Tag Archive: Northwest

Readying Your Raised Beds for Northwest Florida’s Best Gardening Season

Readying Your Raised Beds for Northwest Florida’s Best Gardening Season

I had to do a hard thing last week.  My battle-worn okra, eggplant and pepper plants that had produced so reliably since June and endured all the summertime challenges (heat, insects, disease, and a hurricane to name a few) were finally pulled out of my raised bed garden and discarded.  A combination of lowered yields, increased insect pressure, and the fact that one can only eat so much okra in a calendar year sealed their fate.

However, before planting our cool-season veggie favorites, like those tender leafy greens and wonderfully crunchy carrots, there are a few things to do to get our raised beds in shape to give maximum yield performance and make growing a little easier.

Replenish the Soil

One of the main benefits of raised beds is the ability to grow in near-perfect soil conditions.  If I was relegated to gardening in my yard’s less than ideal native sandy soil, I might have given up altogether by now and I suspect many of you would be in the same boat.  Raised beds totally alleviate this problem and give gardeners the opportunity to grow in rich, fertile soil composed of your favorite homemade soil mixture (mine is two parts mushroom compost to one part aged pine bark) or commercial potting mix/compost.  However, at the end of each growing season, you will notice you have a bit less soil in your beds than you did at the beginning.  While frustrating, this is a natural process for soils rich in organic material – they naturally break down and decompose!   So to give your veggies’ roots the maximum amount of growing space for the coming season, top off your beds with a quality soil/compost mix and till it in before sowing seed or setting out transplants.

Eliminate Competing Roots

If you have a mature tree anywhere near your raised bed garden, you are going to be in for a surprise when you till that new compost in!  It turns out that tree roots like that rich, fertile raised bed soil just as much as vegetables do and will seek it out. It is not uncommon for mature trees to have root systems that stretch horizontally two to three times the height of the tree, meaning a 50’ oak tree could have roots growing well over a hundred feet away from its trunk!   Therefore, unless you have a totally tree-free property, battling tree roots in your beds will be an ongoing issue.  For instance, each fall, when I transition from warm season to cool season crops, I find that my neighbor’s Laurel Oak has filled all three of my raised beds full of feeder roots glad to be free of the infertile sand.  This is a problem because those roots suck up vital water and nutrients meant for my vegetable crops, robbing them of reaching their full potential.   It is good practice to thoroughly till your beds’ soil and remove as many of the competing roots as you can.  Doing so will give your new plants a head start on becoming established before the competition returns.

Depleted soil and competition from tree roots are two of the biggest threats to your raised bed’s performance.  By planning ahead and accounting for both of these things prior to planting your fall garden, you will be more likely to reap a larger yields when harvest time comes! For more information on raised bed vegetable gardening and other horticultural questions, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.  Happy fall gardening!

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Author: Daniel J. Leonard – d.leonard@ufl.edu

Horticulture Agent, Walton County

Daniel J. Leonard

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/10/readying-your-raised-beds-for-northwest-floridas-best-gardening-season/

Northwest Florida Rose Symposium Saturday September 16, 2017

Northwest Florida Rose Symposium Saturday September 16, 2017

On Saturday, September 16th, 2017, from 9AM to 12PM, UF / IFAS Extension Washington County will be providing a rose gardening workshop for gardeners across the Panhandle. Many roses are hard to grow in the Florida Panhandle without investing considerable time and energy into spraying for insect and disease problems. This workshop will teach attendees how to select and sustainably grow roses adapted to the hot-humid conditions of the Southern Gulf Coast. There will be opportunities for outdoor learning and hands-on activities. 

Topics include:

  • Selection of disease resistant rose cultivars adapted to the lower South
  • Resources to obtain hard to find easy care rose cultivars
  • Soil and Nutrient Management
  • Disease and insect management
  • Irrigation
  • Rose Propagation

Participants will be given the opportunity to propagate their own rose and take home their own propagation assembly to grow their own roses from scratch.

Refreshments will be provided and a door prize will be available.

Address: Washington County Ag Center Auditorium, 1424 Jackson Ave, Chipley FL 32428.

Pre Registration required for count: Contact Nikki or Cynthia at 850-638-6180 or email Matthew Orwat at mjorwat@ufl.edu

or register online at eventbrite HERE !

 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/24/northwest-florida-rose-symposium-saturday-september-16-2017/

Ecotourism in Northwest Florida

Ecotourism in Northwest Florida

Wakulla Springs is home to some of the best wildlife watching in all of northwest Florida. It’s not unusual to see manatees, alligators, and dozens of species of birds in one boat trip. Photo credit: Carrie Stevenson

What do you imagine when the word “ecotourism” comes to mind? I know  I usually daydream about a trip my husband I took to Costa Rica several years ago, surrounded by lush tropical rainforests as we ziplined through the canopy. I might also think about visiting a National Park, following a neatly maintained trail and stopping at signs placed at just the right spot so visitors can read and understand the special features of the place. Ecotourism, done right, brings a visitor to a unique place, tells its story, and immerses the visitor in the sights and sounds in a way that treads lightly on the location. I always know I’ve been on a good ecotour when I’m tired, happy, and have learned or seen something new.

A colleague with The Conservation Fund has stated that sustainable tourism includes: “Authentic experiences that are unique and specialized to the place (its culture, heritage, and natural resources), emphasizes quality over quantity, focuses on distinctive destinations, unspoiled landscapes, and historic buildings, and differs from mass-market tourism by favoring locally-owned businesses, thereby increasing circulation of money in the local economy.” The truly wonderful thing about ecotourism is that local touch; it exists solely because of the place, so it cannot be outsourced. The best storytellers about those places are usually the people who have lived there for many years, so by its very nature, ecotourism provides jobs for local residents.

Northwest Florida has hundreds of unique locations for visitors and locals to explore…we have centuries-old forts, clear-blue springs, endless rivers and creeks to paddle, trails on the coast and up our modest hills. We have caves and underground caverns, waterfalls, pitcher plant prairies, fishing, wildlife watching, and reefs for snorkeling and SCUBA diving. While millions come here for our quartz-sand beaches, other options that highlight our natural ecosystems deserve more attention and notoriety.

A few years ago, several Extension Agents received funding for a project called Naturally EscaRosa. The idea behind that project was to help promote and create businesses that sustainably used our agricultural and natural resources. The website (www.naturallyescarosa.com) has a list of over 100 businesses and locations where locals and out-of-town visitors can explore the less well-traveled areas of Escambia and Santa Rosa County. As you move east down the coast, Walton Outdoors, the local Visit Florida affiliates, and other privately managed media groups have done similar work, providing a showcase for these treasures in our midst.

This summer, try one of the local ecotourism or agritourism venues near you! Moreover, when your friends and family visit from out of town, encourage them to do the same. We cannot have a successful economy without a healthy ecosystem, and supporting these local and regional businesses is good for both.  

For more information on sustainable ecotourism, visit the Society for Ethical Ecotourism (SEE), and for information on starting or visiting an agritourism business, try Visit Florida Farms. And as always, reach out to your local County Extension agents, and we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction to discover to places to explore with your family.

 

 

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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/2017/06/17/ecotourism-in-northwest-florida/

Citrus Canker in Northwest Florida

Citrus Canker in Northwest Florida

Citrus canker symptoms on twigs, leaves and fruit. Photo by Timothy Schubert, FDACS

In November 2013, citrus canker was found for the first time in the Florida panhandle in Gulf Breeze in southern Santa Rosa County. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) tested and confirmed the disease on grapefruit trees in a residential landscape. Since that time, citrus canker has been confirmed on citrus trees at 27 more locations in Gulf Breeze. To my knowledge it has not been found in any other location in the panhandle. Not yet.

Citrus canker lesions on leaves are raised, rough and visible on both sides of the leaf. Photo by Timothy Shubert, FDACS.

Citrus canker is a serious bacterial disease that only infects citrus trees. It will not infect any other plant species nor is it a threat to human health. This highly contagious disease has no cure as yet. Severely affected trees experience substantial leaf and premature fruit drop and serve as a source for infecting other citrus in the area. The disease spreads through wind, rain and transportation of infected plant material from other locations.

We do not know how the disease came to infect trees in our region. The disease could have been spread through infected fruit or trees brought here from areas where the disease is established, such as central or south Florida.

What should you do if you suspect your citrus is infected with this disease?

Citrus canker lesions can appear in the mines left by the citrus leafminer pest. Photo by Timothy Schubert, FDACS

  1. Look at Homeowner Fact Sheet: Citrus Canker for more information.
  2. Leave the tree in place in your yard and call the Division of Plant Industry at FDACS at 1-888-397-1517 for a free inspection and testing of your citrus trees.
  3. Consult your local Horticulture Extension Agent for more information and control/removal strategies.
  4. Proper removal of infected trees is recommended to prevent the spread of citrus canker but is not mandatory.

 

For more information please see:

Save Our Citrus Website

UF IFAS Gardening Solutions: Citrus

Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape

UF IFAS Extension Online Guide to Citrus Diseases  

 

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Author: Mary Derrick – mderrick@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Extension Agent for Santa Rosa County

Mary Derrick

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/05/12/citrus-canker-in-northwest-florida/

Ready for Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Workshop Wednesday February 22

Ready for Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Workshop Wednesday February 22

Northwest Florida Workshop Attendees from 2013 in Niceville, FL. This year’s workshop will be held at the UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County Office in Crestview, February 22, 2017. Direction and Contact Information can be found at this link http://directory.ifas.ufl.edu/Dir/searchdir?pageID=2&uid=A56 

Researchers from University of West Florida recently estimated the value of Artificial Reefs to Florida’s coastal economy. Bay County artificial reefs provide 49.02 million dollars annually in personal income to local residents.  Bay County ranks 8th in the state of Florida with 1,936 fishing and diving jobs. This important economic study gives updated guidance and insight for industry and government leaders. This same level of detailed insight is available for other Northwest Florida counties and counties throughout the state.

The UWF research team is one of several contributors scheduled to present at the Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Manager’s Workshop February 22. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Florida Sea Grant are hosting the workshop. This meeting will bring together about fifty artificial reef managers, scientists, fishing and diving charter businesses, and others interested in artificial reefs to discuss new research, statewide initiatives and regional updates for Florida’s Northwest region. The meeting will be held at the UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County Office in Crestview, FL.

Cost is $ 15.00 and includes conference handouts, light continental breakfast with coffee, lunch, and afternoon refreshments. Register now by visiting Eventbrite or short link url  https://goo.gl/VOLYkJ.

A limited number of exhibit tables/spaces will be available. For more information, please contact Laura Tiu, lgtiu@ufl.edu or 850-612-6197.

 

Super Reefs staged at the Panama City Marina, which were deployed in SAARS D, located 3 nautical miles south of Pier Park. Learn more about this reef project and others at the Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Manager’s Workshop in Crestview, February 22, 2017. (Photo by Scott Jackson).

 

Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Workshop Tentative Agenda

Date: February 22, 2017

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County Office, 3098 Airport Road Crestview, FL 32539

8:15     Meet and Greet

9:00     Welcome and Introductions – Laura Tiu UF/IFAS Okaloosa Co and Keith Mille, FWC

9:25     Regional and National Artificial Reef Updates – Keith Mille

9:50     Invasive Lionfish Trends, Impacts, and Potential Mitigation on Panhandle Artificial Reefs – Kristen Dahl, University of Florida

10:20   Valuing Artificial Reefs in Northwest Florida – Bill Huth, University of West Florida

11:00   County Updates – Representatives will provide a brief overview of recent activities 12:00 LUNCH (included with registration)

12:00   LUNCH

1:00     NRDA NW Florida Artificial Reef Creation and Restoration Project Update – Alex Fogg, FWC

1:15     Goliath Grouper Preferences for Artificial Reefs: An Opportunity for Citizen Science – Angela Collins, FL, Sea Grant

1:45     Current Research and Perspectives on Artificial Reefs and Fisheries – Will Patterson, University of Florida

3:00     BREAK

3:30     Association between Habitat Quantity and Quality and Exploited Reef Fishes: Implications for Retrospective Analyses and Future Survey Improvements – Sean Keenan, FWRI

3:50     Innovations in Artificial Reef Design and Use – Robert Turpin, facilitator

4:10     Using Websites and Social Media to Promote Artificial Reef Program Engagement – Bob Cox, Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association & Scott Jackson, UF/IFAS Bay Co

4:40     Wrap Up and Next Steps – Keith Mille and Scott Jackson

5:00     Adjourn and Networking

 

Register now by visiting Eventbrite or short link url  https://goo.gl/VOLYkJ. Live Broadcast, workshop videos, and other information will be available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/floridaartificialreefs/ (Florida Artificial Reefs) .

An Equal Opportunity Institution. University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, Nick T. Place, Dean.

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Author: Scott Jackson – lsj@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Bay County Extension Florida Sea Grant Regional Specialized Agent (Artificial Reefs and Fisheries)
http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu

Scott Jackson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/02/16/ready-for-northwest-florida-artificial-reef-workshop-wednesday-february-22/

Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show – February 8

Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show – February 8

The 32nd annual Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show will be held on Wednesday, February 8th in the Agriculture Conference Center, at the Jackson County Extension Office, located at 2741 Penn Avenue, Marianna, Florida. Registration and the Trade Show open at 7:30 AM central time, the program starts at 8:15 AM, and concludes with a steak lunch. There will be a $ 5 per person registration fee for advanced ticket sales, or $ 10 per person the day of the event.

Advanced tickets are available online through February 3rd at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/northwest-florida-beef-conference-trade-show-tickets-30232908443

175 people attended the 2016 Northwest Florida Beef Conference. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

The focus of the five presentations at the 2017 Beef Conference will be: “Crucial Management in Challenging Times.”  Dr. Cliff Lamb, UF Beef Reproduction Specialist will be the keynote speaker, providing a presentation on essential reproductive management .  Dr. Matt Hersom, UF Beef Specialist will also be providing a key presentation on essential nutrition for the herd.  Charles Mitchell, Emeritus Auburn Soil Specialist will be discussing cost cutting techniques for pasture fertility  Other presentations will also focus on general ranch management with lower cattle prices.  For more details, download the printer friendly flyer:  2017 NW FL Beef Conference Flyer

Schedule of Events (all Central Time)

  •  7:30 – Trade Show & Registration Opens

  •   8:15 – Welcome

  •  8:30 – Riding Out the Cow Cycle:  What to Do When the Wheels Come Off?
    Jed Dillard, Jefferson County Agriculture Agent

  •  9:00 – Essential Reproductive Management Considerations
    Cliff Lamb, UF/IFAS Beef Reproduction Specialist

  •  9:45 – Trade Show & Snack Break

  • 10:30Essential Nutrition:  Put Your Money Where Her Mouth Is
    Matt Hersom, UF/IFAS Beef Extension Specialist

  • 11:15Strategies to Reduce Fertilizer Costs in Forage Systems
    Charles Mitchell, Emeritus Auburn Soil Specialist

  • 11:45Crunching the Numbers to Improve Ranch Efficiency
    Doug Mayo, Jackson County Extension Director

  • 12:15 – Grilled Steak Lunch

  • 12:45 – 1:30 Trade Show Open

In addition to the educational program, the Beef Conference will also feature a Trade Show of businesses and agencies that work with cattle producers in the region. Time is allotted on the schedule to allow visits with the company representatives to learn about specific products, equipment, and services they offer for beef cattle producers.

If you are interested in participating as a vendor in the Trade Show, use the following link to the website with more details:  Beef Conference Trade Show Exhibitor Info

The Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show is an educational program provided by the UF/IFAS Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team.

For more information on the Beef Conference, or to exhibit in the Trade Show, contact Doug Mayo, Beef Conference Chairman, at 850-482-9620, or demayo@ufl.edu.

 

 

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Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/19/northwest-florida-beef-conference-trade-show-february-8/

Northwest Teen Retreat 2017

Over 70 teens from across the panhandle participated in last year's retreat, sponsored by Farm Credit of NW FL.

Over 70 teens from across the panhandle participated in last year’s retreat, sponsored by Farm Credit of NW FL.

Interested in meeting other 4-H teens across the district?  Do you love camp?  Would you like to be more prepared for state events like 4-H Legislature or 4-H U?  What about scholarships for college?  If any of these questions caught your attention, then Teen Retreat is tailor made for you!  Last year, a committee of youth and adults put together a weekend event to help teens grow their leadership, communication and workforce skills.  With lots of positive feedback from last year’s participants, we are planning another event for 2017.

WHO: Teens ages 13-18 in the Northwest District of Florida (4-H Districts I, II & III)
WHAT: A fun weekend retreat with your peers
WHEN: February 24-26, 2017
WHERE: Camp Timpoochee, Niceville, FL
HOW: Workshops and fun shops will be planned and taught by youth committee members. Everyone will also participate in a service project.  Participants will be expected to bring what they learn back to their county council and organize a similar service project April 28-30.

Youth participated in a Shoe Cutting Party to help Sole Hope, and organization that provides shoes to children in Africa. We were able to send nearly 200 pairs of shoes!

Youth participated in a Shoe Cutting Party to help Sole Hope, and organization that provides shoes to children in Africa. We were able to send nearly 200 pairs of shoes!

Registration will open Friday, December 9th via 4HOnline.  The cost is only $ 75/person thanks to corporate donations from State Farm and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida.  Check with your local UF IFAS Extension Office to inquire about any additional scholarships that may be available.  Once you complete your registration online, submit your payment to your local UF IFAS Extension Office.

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Author: Yolanda Goode – yygoode@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Agent for Gadsden County
http://gadsden.ifas.ufl.edu

Yolanda Goode

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/01/northwest-teen-retreat-2017/

Experience the Mountains in Northwest Florida

Experience the Mountains in Northwest Florida

Mountain laurel. Photo credit: Sheila Dunning, UF/IFAS Extension.

Mountain laurel. Photo credit: Sheila Dunning, UF/IFAS Extension.

If you are lucky enough to live on the southern Alabama edge of northwest Florida, you may want to see if you can find mountain laurel blooming now near the wooded creeks.  Its native range stretches from southern Maine south to northern Florida, just dipping into our area.  The plant is naturally found on rocky slopes and mountainous forest areas.  Both are nearly impossible to find in Florida.  However, it thrives in acidic soil, preferring a soil pH of 4.5 to 5.5 and oak-healthy forests.  That is something we do have.  The challenge is to find a cool slope near spring-fed water.

Mountain laurel blooms. Photo credit: Sheila Dunning, UF/IFAS Extension.

Mountain laurel blooms. Photo credit: Sheila Dunning, UF/IFAS Extension.

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) was first recorded in America in 1624, but it was named after Pehr Kalm, who had collected and submitted samples to Linnaeus in the 18th century.  The wood of mountain laurel was popular for small household items.  It is heavy and strong with a close, straight grain.  However, as it grow larger it becomes brittle.  Native Americans used the leaves as an analgesic.  But, all parts of the plant are toxic to horses, goats, cattle, deer, monkeys and humans.  In fact, food products made from it, including honey, can produce neurotoxic and gastrointestinal symptoms in people consuming more than a modest amount.  Luckily, the honey is usually so bitter that most will avoid eating it.

Mountain laurel in its native habitat. Photo credit: Sheila Dunning, UF/IFAS Extension.

Mountain laurel in its native habitat. Photo credit: Sheila Dunning, UF/IFAS Extension.

One of the most unusual characteristics of mountain laurel is its unique method of dispersing pollen.  As the flower grows, the filaments of its stamens are bent, creating tension.  When an insect lands on the flower, the tension is released, catapulting the pollen forcefully onto the insect.  Scientific experiments on the flower have demonstrated it ability to fling the pollen over 1/2 inch. I guess if you don’t taste that good, you have to find a way to force the bees to take pollen with them.

The mountain laurel in these pictures is from Poverty Creek, a small creek near our office in Crestview.  This is their best bloom in 10 years.  Maybe you can find some too.

Naïve range of mountain laurel.

Native range of mountain laurel.

 

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Author: Sheila Dunning – sdunning@ufl.edu


http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu

Sheila Dunning

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/21/experience-the-mountains-in-northwest-florida/

Northwest Florida–Where the Plants Eat Meat!

Northwest Florida–Where the Plants Eat Meat!

Among the most fascinating natural phenomena in our area are the presence of dozens of species of carnivorous, or meat-eating, plants. Found in bogs, meadows, and seepage slopes with mucky, acidic soils and low levels of nutrients, these plants have adapted to their difficult conditions by developing ways to digest insects.These carnivores are best known by their common names; sundew, butterwort, bladderwort, and pitcher plants.

Sundew Plants

Sundew plants ready to feast

 

A meadow of white-topped pitcher plants in full spring bloom.

A meadow of white-topped pitcher plants in full spring bloom.

While there are six species of pitcher plants found in the panhandle and throughout the Gulf Coastal Plain, the “world’s largest concentration” can be found at Escambia County’s Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park. The “pitcher” part of the plant is actually a modified leaf, which is rounded into a hollow tube open at the top and partially covered by a hood. This hood is colorfully patterned, attracting insects also drawn to nectar inside the tubes. As insects crawl in, downward-facing hairs prevent them from escaping. They drown in the collected water within the tubes, then decompose via acids and enyzymes secreted by the plant into a “liquid fertilizer.” A handful of commensal animals, including flies, spiders, and small frogs, take advantage of the pitcher plants’ insect-trapping expertise and manage to avoid capture.

A guide to identifying all six of these pitcher plant species–white-top, parrot, trumpet-leaf, hooded, sweet, and yellow–can be found at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s wetland plant site. Now is the perfect time to see pitcher plants beginning to blossom.

While many people are familiar with pitcher plants, fewer notice the low-growing sundew. These plants may be smaller than a dime in circumference, and grow flat along very mucky soil in full sun. If shaded out even by relatively short grasses, sundew disappear. Their characteristic pinwheel-like appearance and deep red coloring help draw the eye if you look very closely. Sundews also excrete a sticky nectar, on which small insects get stuck and digested to provide nutrients to the plants.The leaves of butterwort plants work very similarly to sundews; they are typically bright green and succulent with sticky hairs that attract nutrients.

Bladderworts, also found in similar environments, use a different mechanism to trap insects. They actually have a bladder-like formation within their root system that opens and closes, siphoning water and unlucky insects in and out.

Regardless of their location, appearance, or method of trapping, carnivorous plants remain one of the most unusual, and interesting groups within the plant kingdom. Be sure to take the opportunity this spring to seek out a park or natural area populated with carnivorous plants–such as Tarkiln, Blackwater River State Park, or the public areas of Eglin Air Force Base and see them for yourself!

 

 

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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/2016/03/29/northwest-florida-where-the-plants-eat-meat/

NISAW 2016 – Working together to remove Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta) from Northwest Florida

NISAW 2016 – Working together to remove Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta) from Northwest Florida

NISAW-logo09[1]

 

Giant Salvinia mats completely covering Bay County pond. This fast growing invasive can double in coverage every two weeks! Photo by L. Scott Jackson

Giant Salvinia mats completely covering Bay County pond. This fast growing invasive can double in size every week! Photo by L. Scott Jackson

 

Matthew Phillips and Scott Jackson

UF/IFAS Extension and Research works with many partners supporting invasive species management actions and strategies across Florida. One key partner is the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conserva­tion Commission (FWC), Invasive Plant Management Section. FWC Biologists provide resources and expertise to address threats from Florida’s most disruptive invasive species. FWC and UF/IFAS have worked together for years. They have teamed-up to help residents make the best cost-effective management decisions to preserve unique habitats and ecosystems. Most days are filled with routine questions from land managers and pond owners but on rare occasions there are days we will never forget.

Active growing Giant Salvinia was observed growing out of the pond water on to moist soils and emerging cypress and tupelo tree trunks. Photo by L. Scott Jackson

Active growing Giant Salvinia was observed growing out of the pond water on to moist soils and emerging cypress and tupelo tree trunks. Photo by L. Scott Jackson

Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) is an invasive free-floating aquatic fern from South America that is rarely observed in Northwest Florida. The species is on the Federal Noxious Weed List and the Florida Prohibited Aquatic Plants List. After a site visit with a pond owner, Scott Jackson, a University of Florida/IFAS Extension Agent, identified Salvinia molesta in the Bay County pond and notified the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Invasive Plant Management Sec­tion. Their staff confirmed the identification of the specimen and a second voucher specimen was transferred to the Godfrey Herbarium at Florida State University.

Jackson reported the observation on the Early Detection and Distribution Map­ping System (EDDMapS) housed at the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. This was only the second reported occurrence of giant salvinia in Northwest Florida. It is a high control priority for the state of Florida due to its high invasive potential.

Giant salvinia has caused severe eco­nomic and environmental problems in Texas and Louisiana and in many countries including New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Giant salvinia grows rapidly and produces a dense floating canopy on the surface of ponds, lakes, and rivers. It ag­gressively spreads by vegetative fragments and thrives in slow-moving, nutrient-rich warm fresh water. Floating mats of giant salvinia shade out native submersed vegeta­tion and degrade water quality.

Mats also impede boating, fishing, swimming, and clog water intakes for irrigation and electri­cal generation.1 Salvinia molesta has been listed in The World’s Worst Weeds – Distribu­tion and Biology2 since 1977. It was recently added to 100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species, an all taxa list compiled by invasion biologists with the Global Invasive Species Database.3

The most distinguishing physical characteristic of Salvinia molesta is the basket- or egg beater-like hairs on the up­per leaves (a hand lens is required) which distinguishes it from common salvinia (Salvinia minima). Common salvinia also has hairs on the upper leaf surface but they do not form basket-like structures at the tips. The upper leaves of both species repel water.

Photo by Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org Rows of egg beater or light bulb shaped leaf hairs are a unique identifying characteristic of giant salvinia.

Photo by Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org Rows of egg beater or light bulb shaped leaf hairs are a unique identifying characteristic of giant salvinia.

The location of the giant salvinia infesta­tion found by Jackson is precariously close to Deer Point Lake, a 5,000 acre water body that is the main source of drinking water for Panama City and surrounding Bay County. The 2.5 acre infestation was on a 3.6 acre divided pond and both sections were treated. Treatment of the infestation was initiated by FWC in June 2013 at no expense to the property owners.

Bay County pond with no observed Giant Slavinia. Take Oct 2013 by Derek Fussell, FWC.

Bay County pond with no observed Giant Slavinia. Taken Oct 2013 by Derrek Fussell, FWC.

The pond continues to be monitored and, to date, there have not been any signs of living Salvinia molesta. We will continue to monitor the pond to make sure there is no re-establishment of giant salvinia. Investiga­tions continue to try and learn more about the introduction of the pernicious species to this isolated pond.

Read more about the successful treatment regime FWC Biologists used to control giant salvinia in Northwest Florida. This was published in Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society’s publication “Aquatics” – see page 5.

WJHG 7 in Panama City ran this news story. Please see their webpage for additional information and video. “Invasive Plant Threatens Deer Point Lake“.

1 Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta), Weed Alert, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conserva­tion Commission, Tallahassee, FL, 2 pp.

2 The World’s Worst Weeds – Distribution and Biology. 1977 and 1991. L.G. Holm, D.L. Plucknett, J.V. Pancho, and J.P. Herberger. 609 pp.

3 Alien species: Monster fern makes IUCN invader list. 2013. Nature 498:37. G.M. Luque, C. Bellard, et al.

Matt Phillips is an Administrative Biolo­gist with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conserva­tion Commission, Invasive Plant Management Section in Tallahassee; (850) 617-9430; Mattv.phillips@myfwc.com Scott Jackson is a University of Florida/ IFAS Sea Grant Extension Agent, Bay County; (850) 784-6105; LSJ@ufl.edu

PG

Author: Scott Jackson – lsj@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Bay County Extension Florida Sea Grant Regional Specialized Agent (Artificial Reefs and Fisheries)
http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu

Scott Jackson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/26/nisaw-2016-working-together-to-remove-giant-salvinia-salvinia-molesta-from-northwest-florida/

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