The Saw Palmetto

February 18, 2018 - 11:24


Jim Davis is the Multi-County Extension Director for UF/IFAS Sumter County and Hernando County Extension and a Florida Master Naturalist Instructor.

Two color forms of the native saw palmetto. The silver saw palmetto on the left and the more common green on the right.  Photo by Jim Davis

The Saw Palmetto or Serenoa repens is without a doubt one of the most underutilized of landscape palms. Many homeowners select statuesque palms such as washingtonia palms, Sylvester palms, mule palms and the not so recommended queen palm. Tall palm species such as these can certainly make a statement in the landscape. However, consider adding another layer of palm diversity. The saw palmetto can grow to an average height of about five to six feet. They can grow to ten feet, but it would take a very long time for that to happen.

December Fishin’ Report

December 02, 2017 - 00:44

The storms are gone, the weather is a little cooler, and the trout are back on the flats.

Limits of trout are being caught in two to three feet of water.

The most popular method of finding them is to drift with the tide while casting suspending hard baits like the MR17 or Catch 2000 from MirrOlure.

Use a pattern of twitch, twitch, pause, retrieve. Jigs are another good choice. I most often use a 1 eighth oz jig head with a 4 inch Gulp Swimming Mullet in pearl white, but depending on conditions other colors may get more bites.

Major blueberry grower wiped out by Irma; help them replant

September 14, 2017 - 16:29


Hurricane Irma downed approximately 100,000 blueberry bushes at Frogmore Fresh Farm, a 125-acre blueberry farm in Pasco County. If these plants are not re-staked and reestablished, they will die, a significant loss for the grower and the Florida blueberry industry. Searching for a solution, Whitney Elmore, UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County director, worked through the UF/IFAS network to recruit volunteers to come to the farm and help save the plants.

Planting Fall colors in Florida

August 29, 2017 - 10:28


Firebush Hamelia patens via Flickr

School is in session and Labor Day is fast approaching. What do these two events bring to mind? Changing temperatures and Ah, the glorious colors of Fall! Oh wait, this is Florida. No changing leaves of orange, red and yellow. No brisk evenings requiring fuzzy sweaters and warm cider. Nope. None of that here in Florida. What we do have is sunshine, sandy beaches, sweet iced tea and lots of tropical flora that is as resplendent in its variety as any of the Fall foliage seen in northern climes.

Little beetles can cause big problems

August 13, 2017 - 09:46

by Dr. William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County

Adult sixspined ips, Ips calligraphus (Germar). Photograph by David T. Almquist, University of Florida.

If you drive around Hernando County you will notice quite a few dead pine trees. This is because we have had an outbreak of Ips pine engraver beetles this spring and summer. This beetle pest occurrence isn’t nearly as bad as the southern pine bark beetle, which can cause major losses of pine trees across the entire Southeast US; but if you are the one suffering the loss and expense of removing a dead pine tree, this is little comfort. The main areas in our county that have been affected are Spring Hill, WeekiWachee, areas west of US 19 and along Cortez Blvd.

SWFWMD declares phase I water shortage

April 28, 2017 - 16:50

Lilly Browning is the Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

The Southwest Florida Water Management District has declared a Phase One Water Shortage. For the homeowner, this is more or less a warning phase, to prepare you for tighter restrictions if the dry weather continues. But one look around at the brown, crunchy lawns can tell us that we need to start thinking seriously about water conservation.

April fishin' report

April 15, 2017 - 13:25
Captain Duane Baker

April is, in my opinion, the best month to fish inshore in the flats and back country. Spring tides are flushing bait from the banks and making navigation easier. The strong winds of March are calming down and the temperature is comfortable.

The main target species are redfish, trout, and snook although many others may be caught like flounder, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and Spanish macs.


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