This publication discusses the “blue dye” test, which is one way that Extension professionals can show homeowners how water and nutrients move through the soil following irrigation. The information should be useful for county agents to demonstrate basic irrigation and nitrogen management practices and their effects on nitrate-nitrogen (N) leaching. This 4-page fact sheet was written by George Hochmuth, Laurie Trenholm, Esen Momol, Don Rainey, Claire Lewis, and Brian Niemann, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, November 2013.
Soil is the most important building block of a healthy, attractive landscape, serving many important physical, chemical, and biological functions. Soil provides a physical substrate for plant support and holds nutrients and water for plant use. It also facilitates groundwater recharge (water moving from surface water to groundwater) and provides long-term storage for organic matter. Soil also provides a habitat for microorganisms that aid in the transformation and availability of nutrients. Soil is an integral part of any ecosystem, but urbanization often changes soils in ways that negatively affect plant development. Soils in urban areas may have reduced water infiltration, resulting in increased runoff and increased potential for nutrient losses. Homeowners in urban areas often overcompensate for poor planting conditions by applying inappropriate amounts of fertilizer and water. These practices eventually lead to nutrient losses through stormwater runoff or soil leaching, and these lost nutrients negatively impact groundwater and ecosystems in nearby springs, streams, and water bodies. This 6-page fact sheet was written by George Hochmuth, Laurie Trenholm, Esen Momol, Don Rainey, Claire Lewis, and Brian Niemann, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, November 2013.
Reclaimed water is water that has been treated in municipal wastewater facilities and is safe to use for designated purposes, including residential landscape irrigation. “Water reuse” is the term used to describe the beneficial application of reclaimed water. Approximately 663 million gallons of reclaimed water are used daily in Florida. Florida is a national leader in using reclaimed water, and in 2006 Florida’s reuse program received the first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Efficiency Leader Award. Using reclaimed water in Florida meets a state objective for conserving freshwater supplies, and preserves the water quality of rivers, streams, lakes, and aquifers. This publication discusses the benefits of using reclaimed water to irrigate the landscape and explains how using reclaimed water helps to protect the environment. This 4-page fact sheet was written by George Hochmuth, Laurie Trenholm, Don Rainey, Esen Momol, Claire Lewis, and Brian Niemann, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, November 2013.
Proper irrigation management is critical to conserve and protect water resources and to properly manage nutrients in the home landscape. How lawns and landscapes are irrigated directly impacts the natural environment, so landscape maintenance professionals and homeowners must adopt environmentally-friendly approaches to irrigation management. After selecting the right plant for the right place, water is the next critical factor to establish and maintain a healthy lawn and landscape. Fertilization is another important component of lawn and landscape maintenance, and irrigation must be applied correctly, especially following fertilization, to minimize potential nutrient losses. This publication supplements other UF/IFAS Extension publications that also include information on the role of soil and the root zone in irrigation management. This publication is designed to help UF/IFAS Extension county agents prepare materials to directly address nutrient losses from lawns and landscapes caused by inadequate irrigation management practices.This 6-page fact sheet was written by George Hochmuth, Laurie Trenholm, Don Rainey, Esen Momol, Claire Lewis, and Brian Niemann, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, October 2013.
Landscape design students in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida participated in the planning and design of the landscape for a new professional development center on the university campus. Such large-scale projects provide a unique experiential learning activity for students and volunteers in landscape design and horticulture programs. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Gail Hansen and Brian Niemann, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, August 2012.