Monday, November 4, 2013

Right Plant, Right Place for 2 CEUs

When:  Thursday, November 7, 2013 from 2 PM to 4 PM

Want to have fun and earn CEUs for your pesticide or fertilizer license?  There will be a training section on how to choose plants for the right place to ensure their survival and health in the landscape. You can reduce the need for water, fertilizer, pesticides and pruning if you plant Florida-friendly plants.  This section will be followed by a hands-on exercise where you get to pick the right plant for the right spot depending on the site conditions.  Join Extension Agents Jane Morse and Theresa Badurek to learn about planting the right plant in the right place, right from the start.

To register go here:

2 CEUs Max:  Commercial Lawn and Ornamental (L & O); Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance (LCLM); Limited Lawn and Ornamental (LLO); Limited Urban Fertilizer (LUF); Ornamental and Turf O & T).  Cost $20.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hydroponic Workshops for Small Farms and Homeowners

Have a green thumb and want to learn more about hydroponic gardening? The Pinellas County Extension is offering two workshops to highlight hydroponic gardening techniques and other advantages of water culture.
On Friday, Nov. 1, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Bob Hochmuth, a multi-county extension agent, will present “Starting a Hydroponic Small Farm.” The program will address the state of hydroponics in Florida and introduce the group to the advantages and disadvantages of various hydroponic production systems. The class will cover how to select crops for hydroponics, crop culture for common vegetables and herb crops, and the use of irrigation systems with nutrient solutions. The workshop will also detail marketing and business strategies, as well as regulations. The cost of the workshop is $15; it is free for county government employees, school board employees, and master gardeners. For more information, contact Jane Morse at (727) 582-2562 or email  Register online at:

On Saturday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bob Hochmuth will present “ABC’s of Hydroponics for the Home Garden.” The program will introduce the group to the advantages of various hydroponic production systems. The class will cover selecting crops for hydroponics, starting your own transplants, and irrigation systems. The cost of the workshop is $15; it is free for county government employees, school board employees, and master gardeners. For more information, contact Theresa Badurek at (727) 453-6966 or email  To register, visit

The Pinellas County Extension is located at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. For more information call (727) 582-2562 or email:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Almost Out of Time

Be sure you register for the "Last Call" CEU Update before it's too late!

Next Tuesday, October 22, 2013 we are providing classes for GHP, Termite, Fumigation, Core or Limited Structural CEUs.  Go to this link for more information and to register:

Next Wednesday, October 30, 2013 we are providing classes for Lawn/Turf/Ornamental categories and Core CEUs.  Go to this link for more information and to register:

Registration closes 1 day before the class.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Natural Enemies of Rugose Spiraling Whitefly

Is rugose spiraling whitefly making your plants look like a mess?  Insecticides are expensive and pesticide resistance can occur.  Maybe using natural enemies to control this new exotic pest is worth a try.  See this new publication from the University of Florida/IFAS:

Picture taken by Kim Gabel, UF/IFAS Extension Monroe County

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall CEU Update

Need CEUs for renewal of your pesticide license?

For Aquatic CEUs sign up for our Monday, September 30, 2013 class.  Go to this link to register:

We've also got CEUs for General Household Pest (GHP), Termite, Limited Structural, Fumigation, Lawn/Turf/Ornamental categories and Core.

For GHP, Termite, Limited Structural, Fumigation and Core CEUs register for our Tuesday, October 22, 2013 classes.  Go to this link to register:

For Lawn/Turf/Ornamental categories and Core CEUs register for our Wednesday, October 30, 2013 classes.  Go to this link to register:

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Turfgrass Pest Management Class

Foundations of Turfgrass Pest Management class is offered (Sept. 18-20).  The same agenda (see below) will be repeated on November 6-8.  Both programs will be held at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka.  There will be a Foundations of Tree and Shrub Pest Management on Oct. 2-4, and the Master's of Turfgrass Pest Management is on Dec. 18-20.  I have 14 CEUs for each of the Turf Foundation programs.  Registration for all L&O programs is through the PMU website (  If you know of folks who might be interested in participating in the course, you are welcome to forward them to me (352-273-3976; or the website. 

Thank you,

Eileen Buss
Associate Professor
Landscape and Turfgrass Entomology

Foundations of Turfgrass Pest Management

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
7:30-8:00 am

8:00-8:30 am
Introduction – Pre-test – Objectives of Training – Manuals

8:30-9:10 am
Paul Mitola, FDACS Environmental Specialist III
Licensing and CEU requirements for Chapters 482 FS and 487 FS

9:10-9:50 am

Don Grant, FDACS Environmental Specialist II
Vehicle inspection (outdoor)
  • How to avoid common mistakes that may result in fines:
  • Presence of ID card, proper vehicle identification, general vehicle safety, proper labeling and storage of pesticides and equipment,

9:50-10:05 am
10:05-11:00 am
Paul Mitola, FDACS Environmental Specialist III
Navigating the label, MSDS, and PPE (indoor)
  • Labels: Merit 0.5G, Talstar P, Arena 50WDG, Allectus SC

11:00-12:00 pm
Paul Mitola
Pesticide spill drill (outdoor) (Max. of 5 people per group, for four spills)

12:00-12:30 pm
Lunch (provided)
12:30-1:00 pm
Dr. Eileen Buss, Associate Professor of Entomology, UF/IFAS
Turfgrass Integrated Pest Management (indoor)
  • What it is and why we do it
  • Consumer education about “Plant Health Care”

1:00-1:30 pm
Dr. Eileen Buss
IPM scouting kit and methods of sampling (outdoor)
  • Soil and nutrient sampling, moisture sensors, “active” vs. “passive” traps, and preserving and submitting samples

1:30-2:00 pm
Matt Lenhardt, Commercial Horticulture Agent, UF/IFAS Brevard Co. Extension
Outdoor exercise: Equipment calibration and math

2:00-2:15 pm
2:15-3:15 pm
Dr. Eileen Buss
Pesticide formulations, chemical classes, & pesticide resistance management

3:15-4:45 pm
John Riley, Pumptec Eastern Region
Outdoor exercises: Groups rotate through a demonstration or practice using different pieces of equipment (45 minutes/station) for granular and liquid application best practices

4:45-5:00 pm
5:00 pm

Thursday, September 19, 2013

7:45-8:00 am
8:00-9:00 am
Dr. Laurie Trenholm, Professor, Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS
Common turfgrass anatomy, species, varieties and maintenance requirements (mowing, thatch management, mechanical and chemical edging, etc.)

9:00-10:00 am
Dr. Laurie Trenholm
Abiotic (non-living) turfgrass problems and stresses

10:00-10:15 am
10:15-11:15 am
Dr. Philip Harmon, Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology
Common turf diseases: signs & symptoms, management

Matt Lenhardt
Common weed identification and management

12:00-12:30 pm
Lunch Break
12:30-2:00 pm
Dr. Eileen Buss
Common turf insect pests: identification, damage and management
  • Observe specimens and damage with dissecting scopes
  • “Who Am I” activity

2:00-2:15 pm
2:15-4:45 pm
Dr. Don Rainey, Sarasota County Extension, GI-BMP Coordinator
Green Industries Best Management Practices

4:45-5:00 pm
5:00 pm

Friday, September 20, 2013
7:45-8:00 am
8:00-8:30 am
Paul Mitola and Eileen Buss
Review, Questions and Answers

8:30-9:30 am
Paul Mitola and Eileen Buss
Outdoor exercise: Hand-spreader calibration

9:30-9:45 am
9:45-11:00 am
Paul Mitola and Eileen Buss
Case studies, discussion, and developing an IPM plan

11:00-11:30 am
Paul Mitola and Eileen Buss
Post-test and Evaluation

CEU forms, Graduation and Photos

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Lawn Diseases

Newspaper article...

Steamed About Lawn Diseases?
By Jane Morse, UF/IFAS Extension Agent

Chinch bugs may be the best known lawn pest, but there are diseases that are pests too.  Humid, sticky, muggy and wet - welcome to the dog days of summer in Florida.  High temperatures and lots of rain and moisture are the perfect combination for fungus to thrive and infect our lawns.

St. Augustinegrass is susceptible to three major fungal attacks during this time of year, namely Grey Leaf Spot disease, Phythium Root Rot and Take-all Root Rot.

Gray Leaf Spot can slow growth, thin established lawns and kill large areas of the lawn during hot, humid and wet weather usually from May through September.  The easiest way to spot the disease is to look for an oblong leaf blemish that has a dark edge with a center that is a gray color.  Disease occurrence can be reduced by only watering in the early morning hours just before sunrise.  The longer the leaf blades stay wet the more likely they are to become infected.  If we are getting rain every few days then there is probably no need to apply more water.

It is important to minimize stress and avoid excessive flushes of lush rapid growth during the rainy season.  Applying Atrazine to the grass is stressful, so timing is important.  Once temperatures get above 85 degrees F avoid applying this herbicide.  Consider spot-treating problem areas and make sure the grass is being mowed at the proper height.

Phythium Root Rot can appear any time of year, but it is always associated with wet soil conditions.  Excessive watering, abundant rainfall or poor drainage conditions can all promote this disease.  Since the roots are affected, the symptoms on the leaves are due to what is happening to the root system.  There is a general decline in lawn quality.  Small or large areas become yellow, light green, or brown in color and become thin.  The lawn will seldom die from this root rot.  Roots will appear thin with few root hairs and will be discolored, but not black and rotted.

To prevent the disease, improve drainage and reduce watering the lawn, especially before periods of high rainfall.  Avoid watering schedules that keep the soil wet.  During periods of high rainfall mow grass at the proper height and mow frequently enough to only remove one-third of the leaf blade per mowing.  Apply a fertilizer that has an equal amount of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K).

Take-all Root Rot is naturally present on the roots of warm-season grasses.  The trigger for disease development is high rainfall and stressed grass.  The disease is normally seen during the summer and early fall months, especially during periods of prolonged rainfall.  Since this is a root disease, the early symptoms can only be seen on the roots.  If the grass is only slightly stressed you may never see the above ground symptoms of this disease.  Irregular, yellow or light green patches ranging in diameter from a few inches to a few feet will be the first above ground symptoms. Once you do see above ground symptoms on the grass, the roots have been under attack for 2-3 weeks or longer and they will be thin and off-white in color with isolated black lesions. As the disease progresses the roots will become short, black and rotted.  The grass stolons or rhizomes (runners) may have black lesions and may even begin to rot.  Entire plants will die and can lead to large dead patches.  This disease can easily be mistaken for chinch bug damage, so the first step in any pest management program is to identify the pest (weed, insect or disease).

Once above ground symptoms are seen this disease is very hard to control, so prevention is the key.  The grass must be mowed at the correct height and mowed frequently enough so that only one-third of the leaf blade is removed each time it is mowed.  Scalping is very stressful because it damages the growing point.  Apply equal amounts of slow-release nitrogen and potassium.  Avoid nitrate-nitrogen products.  Micronutrients should be applied as a foliar (leaf) feeding and they should all be in the sulfate form.  If the root system is badly damaged the roots will not be able to get their nutrients from the soil so frequent foliar feeding of all nutrients (N, P, K and micronutrients) in small amounts will be necessary (remember to follow local and county ordinances).  Avoid using herbicides on St. Augustinegrass as this is a stressor.  Learn how to manage the turfgrass to limit weeds so herbicide usage can be reduced or eliminated.

Most fungal problems can be avoided by using good cultural practices (proper watering, fertilizing and mowing).  When disease problems do arise it is best to hire a professional.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Interested in Farming? Scholarship available.


Please help spread the word!

The Florida West Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council (FWCRCD) is pleased to announce scholarship opportunities to attend the Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference, August 2-4, 2013 in Kissimmee, FL ( The deadline for applications is July 17th, at 5:00 PM.

The scholarships will provide free conference registration, and two nights of lodging. Transportation to the hotel and the conference will also be provided

departing from Bradenton, FL the morning of August 2nd. Some meals are included as part of the conference and will be provided: Saturday's early morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch, and evening Social; and Sunday's breakfast.

This opportunity is for new and beginning farmers, for people providing training or support to beginning farmers or for those that work in some capacity directly with farm businesses. New and beginning farmers are defined as farming for less than 10 years. Women and minority producers, small acreage producers, and/or limited resource producers are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to individuals who would not otherwise be able to attend the conference, and for residents in the area the FWCRCD serves. FWCRCD is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides leadership, coordination, partnership development and technical assistance for projects that promote strong communities and sustainable agriculture by bringing people together to create healthy local community food systems in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. These scholarships are provided through the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. Please see the scholarship application for more details.

How to apply: Please submit the application form to Kevin Anderson via email, or by fax, 941-792-0985. You will be notified upon receipt of your application.

Notification: Applicants will be notified by phone and/or email on July 19th, 2013 whether or not they have been chosen to receive a scholarship.

Logistics: If you are awarded a scholarship, an email will provide information on how to register for the conference and where to meet for transportation. Lodging reservations for those receiving scholarships will be made by FWCRCD.

Please send me an email if you have any questions,

Kevin J. Anderson
Assistant Farm Manager
Geraldson Community Farm


Florida West Coast RC&D

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Palm School

Palm Management in the Florida Landscape

Date: October 30-31, 2013 (2 days – Wednesday and Thursday)

Time: 7:45 AM – 5:00 PM each day

Location: Lee County Extension Office
3406 Palm Beach Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33916

For more information and to reserve your spot for “Palm School”, contact:
Dr. Monica Elliott at or 954-577-6315

Registration Fee: $300, checks only, payable to the “University of Florida”
Reservations/Payment By: October 15, 2013 (or until class fills up)

Enrollment Limit: 45 persons. Enrollment will be limited to 3 persons per company. If space is still available after October 15, this enrollment cap will be lifted.

CEUs requested: ISA, FNGLA and FDACS (pesticide license)
CEUs for LA license approved (14.5): Provider Number 0004406

Topics/Course Numbers (for LA CEUs)

 Diagnosing Palm Problems (#0008389)  Palm Diseases (#0009071)

 Palm Anatomy and Growth (#0008391)  Transplant Issues (#0008295)

 Physiological Disorders (#0009075)  Pruning Palms (#0009073)

 Nutrient Deficiencies (#0009079)  Fertilizer Formulations and

 Palm Insects (#0009069) Application Techniques (#0009077)

 Field Trip I (#0009067)  Field Trip II (#009068)

• Dr. Timothy Broschat, Palm Horticulturist
• Dr. Monica Elliott, Palm Pathologist

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bee College - August 16-17, 2013

Greetings Beekeepers and friends!

Have you heard about South Florida Bee College? Our popular beekeeping extension event is expanding! We are hosting this 2-day educational event, filled with food, fun, and plenty of hands-on learning experiences at the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie Fl (Broward County)( There will be live hives, beekeeping gear, and multiple classes to choose from that throughout the day.

Our speaking line-up includes Dr. Malcolm Sanford ( a UF emeritus professor and life-ling beekeeper, Dr. Ernesto Guzman ( Head of the Bee Research Centre at the University of Guelph , Ontario Canada, David Westervelt, the Chief of Apiary Inspection at FDACS, Keith Councell, the president of the Florida State Beekeepers Association (, some of our talented and knowledgeable Florida State Bee Inspectors, and the staff at UF’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab!

There will be a 22-class Honey Show where you can enter your honey and products for awards, vendors selling bee equipment and lunch and dinner are included in registration. For the first time, we will be offering a Spanish-speaking track to serve the needs of the growing beekeeping community in South Florida. Many of our speakers are fluent in both languages and will be delivering classes for both.

The full schedule will be announced shortly, be sure to check for details. Please see our registration page here:

Please feel free to pass on this information to whomever you wish! We hope that you decide to join us for this one of a kind event.

Thank you and have a great day!

Laboratory Manager/Extension Technician
Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory
Department of Entomology and Nematology
University of Florida
Bldg 970 Natural Area Drive
PO Box 110620
Gainesville, FL 32611-0620

Phone (352) 273-3932
Fax (352) 392 0190

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wind Spreads Pests

As we enter the tropical storm season, please be reminded that plant diseases and insects can be spread by wind. Check out this UF-IFAS EDIS publication by Dewdney and Graham that cites wind as a means of spreading the bacterium causing citrus canker disease (

If you think you have detected a new invasive species due to wind or rain, remember the following-

1. Your local county extension service is your first line of communication for questions regarding management and detection ( )

2. Local Florida county offices have access to our UF-IFAS DDIS (Distance Diagnostic and Information System) for submitting digital images of concern or unknown specimens (

3. Local Florida county offices and the general public can also utilize the services of our statewide Insect Identification Lab (

4. UF-IFAS has extensive Plant Disease Clinic extension services (, please note that sample processing fees may apply)

Have more information on the spread of invasive species through hurricanes or wind that you would like to share this storm season? E-mail me at to post it on UF-IFAS Pest Alert!

This message is from Amanda Hodges, Ph.D., Associate Extension Scientist, Director, Doctor of Plant Medicine, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, IFAS

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fertilizer Ban Starts June 1

Remember that May 31 is the last day you can fertilize with nitrogen or phosphorus products in Pinellas County, unless you are fertilizing a food crop (veggies and fruit trees) as these are exempt.

Don't just pump iron on turf as this can lead to other deficiencies, such as manganese (Mn) deficiency by competition.  Manganese deficient turf has been correlated to increased take-all root rot severity.  Use a micronutrient complex.  Micronutrients in the sulfate form or those that are chelated are best to use.  Oxides only work well in acidic soils (in Pinellas County most of our soils are alkaline).

Palms should be fertilized 4 times a year.  During the fertilizer black out (June 1 - Sept. 30) use a 0-0-16-6Mg product on palms and landscape/turf within 50 feet of palms.

For specific questions about the fertilizer ordianance call the Pinellas County Watershed Division at 464-4425.  For a list of products that comply with the no nitrogen or phosphorus requirements see this link:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hurricane Prep Week

This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week. Hurricane season runs from June 1 - November 30th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicates this could be an extremely active season. Now is the time for homeowners to prepare.

A new publication, "Florida Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards" has been developed and is free for download from our Solutions for Your Life website:
There is also other great information about preparing for natural hazards on this site. It may be a good link for you to bookmark.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pest Management University Website

Check out this website for information about pest control:  Also, see their newsletters for upcoming class and pest information. 

Here is a link to their archived newsletters: 

Want to sign up for their newsletters?  Go to this link and email them:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference

For:  Informing and Inspiring Agricultural Innovators

When:  August 2-4, 2013 * Kissimmee, FL

More information:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to Save on Taxes

It's tax time...see this UF/IFAS video on how to save money on your taxes:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Get Your CEUs

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Need to renew your pesticide license???  Several categories are offered at our "CEU Variety Pack" on Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Attend the afternoon and core sessions to get your 4 CEUs for renewal for lawn/turf and ornamental categories.

Aquatic, Right-of-way, Natural Areas + others also available. 

You can select 2, 4 or 6 CEUs.
To register go to this link:
AGENDA   9:30-10:00 Check-in

Morning session:

10:00-10:50 Herbicides Modes of Action and Resistance Management

Dr. Bill Haller

Herbicide resistance is a major concern in all herbicide applications. Applicators become comfortable with certain herbicides and herbicide mixes and use them repeatedly year after year. During this presentation, Dr. Haller will give examples of herbicide resistance and how to prevent or best manage to minimize the development of resistant weed populations.

10:50-11:40 Weed Control in Florida’s Waters and Natural Areas

Dr. Lyn Gettys

Dr. Gettys will discuss the common pathways for weed introduction in Florida, present historical accounts of the state’s invasion by hydrilla, waterhyacinth, Brazilian pepper and other weeds and cover management options for controlling the “10 most-wanted list” of Florida’s aquatic, upland and natural areas weeds.

Morning session CEUs: Aquatic (2), ROW (2), NA (2), Demo & Research (2), Private (2),
Comm L & O (1), Lmt. L & O (1), LCLM (1), O & T (1),

11:40-1:00 Turn in survey, receive CEU form and Lunch on own
12:45 – 1:00 Check-in for afternoon session

Afternoon session:

1:00-1:50 Preventing Herbicide Failures

Dr. Brent Sellers

Dr. Sellers will describe the most common reasons for herbicide failures or reductions in efficacy and how to tailor treatment programs to get the most “bang for your buck” – attaining optimum weed control while minimizing pesticide use and exposure.

1:50-2:40 Equipment Calibration

Dr. Brent Sellers

Dr. Sellers will discuss the importance of equipment calibration and will describe the protocols that should be followed to reduce pesticide use and exposure. This talk will provide valuable information to licensed pesticide applicators of all categories.

Afternoon session CEUs: Aquatic (2), Demo & Research (2), Natural Areas (2), Private (2), Regulatory (2), Right-of-Way (2), Comm. L & O (2), Lmt. L & O (2), LCLM (2), O & T (2)

2:40 turn in survey, receive CEU attendance forms, check-in for CORE

CORE session: 2 CEUs

3:00-4:40 FDACS Vehicle Inspection

Paul Mitola, FDACS Field Training Coordinator

4:40 Turn in survey, receive CEU attendance form, adjourn.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Bill Haller is a Professor of Agronomy at the University of Florida in Gainesville, specializing in Aquatic Weed Science. His research is focused on aquatic weed management; in addition, Dr. Haller is also the Acting Director of the UF IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

Dr. Brent Sellers is an Associate Professor of Agronomy at the University of Florida Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona, specializing in Weed Science. His focus areas include identifying problematic weeds in pastures and rangeland and implementing economically and environmentally sound control measures, examining weed biology and ecology as related to pasture and rangeland management strategies, and weed control in fence rows and pasture borders.

Dr. Lyn Gettys is an Assistant Professor of Agronomy at the University of Florida Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie, specializing in Aquatic and Wetland Plant Science. Her focus areas include identification, biology and control of invasive aquatic and wetland species, plant propagation and development of novel techniques to increase the success of aquatic restoration and mitigation projects.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wanted! - Chinch Bugs

Got chinch bugs???  Dr. Buss needs lots and lots of chinch bugs this year for some lab and greenhouse tests. She is trying to determine some nitty-gritty information on how chinch bugs develop resistance, and ultimately how to manage insecticide resistant populations.

If you see some beefy populations (call before they get treated, please). Dr. Eileen Buss' office number is 352-273-3976, and email is  No chinch bug will be turned away (unless it's already dead).

She would love to get a couple populations from Georgia, Alabama, and Texas, if possible, too. Have truck, will travel (or pay for FedEx)... :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pumping Summer Iron on Turf?

Have you seen more take-all root rot in St. Augustine grass this year?

Have you been applying iron to turf during the summer N & P fertilizer ban?  Do you apply manganese along witht the iron? 

There may be a link between applications of iron (Fe) without applications of manganese (Mn) promoting manganese deficiency.  The ratio of Fe:Mn should not be less than 2:1.  Mn deficiency seems to make the turf more susceptible to take-all root rot.

Please let me know of your experience out in the field.  This may change UF recommendations for turf growing on high pH soils, or those irrigated with alkaline water.  Post your comment below.  Thanks.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Water Restrictions Differ for St. Petersburg

As you may know, the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board issued Water Shortage Emergency Order #2013-006 to tighten water use in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties, starting March 13th.

To best meet the needs of our customers and water supply system, the watering schedule for St. Petersburg’s water customers within City limits differs from the Water Shortage Order. St. Petersburg’s water customers at locations within St. Petersburg city limits that use potable (city) water, water from private wells, or surface water sources (lakes, ponds, etc.) are required to follow this watering schedule:

● property addresses ending in an even number are permitted to water on Saturday only; ● addresses ending with an odd number are permitted to water on Sunday only; ● allowable watering hours are 5 to 9 a.m. and/or 7 to 11 p.m.

Reclaimed water users are asked to follow a voluntary three-days-a-week schedule. Phase 3 restrictions will restrict other water uses, such as aesthetic fountains and car washing events.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

They're everywhere, they're everywhere.  The cuban tree frog, pythons in the everglades, monk parakeets, green mussles and scorpion fish, hydrilla and water hyacinth, rugose spiraling whitefly, red bay ambrosia beetle, citrus greening, Brazilian pepper, melaleuca, air potato and the list goes on.

These invasive pests are devastating our natural environment and threatening the things we value.

The United States Department of Agriculture is asking for everyone's help to stop the unintended introduction and spread of invasive pests.  They urge you to visit to learn more about invasive pests.

Here are a few actions people can take today:

1.  Buy firewood where you burn it - transporting wood can spread invasive pests.

2.  Plant carefully - buy plants from reputable sources and avoid using invasive plant species.  Remove invasive species.  See the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council list of invasive plants:

3.  Never release aquarium fish and plants into a waterway.  Return them to an aquarium shop if possible.

4.  Keep it clean - wash outdoor gear and tires between fishing, hunting or camping trips.

5.  Learn to identify - if you see signs of an invasive pest, write down or take a picture of what you see and then report it at

6.  Only pack and send agricultrally inspected fruits, veggies or plants across state lines.

It is up to all of us to prevent and reduce the spread of invasive species.