survive this ordeal even with the best of care. Because the root system is compromised, attempting to keep the tree may create a hazard down the road with the next storm.

If a tree is completely uprooted, its odds of recovery are severely limited and it is best to remove the tree.  Photo courtesy Beth Bolles, UF IFAS Extension

If a tree is completely uprooted, its odds of recovery are severely limited and it is best to remove the tree. Photo courtesy Beth Bolles, UF IFAS Extension

When removing fallen trees, think ahead about whether you plan to remove stumps. It’s a lot easier to pull instead of dig stumps out of the ground, so leave a four-foot stump to make your life easier. Be careful using power equipment like chain saws. It may be better to hire a professional to deal with removing large trees, especially around power lines.

Exposed Roots or Leaning Trees

Any exposed roots should be covered immediately. Cover roots with nearby soil at the same level roots were originally growing. Do not bank the soil higher because this will cut off oxygen supplies to roots in an already oxygen deprived, saturated soil.

If small trees are leaning and need straightening, they can be staked and treated like a newly planted tree. Larger trees with trunks greater than six inches in diameter can be saved but should be removed if they are a hazard to structures, power lines, or roadways. Reset the trees with stakes or guy wires for support. Trees with trunks measuring less than two inches in diameter can be supported with two or three forty-eight inch, two inch by two inch wood stakes placed one foot outside of the root ball inserted eighteen inches into the ground. Larger trees should be anchored with three or four guy wires or cables. Cover guy wires that are in contact with the trunk with rubber hoses to prevent damage.

A leaning, partially uprooted tree may recover if it is righted and its roots are covered back with soil. Photo courtesty Beth Bolles, UF IFAS Extension

A leaning, partially uprooted tree may recover if it is righted and its roots are covered back with soil. Photo courtesty Beth Bolles, UF IFAS Extension

Replace the soil around the area and firm to assure there are no air pockets around the roots. Make sure the top root coming off the trunk is level with the existing soil. If many trees were swaying back and forth during the wind, there may be air pockets underneath the trees. If this is obvious, add soil and water to eliminate any air pockets. If root damage is obvious, do not fertilize at this time because salts in the fertilizer may damage new feeder roots.

Broken Branches

Broken branches should be removed from trees and shrubs as soon as possible to prevent tearing into trunk wood. Make clean cuts just outside of the branch collar to avoid damaging the trunk. If these are large branches, make three separate cuts to prevent tearing. Make the first cut on the underside of the branch about fifteen inches from the trunk and one-third through the branch. The second cut is made from the top, a few inches out from the first cut. This cut should remove the weight of the branch so the next one will not rip the trunk. The remaining stub can be held while the last cut is made. Make the last cut just outside the branch bark ridge and end outside the trunk collar (swollen area on lower side of branch). This is not a flush cut with the trunk and should leave a small protrusion on the trunk. Do not use wound dressing on the cut surface, as this practice is no longer recommended.

If trees lost all of their branches, it is advisable to remove the tree. The natural shape is gone and trees like pines will typically not recover. Some trees may lose the majority of their leaves, but these will flush back out so they should be okay.

Repairing Lawns

Keep a close eye on lawns for disease problems due to all the rain. Brown patch and take-all root rot would be the major concerns. Rake and remove all debris to give lawns a chance to dry out. If lawn areas are damaged, now is the time to replace with plugs or sod so they can establish before winter. Sod webworms are bad now so don’t mistake this damage for diseases. If adult moths are obvious and grass blades are closely cropped, this is due to caterpillar damage…not disease.


Most soils are saturated and irrigation systems should be in the off-mode. If there is standing water around trees or in other low areas, use a hose to siphon water to a retention pond or a better-drained area. Once soils dry out and the sun comes out, keep a close eye on plants as they may require more frequent irrigation because of root damage.  Coastal areas flooded with saltwater may experience damage from extended exposure to high salinity; it is recommended to run a sprinkler system to flush out a lawn after the water retreats.

If you have questions, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office!



Author: Carrie Stevenson – ctsteven@ufl.edu

Coastal Sustainability Agent, Escambia County Extension

Carrie Stevenson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/10/07/handling-lawn-and-landscape-problems-after-a-storm/

Mosquitos Swarming Pastures After Heavy Rains

Mosquitos Swarming Pastures After Heavy Rains

Standing water in pastures hearld the beginning of mosquito season for livestock.

Standing water in pastures herald the beginning of mosquito season for livestock.

Weeks of consistent above normal rains have filled farm ponds, ditches, swamps and anything else which will hold water.  While this is a positive trend for the water table and minimized, if not eliminates, the need for irrigation, there is a down side. The mosquito population is multiplying rapidly along with the potential for disease outbreaks.  Of particular concern are “floodwater mosquitoes” which populate pastures in puddles and pools of standing water. These mosquitoes lay their eggs in moist soil and will tolerate, and in many cases, require the inevitable dry-out after the wet period.

The most notable of these floodwater mosquitoes is the Aedes genus which contains at least ten species. The term Aedes has its origins in Greek, meaning unpleasant.  Aedes atlanticus is commonly found in pastures. It is a participant in the transmission of heart worms in dogs, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses.  Heavy blood loss may also result from excessive exposure to swarms of mosquitos. The consequences of the painful bites will be thriftiness, weight loss, and decrease milk production.

Wipes, sprays and fogs can offer temporary relief. The most effective control method available is source reduction by removing or draining mosquito breeding sites.  Hopefully drier days with plentiful sunshine will reduce the population.  For more information   read: External Parasites on Beef Cattle, or contact your local UF/IFAS Agricultural Extension Agent.



Author: Les Harrison – harrisog@ufl.edu

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director. He began his work in the Northwest Extension District as the Sustainable Agriculture and Extension Technology Agent in Leon County on August 25, 2006. His career in agriculture extends back over thirty five years and includes work in business, government and academic positions. Prior to working with the Extension Service, he spent 16 years with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the Division of Marketing and Development. He worked in four of the division’s six bureaus. He has also managed farm supply cooperatives in Alabama and Virginia with annual sales over four million dollars, worked for an international grain company, and was a research associate for Auburn University’s Agricultural Economics Department. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. He is the author of over 400 publications and has written professionally for print and broadcast media.

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/08/09/mosquitos-swarming-pastures-after-heavy-rains/

Wakulla County Honeybees Doing Well After T.S. Debbie

Wakulla County’s honeybees are still bringing pollen to the hives.

Wakulla County’s honeybees are still foraging as the available blooms are fading with the approach of summer’s dog days. Some pollen is still being brought to the hive by worker bees.

Tropical Storm Debbie necessitated mosquito spraying in parts of the county, but with negligible impact on the managed hives.  Both truck and aerial spraying occurred at night.

The insecticide used was Naled (Dibrom). It is a cholinesterase inhibitor which induces over stimulation of the mosquito’s nervous system causing muscle twitching, convulsions, paralysis, and eventually death.

This is a quick knock-down pesticide with a very short residual. Spraying at night when honeybees are in the hive posed the lowest threat to the health and safety of the hives while meeting the mosquito relief needs of residents.

Beekeepers countywide were notified in advance of the spraying.  Some covered their hives and kept the bees inside until any potential danger was well past.  No hive losses have been reported to date.

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/07/27/wakulla-county-honeybees-doing-well-after-t-s-debbie/