State Preserves More Than 2,300 Acres of 160-Year-Old Ranch in Putnam County

Contact the Office of Communications: (850) 617-7737 • Communications@FreshFromFlorida.com TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Governor and Cabinet today unanimously approved the preservation of 2,306 acres of environmentally sensitive agricultural land on the Clay Ranch in Putnam County, while allowing the land and agriculture operations...

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2016’s Top 10 UF/IFAS Extension publications cover snakes, avocados, vegetable gardening, more

Jan 02, 17 2016’s Top 10 UF/IFAS Extension publications cover snakes, avocados, vegetable gardening, more

Posted by in Land Care, Scientific Studies

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Vegetable gardening, bahia grass, living with snakes and identifying poisonous plants. These are the topics for some of the top University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension documents from 2016. Here’s this year’s list of the top 10...

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Fall-blooming camellias offer stunning landscape performance

Nov 30, 16 Fall-blooming camellias offer stunning landscape performance

Posted by in Featured Stories, Gardening, Landscaping

By Norman Winter Hurricane Matthew gave our Judge Arthur Solomon Camellia Trail a stiff uppercut as it brought down a lot of large trees. Now, one month later, the fall-blooming camellias are bringing in guests to gaze upon their beauty and their pollinating honeybee visitors. The bees seem to be in ecstasy as they literally dive...

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Fall is the proper planting time for woody ornamentals

Nov 01, 16 Fall is the proper planting time for woody ornamentals

Posted by in Gardening

By Frank M. Watson Fall has arrived! As the summer heat begins to subside, fall becomes an ideal time to plant woody ornamentals. Following proper planting procedures is essential. Often when I go out into the community to help homeowners diagnose shrub problems, it turns out the problem is the result of poor planting. The most...

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Native blue mistflowers offer dazzling color

By Norman Winter When I moved into my new house about this time last year, I was quick to notice my neighbor’s flowers across the street. I could see drifts of wonderful, tall, blue flowers coupled with the complementary orange of swirling Gulf fritillary butterflies. I knew immediately that my neighbor was a real gardener, as...

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Curcuma gingers are the crown jewels of the plant world

Aug 31, 16 Curcuma gingers are the crown jewels of the plant world

Posted by in Featured Stories, Landscaping

By Norman Winter Names like ‘Queen Lily’ and ‘Emperor’ belong to an incredible group, or genera, of gingers called “Curcuma.” To me, they are among the most beautiful plants you can grow in the landscape. As the names suggest, they are indeed fit for royalty. In addition to these, I want to tout a few more that might...

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A Faster Way to Get Rid of Kudzu

Aug 03, 16 A Faster Way to Get Rid of Kudzu

Posted by in Land Care

By Sandra Avant According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, the use of combined management programs can control kudzu more quickly than individual methods in use today. An invasive weed, kudzu was introduced to the United States in the late 1800s. It disrupts native ecosystems, threatens natural resources, and...

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‘Going Green’ with Stink Bug Control

Aug 02, 16 ‘Going Green’ with Stink Bug Control

Posted by in Agriculture, Land Care

By Dennis O’Brien A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist has found “green” alternatives to insecticides to control three native stink bugs that damage cotton, and the new methods are catching on with growers. The green stink bug (Chinavia hilaris), southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula), and brown stink bug...

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Add attractive plants to your landscape that provide nutritious fruit, too

Jun 02, 16 Add attractive plants to your landscape that provide nutritious fruit, too

Posted by in Featured Stories, Gardening, Landscaping

By Josh Fuder During a vacation in France last year, I had an awakening of sorts in terms of my philosophy on garden design and plant selection. A number of the gardens and public parks that I visited incorporated vegetables like Swiss chard and kale in with annual flower plantings. As an avid gardener, and an even more avid eater,...

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Researchers trying to understand declining kudzu bug populations

May 02, 16 Researchers trying to understand declining kudzu bug populations

Posted by in Land Care

By Kenzie Kesselring Once a nuisance for soybean farmers in the Southeast, kudzu bug populations appear to be declining in the U.S. “We can’t positively say it’s due to their natural enemies, but kudzu bug populations are decreasing,” said Ian Knight, a graduate student in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural...

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Rabbits can be rascally foes in the garden

Mar 31, 16 Rabbits can be rascally foes in the garden

Posted by in Featured Stories, Gardening, Health & Farming

By Frank M. Watson While rabbits may seem cute and fuzzy, the common rabbit or eastern cottontail can do considerable damage to flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs any time of the year in places ranging from suburban yards to rural fields and tree plantations. Controlling rabbits is often necessary to reduce damage, but complete...

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A Striking New Crape Myrtle for Florida’s Gardens and Landscapes

Feb 25, 16 A Striking New Crape Myrtle for Florida’s Gardens and Landscapes

Posted by in Featured Stories, Gardening

By Dennis O’Brien A chance discovery by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists means that a striking type of pink crape myrtle could soon be gracing lawns and gardens in South Florida. Commonly called Pride-of-India or queen’s crape myrtle, Lagerstroemia speciose is native to India and Southeast Asia and has been...

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Tissue-cultured blackberry plants key in avoiding threat of viruses

By Clint Thompson With no chemical treatments to kill viruses in blackberries, University of Georgia plant pathologist Phil Brannen recommends Georgia producers grow tissue-cultured plants. Tissue-cultured plants are often free of viruses. “And insects and nematodes can’t transmit the viruses to the young plant,” said...

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UF/IFAS study: “Green Industry” generates nearly $200 billion; 2 million jobs nationwide

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — What economists call the “green industry” – nursery and greenhouse production, landscape services and horticultural product distribution − is bringing plenty of green to a lot of people across the country. A new study by the University of Florida Institute...

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Early blooms call for patience, not pruning

Feb 01, 16 Early blooms call for patience, not pruning

Posted by in Gardening, Land Care, Landscaping

By Merritt Melancon With December’s temperatures mimicking spring in most parts of Georgia, it’s no wonder that so many landscape plants are confused. Last month, gardeners in all corners of the state saw their azaleas blooming and their spring flowering trees forming buds. Since then, winter weather has returned and damaged...

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Green tea impairs development, reproduction in fruit flies, study finds

by University of California – Irvine.  Although green tea is enjoyed by millions for its numerous health benefits, University of California, Irvine researchers have discovered that excessive consumption adversely affected development and reproduction in fruit fly populations. It’s unclear whether overconsumption could have...

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Tropical Fire Ant Movement Traced to Spanish Ships

Jan 05, 16 Tropical Fire Ant Movement Traced to Spanish Ships

Posted by in Gardening, Scientific Studies

By Sandra Avant A genetic investigation of tropical fire ants has revealed insights into the history of their movement across the globe and voyage to America, according to collaborative research between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and university scientists. Researchers, which included scientists at the Agricultural...

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Learning What “Wood” a Termite Prefers

Dec 01, 15 Learning What “Wood” a Termite Prefers

Posted by in Land Care, Landscaping, Scientific Studies

By Kim Kaplan U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists recently tested 10 commercial lumber species to learn which woods a termite favors and spurns. Termites cause nearly $40 billion in damage globally each year and destroy parts of more than 600,000 homes annually in the United States alone. How much wood a single colony...

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Tiny fungi can weaken roots and kill trees

Nov 03, 15 Tiny fungi can weaken roots and kill trees

Posted by in Gardening, Land Care, Landscaping

By Stephen Pettis Urban trees tend to have shortened lives, some living no more than 50 to 80 years. Urban forests in many metro areas have started to mature and decline, and are very susceptible to trunk-rotting and buttress root-rotting organisms. Wood-rotting organisms can slowly nibble away at trunks and buttress roots. Trees...

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Georgia’s peanut farmers having difficult year with white mold disease

Oct 01, 15 Georgia’s peanut farmers having difficult year with white mold disease

Posted by in Agriculture, Featured Stories, Land Care

By Tatyana Phelps  White mold disease has always been a problem for Georgia peanut farmers, according to University of Georgia plant pathologist Tim Brenneman. The disease has been even more of a nuisance due to the hot and humid weather conditions this growing season. Brenneman insists that, through proper use of the correct...

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