Engaging Commercial Horticulture Professionals to Understand Why Landscapes Fail

Susan Haddock


Commercial horticulture professionals performing maintenance on properties often inherit poorly performing landscapes. Poor performance is defined as a landscape that is difficult or impossible to maintain using standard maintenance and best management practices. In many cases professionals do not understand why managed landscapes fail and may resort to pesticide or fertilizer applications or improper cultural practices to attempt to solve an unknown problem. A program that provides classroom and field training to educate professionals on underlying causes of landscape failures was developed. Presentations were developed for general landscape and trees, turfgrass, and palms to address issues encountered in urban development, regulatory and design compromises, improper plant and irrigation installation, wrong plant/wrong place, nutritional deficiencies, and unusual pests that affect long term landscape success. Presentations include Why Landscapes Fail, Why Turfgrass Fails,and Why Palms Fail. Presentations are supplemented with fact sheets that address specific issues, planting guides, irrigation audit forms, and soil test information. Field evaluations and on-site training at poorly performing landscapes are scheduled as requested by landscape professionals. Although designed for commercial professionals, this program can be utilized for residential and Master Gardener training.


landscape professionals, urban development, horticultural training

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283