Florida Homeowner Herbicide Guide: Considerations, Applications, and Selection

When applying herbicides, be sure to wear long sleeves and pants, closed-toe shoes, socks, gloves, and any other required PPE listed on the label to avoid potential exposure.

While some people opt for professional lawn maintenance companies, some homeowners may wish to perform their own landscape pest control in order to save money, to have more control of what is applied, or simply because they enjoy it. This EDIS publication is for Florida gardeners, horticulturalists and homeowners who want to utilize herbicides to control weeds in their landscape. This new 9-page publication of the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department discusses common herbicides available at retail stores and how homeowners can use these them safely and effectively. Written by Chris Marble.

Key Plant, Key Pests: Oleander (Nerium oleander)

A polka-dot wasp moth. Credit: James Castner, UF/IFAS

This series of Key Plant, Key Pests publications are designed for Florida gardeners, horticulturalists, and landscape professionals to help identify common pests associated with common Florida flora. This new 5-page publication, the tenth in the series, helps identify the most common pests found on oleander. This publication provides information and general management recommendations for oleander aphids, oleander caterpillars, sphaerosis gall, oleander leaf scorch, and scale. Written by Juanita Popenoe, Jacqueline Bourdon, Caroline R. Warwick, and Jianjun Chen, and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department.

Valuing Florida Water Resources: Prices of Waterfront Properties

Canal off of King Bay in Crystal River, entry to Three Sisters Springs, manatee protection area, state, development, houses, water. UF/IFAS Photo: Sally Lanigan.
This 9-page fact sheet written by Tatiana Borisova, Xiang Bi, Tara Wade, and Kurt Oehlbeck and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department explores the relationship between water quality and sale prices of waterfront properties, that is, the amenity value provided by water resources to waterfront communities. Being near to water to water generally increases the value of a residential property. However, poor water quality may decrease waterfront property prices. In other words, investments in restoring water quality can translate into increases in property value and tax collection.

Executive Summary of Gainesville’s Urban Forest in 2016

Gainesville Downtown UF/IFAS file photo

This 2-page fact sheet written by Michael G. Andreu, Caroline A. Hament, David A. Fox, and Robert J. Northrop and published by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation describes a 2016 ecological assessment of the urban forest in the city of Gainesville, FL. It provides a detailed look into some of the economic and ecological values of the forest to enhance understanding and improve urban forest policies, planning, and management, as well as to provide empirical data for the inclusion of trees within environmental regulations.

Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flueggé): Overview and Pasture Management

Bahiagrass seedhead. The purple anthers can be observed covering each raceme.

This 10-page document discusses bahiagrass forage cultivars, forage production, nutritive value, animal performance, planting, pasture renovation, management, and more. Written by Marcelo Wallau, Joao Vendramini, José Dubeux, and Ann Blount, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised July 2019.

Estimating Herbage Mass on Pastures to Adjust Stocking Rate

Beef Cattle at the Straughn Extension Professional Development Center and at the Horse Teaching Unit. Livestock, cows. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

This new 6-page document explains methods to measure forage mass and utilize that information to estimate an adequate stocking rate. Written by Jose Dubeux, Marcelo Wallau, João Vendramini, Liliane Silva, Jane Griffin, Nicolas DiLorenzo, and Erick Santos, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, June 2019.

Develop Your Own Florida Olive IPM Plan

A healthy Arbequina olive grove in Volusia County, Florida.

To remain in optimal health and produce optimal yield, olive trees need excellent nutrition, the right irrigation, and good care to help them stay healthy so that they can withstand injury from pests and diseases. This 10-page fact sheet written by Morgan Byron, Eleanor Phillips, and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department touches on some aspects of olive tree health that will help improve your trees' natural resistance to pests and pathogens. At the end of the guide is a monthly care and observation schedule to help you recognize when you should begin scouting for key pests and when important grove management decisions should be made.

Using iNaturalist to Contribute Your Nature Observations to Science.

Florida panther and kittens courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

iNaturalist is one of the most popular citizen science data portals in the world. Citizens can submit pictures of biological observations to an online data base to be reviewed by the rich online community and used for important biodiversity research around the world. Users can use the iNaturalist ap to plan community projects and bioblitzes and learn more about species identification and biodiversity. In this 5-page fact sheet, authors Matthew Earl Boone and Mathieu Basille explain how observations are vetted and used and give a step by step guide to get started! Published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.

Opening the Door to Nature: Accounting for People’s Constraints to Nature-based Recreation

a family on a hike. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Although millions of people recreate in parks, forests, and other conservation areas in the United States every year, research shows that some are left out; not everyone takes advantage of natural areas for the numerous benefits nature-based recreation provides. Results show that many people who do not participate in nature-based recreation feel constrained by their quality of time, not the quantity of time. In other words, they're saying, "Prove to me that it's worth my time to go out in nature. Show me something cool!" Based on research conducted in Hillsborough County, Florida and similar studies, this 6-page fact sheet written by Margaret E. Gullion and Taylor Stein and published by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation addresses identifies strategies to improve the opportunities natural areas can provide a diverse public.

Understanding Investment Analysis for Farm Management

Investment decisions are among the most important decisions growers make. In many cases, those investments are in capital assets such as establishing a new orchard or purchasing a new piece of equipment. The process for evaluating those investments is called investment analysis or capital budgeting. This 4-page fact sheet written by Julio Cruz and Ariel Singerman and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department reviews net present value and the internal rate of return, the two main criteria for decision making when evaluating a decision to invest in a capital asset.

Marketing Florida-Friendly Landscapes to Florida Homeowners

A Florida Friendly Yard in NW Gainesville, Florida.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.
Useful to retail and landscape firms who are interested in encouraging FFL-related purchases and installations, this 3-page fact sheet written by Hayk Khachatryan, Alicia Rihn, and Caroline R. Warwick and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department is an overview of how both DIY homeowners and those who hire professional landscaping service providers perceive the value of residential landscapes and the best methods to encourage them to purchase or install FFL.

Large Lizard Lineup for South Florida

Non-native reptile species breeding in Florida, tegus, monitors, and iguanas from Africa, South America, Central America, and Mexico, currently outnumber native Florida reptiles. This trifold brochure written by Justin Dalaba and Frank Mazzotti and published by the UF/IFAS Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department serves as a guide to several commonly confused species.

Soils and Fertilizers for Master Gardeners: Soil Physical Characteristics

A child's hands planting a vegetable in the soil. Photo taken December 5th, 2015. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Soils are a foundational component of the landscape, providing a medium for plant root growth and playing a crucial role in nutrient cycling and water movement across the landscape. This new 7-page article describes the physical properties of soils, including soil formation in Florida, the soil profile, and water dynamics within soils, and provides a thorough reference for Master Gardeners and other individuals searching for a basic understanding of soil dynamics to apply to residential landscapes. Written by Amy L. Shober, Alexander J. Reisinger, Mary G. Lusk, and Sally Ann Scalera and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences.

Values and Ecosystem Services of Gainesville’s Urban Forest in 2016

Gainesville Downtown UF/IFAS file photo

The urban forest is a crucial factor in the well-being of a community because of the aesthetics, health benefits, and cost-savings that it provides. The urban forest is our habitat, and we must manage it in ways that will provide the benefits we need and desire. This 3-page fact sheet written by Michael G. Andreu, Caroline A. Hament, David A. Fox, and Robert J. Northrop and published by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation describes an urban forest ecological analysis conducted in 2016 in Gainesville, Florida, by the University of Florida in partnership with the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department to quantify the vegetation structure, functions, and values of the urban forest.

Children’s Citrus Activity: Diaprepes Root Weevil

Diaprepes adult

This new two-page children’s activity sheet features pictures of Diaprepes root weevil larva and adults as well as feeding damage. Page two includes a maze. Written by Lauren M. Diepenbrock and Jamie D. Burrow and published by the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development program.

Children’s Citrus Activity: Citrus Counting

A University of Florida orange grove in Lake Alfred, FL

Florida is well known for its citrus industry, valued at over eight billion dollars, and is one of the top citrus-producing states in the United States. This new one-page children’s activity sheet about Florida citrus includes an activity for students learning to count and match. Written by Jamie D. Burrow and Ariel Singerman and published by the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program.

Managing Plant Pests with Soaps

Many available products commonly called “soap."
Home gardeners and professionals frequently discuss the use of soap products to control plant pests. Limited and conflicting information on this topic has resulted in confusion and misuse of products. It is important to recognize that all soaps are not equal in safety or efficacy in plant-pest management. This 5-page fact sheet written by Matthew A. Borden and Adam G. Dale and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department describes some of the different types of soaps and recommendations for proper, legal, and safe use of these products to manage pests.

A New Database on Trait-Based Selection of Stormwater Pond Plants

stormwater pond plants

Stormwater ponds play critical roles for flood control and water quality treatment, and they can provide ecological services to communities. Those ecological services can be enhanced with proper pond design and maintenance. This 6-page fact sheet written by Gisele P. Nighswander, Mary E. Szoka, Kayla M. Hess, Eban Z. Bean, Gail Hansen de Chapman, and Basil V. Iannone III and published by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation provides a comprehensive database of plant traits to help readers make informed stormwater pond plant selection decisions based on their own relative priorities.

Recognizing Heat Stress in Dairy Cows

Feeding dairy cows at the University of Florida's Dairy Research Unit in Hague, Florida.  Bos taurus, dairy cattle, livestock, industry, DRU.  UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones.

In persistent hot, sunny and humid conditions, cows can become overheated and may not produce as well, or may experience health issues. This two-page fact sheet written by Izabelle Toledo and Geoffrey Dahl and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences lists the signs of heat stress in dairy cows.

Design and Construction of a Constant Head Infiltrometer

Closeup water drops. UF/IFAS Photo by Marisol Amador

This new 8-page document details the construction procedure for a Mariotte siphon constant head infiltrometer using readily available materials. Written by Mahesh Bashyal, Michael J. Mulvaney, and Eban Z. Bean, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, June 2019.