Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Public Hearings on Water Quality Standards

Pre-registration is now open for the public hearings on EPA’s proposed water quality standards for Florida's lakes and flowing waters. EPA strongly encourages you to pre-register for a hearing, as we expect a large number of participants. Everyone who attends will have the opportunity to speak, however those who have preregistered will be able to speak first. Preregistration will close on April 8, 2010.

To register for the hearings, please go to: and click on "Preregister for a hearing".

If you or someone you know cannot register online, preregistration is available by phone at 202-431-2282.

April 13, 2010: Fort Myers
Harborside Event Center
1375 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, Fla. 33901
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

April 14, 2010: Tampa
Hilton Tampa Airport
2225 North Lois Avenue, Tampa, Fla. 33607
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

April 15, 2010: Jacksonville
Clarion Hotel Airport Conference Center
2101 Dixie Clipper Drive, Jacksonville, Fla. 32218
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

If you need additional information about the proposed rule or on how to provide written comment, please see EPA’s Web site:

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Case of the Stinking Invader

By Andy Wilson, Extension Specialist

The client was concerned. “What is this thing?” she asked, presenting a tightly capped jar with an orange-colored mass inside at the Lawn and Garden Help Desk. She had observed this orange “thing” slowly emerge from an egg-shaped structure that protruded from the soil. And now this….well, sickening odor filled the air.

The orange “thing” was a columnar stinkhorn, one of several types of stinkhorns sometimes encountered in area landscapes. Stinkhorns are types of saprophytic fungi, that is, they feed on decaying organic matter, not living plants. Stinkhorns are appropriately named. They produce a foul odor that is so intense that one may begin trying to remember just how long it’s been since the quiet neighbor next door was last seen. The odor is convincing enough to trick flies into believing that the orange mass is a dead animal. When the flies land on the stinkhorn to feed, they inadvertently pick up the spores of the fungus in a sticky goo that ensures that the flies will carry some of the spores away and deposit them in another area, spreading the fungus.

What good could possibly be produced by something so vile smelling? Well, like other saprophytic fungi, stinkhorns help to break down organic matter so that the nutrients contained in it are released, allowing plants and other organisms to use them. Still, it’s difficult to see any benefit when you happen to have a stinkhorn appear in an inconvenient spot, such as near your front door or patio, greeting your guests with their distinctive odor.
What to do? There is little that can be done other than scooping out the offending stinkhorns and disposing of them in the garbage. Fungicides are generally not effective against them.

Friday, March 5, 2010

County Wants to Hear From You

How to cut $60 million from this year's Pinellas County Budget?

Public Budget Meetings (with your County Commissioners):
Thursday, March 11, 5:30 to 7:30 PM, Osceola High School, 9751 98th St. N., Seminole
Thursday, March 18, 5:30 to 7:30 PM, Gibbs High School, 850 34th Street S., St. Petersburg
eTownHall (with your County Commissioners):
Monday, March 15, 6:30 to 8 PM
Live onlilne meeting to answer your questions from the blog. Blog opens for questions at 9 AM Sunday, March 14. Go to and click on eTownHall. You can also watch on PCC-TV.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Best Management Practices - New Website

New website with BMP information...

You can see the list of those that are BMP certified - good way to promote your business and services (if you are on the list).

You can also request training records or certificates. Learn about criteria for becoming a certified instructor. View the state-wide training schedule (especially if you are looking for classes in Spanish).

Here is the site:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Up to 6 CEUs offered: Ag. row crop; Ag tree crop; Aquatic, Forest, Natural Areas, O & T, Pri. Appl. Ag., Right-of-Way, Comm. L & O, LCLM and LLO. There are six separate classes. You can sign up for all six classes, or choose to take individual classes. Each class is good for 1 CEU in any of the above categories.

March 30th

For more information and to register follow this link:

Round-up and Limited Lawn and Ornamental Training and Testing

For those needing a pesticide license in the Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance (Roundup) category or the Limited Lawn and Ornamental category this training is for you.

This class is offered every other month. March 24th training available.

For more information and to register please follow this link:

Natural Areas and Right-of-Way

CEUs offered: 4 FDACS in Natural Areas; Right-of-Way

Register on-line here:

March 18th

8:20 – 8:30 Welcome and Introductions

8:30 – 9:20 Invasive Exotic Plants Common to Natural Areas and Rights of Way

9:20 – 10:10 Natural Areas and Rights of Way – Invasive Species, Geomorphological Processes and Differences between Wetland and Upland

10:20 – 11:20 New Worries – Invasive Species Coming to an Area Near You Soon

11:20 – 12:10 Pest Identification and Using Herbicides – A Review

Integrated Pest Management Update

CEUs offered for: ISA - 2.75; FNGLA 4; CCA 3.5; FDACS 4 in these categories: O & T, Priv. Appl. Ag., Comm L & O, LLO and LCLM.

Date: March 9th
Register on line here:

Class agenda:
1:00 – 2:00 pm Vendor Presentations
2:00 - 2:30 pm James Price, Insecticide Modes of Action
2:30 - 2:45 Leo Sansoucy and Serena Stornaiuolo, Quarantines, Import/Export Update
2:45 – 3:00 pm Awinash Bhaktar, Texas Quarantines, Import/Export Update
3:15 – 3:45 pm Robert Stamps, Weed Control Update
3:45 – 4:30 pm Lance Osborne, Banker Plants, Chilli Thrips and Biocontrol
4:30 – 5 pm Kathy Oliver, Scouting in the Nursery