Plant Health on the Go Workshop for growers in December

The University of Florida and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) will hold a Plant Health on the Go workshop on December 3 where growers can learn plant health management techniques from horticulture experts.

Building on the success of the Greenhouse Training Online courses (https://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/training/), UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) professor and extension specialist Paul Fisher wanted to bring the courses to life and offer face-to-face instruction.

The workshop includes lectures and hands-on demonstrations of biological control of pests, heat tolerance, disease management, weed management, LED lighting and root health from UF IFAS experts at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) in Apopka (https://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/).

“This workshop will be beneficial for anyone producing plants in containers or hydroponics in a protected environment. This includes ornamentals in container nurseries, food crops in a greenhouse and indoor growing of leafy greens or microgreens,” Fisher said. “Plant health topics apply to a wide variety of crops, and we will focus on methods that are relevant across the board.”

Over the last 20 years, UF/IFAS has held a poinsettia cultivar day in Gainesville each December. For the first time this year, the poinsettia day will be replaced with the Plant Health Workshop. UF students in Gainesville will continue to have a poinsettia sale for the public on December 6 and 7.

“There have been many interesting new developments in horticulture and other ornamental crops, so we want to ensure our program supports a wide range of growers,” Fisher said.  “Opportunities for networking, hands-on activities and face-to-face interaction were important aspects of the poinsettia event and we do not want to lose that benefit.”

The event is part of the FNGLA’s “Education on the Go” series to bring educational sessions to growers’ backyards.

“FNGLA has such a strong partnership with UF on many levels across many segments of the industry. Whether it is working with the Orange County Extension office to coordinate the Florida Flower Trials or with the main campus for our certification programs,” Linda Reindl, FNGLA’s Director of Education said. “We utilize expertise from UF staff and faculty and are fortunate our members can benefit from them.”

To register for the Plant Health On The Go event, visit  https://secure.fngla.org/events/PHOG/. FNGLA members receive a 20 percent discount on registration.

Fisher also recommends enrolling in the online certificate courses, at https://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/training/. Courses are taught in English and Spanish, are designed for growers and last for four weeks. FNGLA members receive a 20 percent discount on the online courses (email greenhousetraining@ifas.ufl.edu for the discount code). If you take an online course in 2019, you will also receive a further discount for the Apopka workshop.

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