Environmental landscape management : use of practices by Florida Consumers
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 Material Information
Title: Environmental landscape management : use of practices by Florida Consumers
Abbreviated Title: Bulletin 307
Physical Description: Bulletin
Creator: Knox, Gary W. (Gary Wayne) ( Contributor )
Israel, G. D. ( Contributor )
Davis, Greg L. ( Contributor )
Black, Robert J. (Robert John) 1942- ( Contributor )
Schaefer, Joseph M. ( Contributor )
Brown, Sydney Park ( Contributor )
Fugate, Anne ( Editor )
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: September 1, 1995
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Landscape Design
Spatial Coverage: Florida
 Notes
Abstract: This bulletin reports the results of a state-wide evaluation of the Environmental Landscape Management (ELM) program, which evaluated the program's impact on participants' landscape management practices and provided information on ways to improve program delivery and effectiveness.
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Diana Hagan.
Publication Status: Published
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00000406:00001

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UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Bulletin 307
ENVIRONMENTAL LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers1_
Contributors: Gary W. Knox, Glenn D. Israel, Greg L. Davis, Robert J. Black, Joseph M. Schaefer, and Sydney Park Brown2
Edited by: Gary W. Knox, Anne Fugate, and Glenn D. Israel
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Environmental Landscape Management (ELM), an educational program for Florida consumers, approaches every landscape as a "system" in which cultural practices interact with each other and the environment. ELM guidelines integrate site conditions, landscape design, plant selection, irrigation, fertilization, pest control, mowing, pruning, and recycling in a comprehensive, environment-friendly strategy for managing a landscape. By using ELM, Floridians will conserve resources and help protect and enhance the environment.
This bulletin reports the results of a state-wide evaluation of the ELM program, undertaken to evaluate the program's impact on participants' landscape management practices and to provide information on ways to improve program delivery and effectiveness. These questions are addressed through comparison of pre-program information on the use of ELM practices with that of a follow-up conducted six months after the program. The Program Group (n=473) consisted of participants in one six-county ELM
program and in four counties' individual ELM programs. The Program Group's responses were also compared to those of a Comparison Group, residents randomly selected from driver's license rolls of 23 Florida counties (n=186).
Results
Although the majority of respondents indicated that they choose plants based on site characteristics, most evaluated only light conditions; few respondents tested soil drainage or pH, though ELM training did increase the adoption of pH analysis. Except for the practice of planting windbreaks, training greatly increased adoption of ELM landscape design principles such as grouping plants by water and maintenance needs and creating low maintenance areas. Proper planting procedures were widely used by the Program Group, but not by the Comparison Group.
Initially, the Program and Comparison groups practiced proper water management equally. ELM training increased the Program Group's adoption of such practices as using the proper amount of water, using the lawn as an indicator for
This document is Bulletin 307, a series of Program Evaluation and Organizational Development, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: September, 1995.
Gary W. Knox, Associate Professor of Environmental Horticulture, North Florida REC-Monticello, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Monticello FL 32344. Glenn D. Israel, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Communicatioa GregL. Davis, Assistant Professor, and Robert J. Black, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Horticulture. Joseph M. Schaefer, Associate Professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Sydney Park Brown, Extension Agent IV, Hillsborough County. Anne Fugate, Technical Editor, Program Evaluation. The authors acknowledge the assistance of Klaus Geyer, Robert Masten, David Marshall, and RayZerba in collecting data for this bulletin. The authors also thank Judy Rogers for preparing the figures.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / John T. Woeste, Dean


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
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the need to irrigate, and grouping plants by water needs. Water management practices that were not widely used pertained to irrigation system components that may be too costly, too labor intensive, or otherwise too difficult for homeowners to operate.
ELM teaming did not significantly improve the Program Group's adoption of proper lawn fertilization practices. Respondents seem to place great importance on lawn appearance and, by inference, lawn fertilization. However, ELM teaming did increase the number of respondents using slow-release fertilizer, using less fertilizer to reduce pruning, applying nitrogen at the proper rate, and avoiding the fertilization of established trees.
ELM training dramatically increased adoption of a wide range of proper pest management practices. The overall pattern of improvement indicates great interest in environmentally friendly pest control and, perhaps, better retention of information that was new to participants. The only practice not accepted was tolerating slight plant damage.
ELM-trained respondents widely adopted proper mowing and pruning practices. Even though respondents seemed to have some difficulty understanding differences in pruning tools and techniques, cultural practices appear to be relatively easy to adopt.
All respondents used a number of mulching and recycling practices, probably because of the encouragement of extensive programs by local Extension offices and municipal waste management authorities. However, ELM teaming slightly increased adoption of a number of practices, probably because of the audience's exposure to new information.
Even though the Program Group was more likely than the Comparison to use practices that benefit wildlife, their overall levels of adoption were still low. Reduced pesticide usage was the only practice that showed significant improvement as a result of ELM training.
Landscape practices that directly conserve energy were not widely used by respondents, even after ELM teaming.
These practices often involve significant changes to the landscape, which homeowners may have been unwilling to make because of the cost or labor involved or because of potentially dramatic changes in the appearance in the landscape. However, there was significant improvement in the adoption of landscape practices that indirectly conserve energy. Mostly cultural practices, they were more likely adopted for horticultural or cost-saving reasons than for energy conservation.
Respondents without a permanent irrigation system generally were more likely to adopt a wide range of ELM practices than were those with a permanent system. Those who invest money in an irrigation system may rely on the system to create a pleasant landscape rather than invest time and work in closer management. Those without irrigation systems appear to be more environment and less lawn oriented.
Predictably, homeowners who maintain their own landscapes adopted ELM practices to a greater extent than did homeowners who use a landscape maintenance service, though the latter group did increase their use of ELM practices some. Homeowners with service-maintained landscapes may have less control over the practices used in their yards.
Most respondents use nurseries/garden centers as their primary source of landscaping information. As the next most frequently used source, the Program Group cited Extension publications and agents, while the Comparison Group cited friends/neighbors and landscape/lawncare companies. This difference, which probably reflects program participants' familiarity with Extension services, correlates well with the trend of the Program Group generally having higher initial levels of adoption of ELM practices than the Comparison Group.
The decided majority of participants reported positive perceptions about ELM practices. The overohelmingly positive results indicate that ELM is "on target" in reaching its audience with the important message that appropriate landscape practices can enhance Florida's landscape.


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Contents
Introduction............................................................ 3
IVlGthOdOlOQy . BBaaBB�aBBBBBBBBBBuaBn�-BB�B3BaBBBaBBB>BDBaBBBBaaBa*Baa.BBB 4;
Site Analysis, Plant Selection, Landscape Design
and Planting...................................................... 5
Adoption of ELM Water Management Practices................................ 6
Fertilization Practices .................................................... 7
Pest Management Practices ............................................... 8
Mowing and Pruning Practices............................................. 9
Mulching and Recycling Practices ......................................... 10
Practices Protecting or Enhancing Wildlife .................................. 11
Energy-related Aspects of ELM............................................ 12
Adoption Differences Due to Presence or Absence of a
Permanent Irrigation System........................................ 14
Use of ELM Practices in Self-Maintained vs. Service-Maintained Landscapes............................................ 15
Analysis of Respondents' Information Sources
and Their Perceptions About ELM.................................... 16
References.................�.......................................... 17
Appendix: Questionnaires ............................................... 18
INTRODUCTION3
Many Florida residents have misperceptions about proper landscape care and environmentally sound practices. Faced with Florida's diverse environmental conditions, well-meaning individuals often waste energy, water, fertilizer and pesticides through inappropriate landscape designs and improper landscape maintenance practices. These existing practices can contribute to the degradation of the environment dirough runoff, leaching, and misuse of resources.
Program Objectives
Environmental Landscape Management (ELM) is an educational program which promotes the adoption of environmentally sound practices in the design and management of Florida landscapes. The ELM program integrates landscaping practices for energy conservation, water conservation, pest control, landscape waste recycling, and attracting wildlife with other horticulturally sound principles of landscape design and management. Proper landscaping can produce home energy savings of up to 30
3Glenn D. Israel
percent in Florida (Black and Meerow, 1989). Using recommended irrigation practices can save about 30 percent of outdoor water use, while savings of 75 to 80 percent can be achieved from re-designing the home landscape and irrigation system and using proper irrigation practices (Gilman et al., 1991; Karlik, 1992; Nelson, 1987). Thus, the educational program provides a holistic approach to landscape design and management that will help conserve our resources and protect and enhance the environment.
It is anticipated that participants will adopt ELM practices which apply to their particular situation as a result of the program. The specific practices are those listed in the questionnaires in the appendix.
Audiences
The intended audience for the program includes homeowners and renters, home gardeners, landscape maintenance personnel, landscape architects, landscape designers, landscape contractors, retail nursery personnel, Master Gardeners, environmental regulatory personnel, urban foresters, utility conservationists, garden writers, and others. The intended audiences vary from one program or series of programs to another.


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Evaluation Plan and Scope
The purpose of the evaluation is two-fold: to evaluate the impact of the program on the participants' landscape management practices and to provide information on ways to improve program delivery and effectiveness. The evaluation considers several questions: Did homeowners who attended the program adopt ELM practices? If so, which ones? What practices appear to need greater emphasis in future ELM programs? These questions are addressed through comparison of pre-program information on the use of ELM practices with that of a follow-up conducted six months after the program. In addition, the responses of the program participants are contrasted with those from a comparison group of residents randomly selected from driver's license rolls of 23 Florida counties.
Although this evaluation describes change in the use of ELM practices, it does not assess whether changes were, in fact, a result of the specific workshop or of other programs by either Extension or other organizations. That changes can result from the influence of activities by other actors is recognized but beyond the scope of this study.
METHODOLOGY4
Evaluation Design
A non-equivalent control group design was used for the evaluation. Although all quasi-experimental designs have weaknesses (Campbell and Stanley, 1963), tins one is most appropriate for exploring the questions posed for this evaluation. Specifically, the design allowed program participants to be compared with a control group.
Program Group
The Program Group is an aggregate of participants in one multi-county ELM program and individual ELM programs from four counties, Hillsborough, Hernando, Lee, and Leon. Since the programs varied, a brief description of each follows. These are based on information from Extension agents' reports of accomplishment.
Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, St. Johns and Putnam Counties: A multi-county program for training Master Gardeners was held from September to November, 1993. Ten weekly meetings were held. Of the 109 participants, 104 completed the pre-test survey and 74 completed the
4Glenn D. Israel
follow-up (71.8 percent, one nonrespondent was reported as deceased).
Hillsborough County: A one-day Eco-Gardening Conference served as the forum for delivering ELM information to residents. Master Gardeners were instrumental in helping to organize the conference, which was held on April 11, 1992. Topics included ELM, yard trash to garden treasure, backyard habitats, xeriscape�, and landscape pitfalls. A total of 315 residents attended. Of these, 269 completed the pre-test instrument (it is likely that couples filled out only one questionnaire). The follow-up survey was conducted in Fall, 1992, using a questionnaire and a second survey. A total of 113 (42.0 percent) completed the follow-up survey.
Hernando County: A one-day seminar titled "Lawn and Landscape Improvement" was conducted on April 24,1993. This seminar, held on a Saturday, was attended by 167 persons from Hernando and three adjoining counties. Every attendee was asked to fill out an IFAS-developed survey on the way they presently maintain their landscapes. Of those attending, 93 completed the pre-program survey. The follow-up survey was conducted during Fall, 1993, and obtained 59 (63.4 percent) responses.
Lee County: A one-day workshop was conducted. A total of 332 pre-program surveys were completed by attendees (couples completed a single survey). The follow-up survey elicited 139 (42.0 percent) usable responses.
Leon County: Program participants were the 45 Master Gardener trainees who attended weekly classes from January to March, 1993. The classes focused on soil preparation, management of plant problems, recycling yard wastes, pruning techniques, and water management. Forty participants completed the pre-program and follow-up questionnaires. Of 49 participants in a second class of Master Gardeners, which ran from January to March, 1994, 48 completed pre- and follow-up questionnaires. Some Master Gardeners also attended monthly framing classes and field trips. All active Master Gardeners received a bimonthly newsletter on local happenings.
Nonresponse bias in the aggregate Program Group was assessed by comparing pre-program data for respondents with that of nonrespondents (the groupings were based on who responded to the follow-up survey). This was done using the Chi-square test to compare the distribution of responses for each item in the pre-test data for the two groups. The analysis indicates that respondents to the follow-up survey differ from nonrespondents in a number of ways. Logistic regression indicates that the difference is due


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
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to three factors for many but not all items in the pre-program questionnaire. These factors are whether the individual lives in a house or another housing type (condo, apartment, duplex, mobile home, etc.), whether the individual or someone else does the landscape maintenance, and whether the individual has previously obtained information from garden centers, extension publications or an extension agent, a master gardener, or a plant clinic. The analysis reveals that respondents are more likely to be the former in these cases.
Comparison Group
The relevant Comparison Group was defined as residents of counties having pro-active ELM Extension programs. Based on the judgement of the Design Team leader for the program, 23 counties were identified as meeting this definition: Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Osceola, Orange, Palm Beach, Polk, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, and Seminole Counties. These counties contain 52.4 percent of the state's 12.9 million residents.
The sample for the Comparison Group was drawn from the 23 counties using the list of licensed drivers 18 years of age or older. A total of 1200 names were selected. A sequence of five mailings (first questionnaire, first reminder postcard, second questionnaire, second postcard, and third questionnaire) were conducted during June and July, 1993. Of these, 300 could not be contacted, making the reachable sample 900. A total of 380 (42.2 percent) usable responses were obtained. No assessment of non-response bias could be made for the pre-test responses although it is likely that apartment dwellers and residents in condos were less likely to respond. We did observe that a number of refusals indicated that they lived in an apartment or condo and did not feel the survey applied to them.
Of the 380 respondents to the pre-test, 16 could not be reached for the follow-up mail survey. Of the remaining 364, a total of240 (65.9 percent) usable responses were obtained. As with the pre-test, a total of five waves (three questionnaires and two postcards) were conducted, in January and February, 1994.
Comparison of respondents and nonrespondents to the follow-up reveals nonresponse bias in the Comparison Group. Bias was assessed by comparing pre-test data for respondents with that of nonrespondents (the groupings were based on who responded to the follow-up survey). This was done using the Chi-square test to compare the distribution of responses for each item in the pre-test data for die two groups. Logistic regression indicates that the difference is
due to three factors for many but not all items in the preprogram questionnaire. These factors are whether the individual lives in a house or another housing type (condo, apartment, duplex, mobile home, etc.), whether that individual or someone else does the landscape maintenance, and whether individuals have previously obtained information from garden centers, Extension publications or the Extension agent, a master gardener or a plant clinic. The analysis reveals that respondents are more likely to be the former in these cases.
Of those respondents who completed the pre- and follow up surveys, some reported obtaining information about ELM or xeriscape from the Cooperative Extension Service. These respondents (54) were purged, leaving a purified Comparison Group of 186.
Data Processing and Analysis
Information from completed pre-program and follow-up questionnaires was entered into File Express databases. The computer program SAS/PC was used to calculate the descriptive statistics for this report.
SITE ANALYSIS, PLANT SELECTION, LANDSCAPE DESIGN, AND PLANTING5
Site Analysis and Plant Selection
Practices relating to site analysis had widely divergent rates of adoption among both Comparison and Program groups. While the practice of identifying sun and shade patterns was widely adopted, and the practice of testing for soil pH showed a significant increase in adoption after ELM framing, the practice of testing for soil drainage was not accepted by most respondents (Figure 1). Similarly, most respondents did not seem to endorse the practice of protecting existing trees and other vegetation, perhaps because it is primarily an issue during construction or major renovation. About 30 percent of the Comparison Group protected existing trees, while positive responses from the Program Group decreased from 40 percent to 36 percent after ELM framing.
Most respondents indicated that they select landscape plants based on their adaptation to site conditions (Figure 1), despite having previously indicated that they identify only sun/shade conditions and not soil characteristics. Only about 25 percent to 30 percent of the Comparison Group consider plant growth rate as a factor affecting future maintenance
5Gary W.Knox


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efforts. Among me Program Group, ELM training increased positive responses to this practice from 38 percent to only 44 percent.
100% -i
80%
60%
40% "
20%
0%
Positive Responses 90
74

63
Comparison Group-Pre-Test d Comparison Group-Post-Test
Program Group-Pre-Test P Program Group-Post-Test
ADOPTION OF WATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES6
Prior to learning about ELM, the Program and Comparison groups were about equally knowledgeable about proper water management practices. Some practices were widely used or unused by both groups. Less than 15 percent of both groups used a low volume irrigation system and only about 18 percent had a rain shut-off device. On the other hand, about 80 percent of both groups watered plants in the evening or early morning, perhaps because water restrictions in much of Florida allow irrigation only during those hours anyway.
m
Pick Adapted Plants
Identify Sun/Shade
Test Soil pH
Test Soil Drainage
Figure 1. Effects of ELM training on site analysis and plant selection practices.
Landscape Design
ELM training significantly increased adoption of several design aspects relating to plant groupings and maintenance (Figure 2). These results concur with the 34 percent of the Program Group who made changes to their landscapes after ELM training, although some of the positive responses in this category also may be due to customers recognizing serendipitous groupings in their yards. Using plants to shade the home or to deflect winter winds were not adopted to any great extent (refer to Figure 19 in "Energy-related Aspects of ELM").
ELM fraining increased the use of only a few water management practices, but these changes occurred in "key" practices that should dramatically affect water use (Figure 3). ELM fraining increased the percentage of respondents watering the lawn after it shows signs of wilt by 12 percent and the percentage applying lA to 3/4-inch water by 16 percent. The grouping of plants by water needs increased almost 20 percentage points, from 37 percent to 56 percent.
Planting
The Comparison Group reported using proper planting methods to some extent: 38 percent dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and about 45 percent place the top of the rootball even with the soil surface. About 70 percent of the Program Group now uses the proper hole width and 80 percent, up from 70 percent, plants at the proper depth.
100%
Positive Responses
80%-
60%
^ Comparison Group-Pre-Test d Comparison Group-Post-Test
Program Group-Pre-Test P Program Group-Post-Test
40%
20%"
34
Low Maintenance Design Group by Maintenance
Group by Water Needs Changed Landscape?
Figure 2. Effects of ELM training on landscape design.
6Gary W.Knox


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100%
Positive Responses
80%-
60%
fel Comparison Group-Pre-Test Q Comparison Group-Post-Test ��Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
40%
20%"
1/2 to 3/4 in. per Irrigation Group by Water Needs
Irrigate Seasonally Water When Blades Fold
perhaps too costly, too labor-intensive, or too difficult for respondents.
Roughly 41 percent of the Comparison Group had a permanent irrigation system versus 47 percent of the Program Group. ELM training did not improve adoption of most practices associated with permanent irrigation systems (parts of Figures 4 and 5). On the post-survey, more respondents reported having an overhead irrigation system, but the increase probably only reflects poor understanding of the term "overhead", since everyone who responded to questions in this section probably has an "overhead" sprinkler system.
FERTILIZATION PRACTICES7
Lawns
Figure 3. ELM training increased the use of some water management practices.
Other important practices were not widely used or showed few or no increases in adoption (Figure 4). The creation of separate irrigation zones or the installation of a low volume irrigation system or a rain shut-off device were
Lawn fertilization practices were similar for both Comparison and Program groups. The majority of respondents in both groups said they fertilize their lawn the recommended two (about 40 percent) or three (about 18 percent) times a year (Figure 6). About 15 percent to 21 percent of respondents never fertilize the lawn.
100%
Positive Responses
80%"
60%
S Comparison Group-Pre-Test Q Comparison Group-Post-Test
Program Group-Pre-Test jg Program Group-Post-Test
40%-
20%
Water Beds Separate Rain Shut-Off Device
Separate Irrigation Zones Drip/Trickle System
Figure 4. ELM training changed little the use of other water management practices.
The differences between before-program and after-program results were not significant. Fourteen percent of the Program Group continue to fertilize four times a year. These results may indicate the use and influence of lawn care companies who fertilize according to a schedule. The lack of change may also indicate the importance that respondents place on lawn appearance, and by inference, on lawn fertilization.
Landscapes
About 60 percent of both Comparison and Program groups said they fertilize their landscape plants two to four times a year (Figure 7). ELM training did not significantly increase the numbers fertilizing at the recommended frequencies.
Five percent of the Program Group, but over 20 percent of the Comparison Group,
7Greg L. Davis


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never fertilize. The wide range of results suggests that people need much more information about whether and how to fertilize landscape plants.
100%
80%
60%
40%
20%
0%
Positive Responses
Comparison Group-Pre-Test ?Comparison Group-Post-Test �Program Group-Pre-Test ^Program Group-Post-Test
General Fertilization Issues
ELM training produced a significant increase in the adoption of practices pertaining to using slow release nitrogen sources, fertilizing only when needed, applying nitrogen at the proper rate, avoiding the fertilization of established trees, and using less fertilizer to reduce pruning (Figures 8 and 9). The Program Group's adoption levels were consistently higher than the Comparison Group's.
The only category which did not show an effect from ELM fraining involved the use of iron sulfate for greening-up the lawn (Figure 9). Participants apparently did not understand this practice.
Check For Leaks
Use Overhead Irrigation
Calibrate Irrigation System
Figure 5. Adoption of selected practices associated with permanent irrigation systems.
100%
Positive Responses
80%-
60%
fel Comparison Group-Pre-Test O Comparison Group-Post-Test Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
40%
20%
Other
Never
Figure 6. Frequency of Lawn Fertilization.
PEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES6
Of all the changes resulting from ELM framing, the largest and most dramatic increases in adoption occurred with certain pest management practices. ELM convinced about 18 percent more respondents to identify pests before spraying and a whopping 38 percent more to stop regularly scheduled sprays (Figure 10). The practices of spot-treating infestations, checking the lawn for pests, and changing cultural practices to control pests increased by about 15 percent each among program participants (Figures 10 and 11). The gain in respondents choosing safer pesticides was a more modest 12 percent, and use of remaining practices was almost unchanged (Figure 11).
The overall rates of use of some pest management practices was fairly high even in the Comparison Group. The vast majority of both Program and Comparison groups followed pesticide labels' instructions and warnings (Figure 11). Even prior to ELM training, the Program and Comparison groups had moderately high rates of use for practices such as checking the lawn for pests, identifying pests, and choosing the safest pesticide (Figures 10 and 11).
The importance of ELM training can best be seen with the practices of spot-treating
'Gary W. Knox and Sydney Park Brown


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infestations, halting regularly scheduled sprays, and changing cultural practices to reduce pests. Comparison and pre-ELM Program groups showed relatively low levels of adoption, but after ELM training, rates of adoption rose markedly (Figures 10 and 11).
100%
Positive Responses
80%"
60%-
40%
20%-
0%
63 Comparison Group-Pre-Test n Comparison Group-Post-Test � Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
This overall pattern of improvement indicates great interest in environmentally friendly pest control. It may also indicate that at least some of this information was new to participants.
Running against the trend of improvement were the relatively low numbers of respondents, and their lack of change in, tolerating slight plant damage (Figure 11). Perhaps this reflects the high value that some individuals place on the appearance of the landscape and an intolerance of obvious plant damage.
Other Never
Figure 7. Frequency of landscape fertilization.
100%
80% 60% " 40% 20% 1
Positive Responses
0%
79
65
C2
C1
74
I
Comparison Group-Pre-Test C Comparison Group-Post-Test � Program Group-Pre-Test *P Program Group-Post-Test
41 41
Follow Fertilizer Label Fertilize Only When Needed
Use Slow Release Fertilizers Use 1 lb N/1000 sq. ft.
Figure 8. Effects of ELM training on selected fertilization practices.
Future ELM programs should focus on motivating residents to tolerate slight plant damage. In addition, future ELM programs should emphasize the practices of spot-treating and changing cultural practices to reduce pests, since both of these also had lower rates of use.
MOWING AND PRUNING PRACTICES7
ELM training resulted in significant increases in adoption for several mowing and pruning practices. More than three-fourths of the program respondents reported that they now adjust the mower to the proper height (Figure 12), which is almost 15 percent more than both the Comparison and the pre-test Program groups. The improvement over time suggests that this is a relatively simple practice to adopt.
The practice of cutting no more than 1/3 of the grass height showed a significant increase (18 percent) as a result of ELM training (Figure 12). However, despite this large increase, only about 60 percent of the Program Group now use this practice, whereas 76 percent of the same group began adjusting the mower height. Intuitively, adoption levels should be similar for all mowing practices. In this case, most respondents probably resist adopting the concept of cutting no more than 1/3 of the grass height because they mow according to the calendar or whenever they have available time, regardless of grass height.
7Greg L. Davis


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
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100%
80%
60%
40%
20%
0%
Positive Responses
fea Comparison Group-Pre-Test O Comparison Group-Post-Test � Program Group-Pre-Test ^ Program Group-Post-Test
15
8 11 12
EST I �
WW |
I W0,
Use Iron Sulfate to Green-Up the Lawn
Avoid Fertilizing Established Trees
Use Less Fertilizer to Reduce Pruning
Figure 9. Effects of ELM training on selected fertilization practices (continued).
100%
80%
Positive Responses
75
60% -
40%
20%
(ESI Comparison Group-Pre-Test O Comparison Group-Post-Test 83 Program Group-Pre-Test P Program Group-Post-Test
Check Lawn for Pests
Identify Pests
Spot-Treat Infestations
Stop Scheduled Sprays
may be due to the inconvenience of some mower maintenance procedures, such as blade sharpening.
Pnining branches in front of the branch collar showed a marked increase of 26 percent for program participants in before/after surveys (Figure 12). While 66 percent of the Program Group reported they now prune correctly, just 33 percent of the Comparison Group said they do so. Again, this is a relatively new recommendation, to which the large increase suggests that the Program Group paid attention. It is a simple yet important practice that needs to be continually explained and promoted.
In contrast, there was no real change between before and after surveys in the adoption of the practice of pruning shrubs with hand pruners. About 84 percent of the Program Group use this practice, 13 percent higher than the Comparison Group (Figure 12). Judging by all the obvious shearing that people do, the adoption rate of 84 percent (or 71 percent for the Comparison Group) seems very high. Clientele may not fully understand the differences in pruning tools and techniques.
MULCHING AND RECYCLING PRACTICES8
Figure 10. Effects of ELM training on pest management practices
The Program Group's adoption of the practice of sharpening the mower blade after ragged cuts increased 10 percent (Figure 12), but still the Program Group's adoption rate of approximately 63 percent is not much higher than the Comparison Group's of 60 percent. The lack of a difference
Because many of the mulching and recycling practices were already used by participants in the Program Group prior to ELM workshops, there were few changes in practices 6 months after the workshops (Figures 13 - 16). This occurred probably because of extensive mulcMng and recycling programs by local on-going Cooperative Extension Service offices and municipal waste management authorities. However, there were significant gains in the number of respondents increasing the size of mulched area around trees and pulling mulch away from plant stems (Figure 13). These practice changes probably resulted from the audience's exposure to new information at the workshops. Although these practices are not of major importance, their adoption attests to the value of ELM workshops.
8Robert J. Black


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
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100%
80%
Positive Responses
& Comparison Group-Pre-Test Q Comparison Group-Post-Test
Program Group-Pre-Test IP Program Group-Post-Test
60% -
40%
20%-
Follow Label
Choose Safest Pesticides
Tolerate Slight Damage
Change Cultural Practices
Figure 11. Effects of ELM training on pest management practices (continued).
100%1
80%
60%
40% "
Positive Responses
20%
Comparison Group-Pre-Test Comparison Group-Post-Test � Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
Adjust Mower to Proper Height
Cut Less Than 1/3 of Grass Height
Sharpen Mower Blade
Figure 12. Effects of ELM training on mowing and pruning practices
ELM training did not significantly increase the number of respondents who mulched. However, the adoption level of tins practice significantly exceeded adoption levels for other mdching and recycling practices (Figures 13 -16).
Seventy-two percent of the Program Group reported in the follow-up survey that they leave grass clippings on the lawn, a 9 percent increase since the pre-workshop survey (Figure 15). For those in the Program Group who collected clippings, there were no significant changes in how they disposed of lawn clippings before and 6 months after the workshops (Figure 16).
The Comparison Group was well below the Program Group in using many of the recommended practices for mulching and recycling yard waste (Figures 13 - 16). Probably, the Comparison Group had not been in contact with Extension to the degree that the Program Group had (refer to the section on "Information Sources"). This indicates that there is a large audience that we are not reaching with our ELM programs.
There were few practice changes within the Comparison Group between the initial survey and the follow-up survey 6 months later. However, during the 6 month interval, the Comparison Group used 10 percent more recycled materials for mulch than initially reported (Figure 14). This practice change probably occurred because of extensive campaigns by municipal waste management autliorities to reduce the amount of yard waste reaching the waste stream.
PRACTICES PROTECTING OR ENHANCING WILDLIFE9
The only significant change in ELM practices that benefit wildlife was die reduction in pesticide use. Those who attended the workshops and received information about the impacts of pesticides on insect-eating birds, responsible pesticide use, and alternatives to pesticides reduced their use of pesticides by 12 percent (Figure 17). It is interesting to note that although this was the most prevalent wudlife-related practice implemented by the Program Group prior to the workshops, this also is where the greatest change in behavior occurred after the workshops. Further analyses to determine the specific incentives (e.g. economics, concern for health of wild birds, concern for water quality, etc.) that
Prune by Branch Collar
9Joseph M. Schaefer


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
12
influenced most people to reduce pesticide use would enable educators to design programs that are more effective at motivating people to implement other ELM practices.
It is notable that, even at the pre-program stage, the Program Group was much more likely than the Comparison Group to use practices benefitting wildlife. However, the Program Group's overall levels of adoption were low (Figures 17 and 18).
ENERGY-RELATED ASPECTS OF ELM10
100% l
80%
60%
40% -
Positive Responses
20%
EI Comparison Group-Pre-Test ? Comparison Group-Post-Test Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
Increased Mulched Area Around Trees
Maintain 2 to 3 in. Mulch Depth
Pull Mulch From Stems
Figure 13. Effects of ELM training on mulching practices.
100%
80%
60%
Positive Responses
fc3 Comparison Group-Pre-Test n Comparison Group-Post-Test � Program Group-Pre-Test P Program Group-Post-Test
40%
20%
Use Mulch
Mulch Trees and Shrubs Use Recycled Mulch
* Not included in follow-up survey
Figure 14. Effects of ELM training on mulching practices (continued).
ELM reduces energy consumption through direct reduction and source reduction. Direct reduction occurs through
use of windbreaks on the northern and western areas of the property (windbreaks can deflect winter winds, thereby allowing the structure to retain more heat and reduce energy consumption for heating) and
use of deciduous trees to shade walls of buildings (shade can reduce energy requirements for air conditioning).
Source reduction in energy consumption occurs
by implementing IPM in the landscape (cultural and non-chemical means of pest control are favored over energy-intensive synthetic pesticides);
by using water efficiently (energy is not wasted in pumping and delivering water to the landscape);
by fertilizing properly (energy-intensive fertilizers are not overused or wasted); and
by using yard wastes on-site (there is no energy involved in hauling yard waste to landfills for disposal).
Results
Direct energy-conserving landscape practices were not widely used by respondents (Figure 19). The initial survey found very low percentages of respondents used evergreen trees and shrubs to deflect winter winds and a
'GaryW. Knox


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
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modest number shaded east and west walls. The follow-up questionnaire six months later found basically no change, even in the group that had attended ELM programs.
100%
80%
60%
40%
Positive Responses
20%
E3 Comparison Group-Pre-Test d Comparison Group-Post-Test
Program Group-Pre-Test P Program Group-Post-Test
Use a Compost Pile
Use Yard Trash for Compost or Mulch
Use Self-Mulching Areas
Leave Grass Clippings on Lawn
Figure 15. Effects of ELM training on selected mulching and recycling practices.
100%
Positive Responses
80% -
60%
40%
20%
0%
Comparison Group-Pre-Test d Comparison Group-Post-Test Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
41
44
24
18
Used for Mulch
Composted
Thrown Away
The lack of adoption of these practices can be attributed to several reasons. Both of these energy-saving concepts involve significant changes to the home landscape: plantings would have to be added or altered to achieve these energy savings. Many people may be unwilling to make such changes because of the cost or labor involved or because of the potentially dramatic changes in the appearance of the landscape. Also, energy-related issues are not as prominent in the public's consciousness as they were during the 1970's, for example, and people may not be willing to change the landscape solely for energy savings. Greater interest in this topic and adoption of these practices might occur if we stressed the monetary savings of these practices.
However, there was significant improvement in the adoption of landscape practices that indirectly conserve energy (Figures 20 and 21). The number applying the proper amounts of water increased markedly among the Program Group. Similar results occurred with the practice of watering when grass blades fold.
The ELM program significantly improved the percent of respondents using slow release fertilizers (Figure 20). And the number of participants applying the proper fertilizer rate of 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet of turf increased dramatically after ELM training.
The ELM program convinced homeowners to drastically reduce the use of regularly scheduled pesticide sprays (Figure 21). Numbers for the Comparison Group were low and changed little.
Program participants had initially higher rates than the Comparison Group for routinely checking for pests (60 percent versus 48 percent). Six months after the program, percentages for the Program Group increased to 75 percent whereas the Comparison Group remained at just 49 percent (Figure 21).
8 11
IIZ]_JL
Other
Figure 16. Effects of ELM training on disposal methods for collected lawn clippings.


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
14
100%
Positive Responses
80%-
60%-
E3 Comparison Group-Pre-Test Comparison Group-Post-Test � Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
40%
20%
Reduce Pesticide Use
Provide Water
Use Plants With Food
Figure 17. Effects of ELM training on wildlife protection.
100%-i
80%-
60%
Positive Responses
&3 Comparison Group-Pre-Test O Comparison Group-Post-Test Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
40%"
20%
Use Bird Feeders
Plants for Nest Sites
Provide Brush Piles for Cover
Figure 18. Effects of ELM training on wildlife protection (continued).
Comparison Group, 53 percent of program participants used yard trash for mulch versus 23 percent for the Comparison Group, and 41 percent of program participants used a compost pile versus 13 percent of the Comparison Group. ELM training did not significantly increase adoption of these practices and neither did change occur in the Comparison Group.
The energy savings that resulted from these changes in cultural practices probably are incidental. Most individuals probably made these changes purely for horticultural or money-saving reasons. It is not clear why ELM information did not increase use of mulching and recycling practices.
ADOPTION DIFFERENCES DUE TO
PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF A PERMANENT IRRIGATION SYSTEM11
Responses were tabulated based on presence or absence of a permanent irrigation system. There were 75 respondents in the Comparison Group with permanent irrigation systems (41 percent) and 201 respondents in the Program Group with permanent irrigation systems (47 percent). Comparisons of respondents with a permanent irrigation system with those without a permanent irrigation system generally show that those without a permanent irrigation system were more likely to adopt a wide range of ELM practices (Figures 22 and 23).
A few practices were more widely used by those without an irrigation system before ELM training, but afterwards people with and without irrigation systems had similar adoption rates. Examples of this include choosing the pesticide least harmful to the environment and halting scheduled or preventive insecticide sprays.
Even before learning about ELM, extension program participants used energy-saving mulching and recycling practices at higher rates than the Comparison Group. Prior to the ELM program, 59 percent of program participants used recycled materials for mulch versus 37 percent of the
A few practices were more widely adopted by those with permanent irrigation systems, including checking the lawn for pests (Figure 24). Note that all of these practices are lawn-oriented.
"Gary W.Knox


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
15
ioo%-i
80%~
Positive Responses
fel Comparison Group-Pre-Test d Comparison Group-Post-Test >H Program Group-Pre-Test ~~ Program Group-Post-Test
60%
40%
20%
Shade E/W Walls
Evergreen Windbreak
Figure 19. Effects landscape practices.
of ELM training on direct energy-conserving
100%
Positive Responses
80%~
60%
E3 Comparison Group-Pre-Test n Comparison Group-Post-Test � Program Group-Pre-Test ~ Program Group-Post-Test
40%
20%
1/2 to 3/4 in. per Irrigation
Slow Release Fertilizer
Water When Blades Fold
1 lb. N/1000 sq.ft.
Figure 20. Effects of landscape practices.
ELM training on indirect energy-conserving
Analysis
Respondents without irrigation systems appear to be more environment-oriented and less lawn-oriented than
respondents with irrigation systems. This point corresponds with data showing that more respondents without permanent irrigation systems reported that 25 percent or less of their landscape is turfgrass than did those with irrigation systems (27 percent versus 16 percent). Since irrigation systems are primarily for lawns, people with more turfgrass may be more predisposed to lawn appearance and care than individuals without irrigation systems. Also, those who invest in an irrigation system may rely more heavily on the irrigation system to create a pleasant landscape rather than invest time and work in closer management of other aspects of the landscape.
An additional reason for lower rates of ELM adoption among individuals with irrigation systems is that they were far more likely to use a lawn maintenance service than individuals without irrigation systems (21 percent versus 6 percent). Individuals using a lawn maintenance service would have less control over the landscape practices used in their yards.
USE OF ELM PRACTICES IN SELF-MAINTAINED VS SERVICE-MAINTAINED LANDSCAPES12
Self-maintained landscapes are those maintained by the questionnaire respondent or a member of his/her family. Service-maintained landscapes are those whose owners indicated that a lawn care service, property management or association employee, or other non-family individual maintained the landscapes.
Water management practices were not analyzed by type of maintenance because of the potentially confounding effect of the presence or absence of a permanent irrigation system: of those with service-maintained landscapes, 100 percent of the Comparison and 73 percent of the Program groups had permanent irrigation systems. For those with self-maintained landscapes, only 32 percent of the Comparison and 44 percent of the Program groups had permanent irrigation systems.
12
Gary W. Knox


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
16
100%
80%
60%
40%
20%"
Positive Responses
0%
75
�21 Comparison Group-Pre-Test Comparison Group-Post-Test Program Group-Pre-Test Program Group-Post-Test
Check for Pests
Stop Scheduled Sprays
Figure 21. Effects of ELM training on indirect energy-conserving landscape practices (continued).
100%
80%
60%
40%
20%-
Positive Responses
72
0%
Control-Overall Post-Test ? With Irrigation-Pre-Test With Irrigation-Post-Test Without Irrigation-Pre-Test Without Irrigation-Post-Test
63
J� E
1 1 401 ..
3 %M
1 20 i i ill
1
1
Fertilize Lawn Use Yard Trash Group by 3 Times or Less as Mulch Water Needs
Figure 22. Effects of ELM training on irrigation practices by a permanent irrigation system.
Predictably, service-maintained landscape owners did not adopt ELM practices to die same extent as homeowners who maintained their own landscapes. Service-maintained landscapes in the Program Group showed increased use of ELM practices after 6 months, but the level of use remained below that in self-maintained landscapes. This was especially true for pest management practices (Figure 25),
but also extended to other practices as well (Figure 26). Obviously, individuals with service-maintained landscapes may have less control over the landscape practices used in their yards.
ANALYSIS OF RESPONDENTS' INFORMATION SOURCES AND THEIR PERCEPTIONS ABOUT ELM13
Information Sources About Landscape Care
Figure 27 compares responses of the Comparison and Program groups to the question asking who provides information about yard care. Most respondents in both groups use nurseries/garden centers as an information source (approximately 60 percent).
However, there were major differences between the groups in the next two most cited sources of information. The Program Group cited next extension publications and extension agents, while the Comparison Group cited friends/neighbors and landscape/lawncare companies. This probably reflects Program participants' familiarity with available extension services and suggests that more first-time audiences must be sought. Also, this correlates well with the trend of the Program Group generally having higher initial levels of adoption of ELM practices than the Comparison Group. Since Program Group members voluntarily attended ELM workshops, they have an a priori interest in landscaping and were therefore more likely than the Comparison Group to have contacted Extension personnel and been exposed to extension-promoted ELM practices.
The importance of nurseries/garden centers presence of as sources information indicates that the ELM Design Team and extension faculty should foster relationships with nurseries/ garden centers to recruit them as outlets for information about ELM. The Comparison Group's regard for friends/neighbors as an information source suggests that Extension program users need to be encouraged to talk to their friends and neighbors about ELM and extension.
-. f
CO
Plants for Wildlife
13,
Greg L. Davis and Gary W. Knox


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
17
100%
80%
60%"
40%
20%
0% -J-
Positive Responses
85
74
63
�I
63
52
48
46
Control-Overall Post-Test d With Irrigation-Pre-Test With Irrigation-Post-Test Without Irrigation-Pre-Test Without Irrigation-Post-Test y
�t J
29j
n
Identify Sun/Shade
Water Lawn Separate
Self-Mulching Areas
Use a Compost Pile
Figure 23. Effects of ELM training on irrigation practices by presence of a permanent irrigation system (continued).
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
Positive Responses 85
HD Control-Overall Post-Test d With Irrigation-Pre-Test With Irrigation-Post-Test � Without Irrigation-Pre-Test *P Without Irrigation-Post-Test
69
G7
79 � IMS

74
73
(51
52 53
' E
Check Lawn Slow-Release for Pests Fertilizer
Irrigate 1/2 to 3/4 in.
Seasonally per Irrigation
Figure 24. Effects of ELM training on irrigation practices by presence of a permanent irrigation system (continued).
Perceptions About the ELM Program
Ninety-two percent of the program participants considered the information provided by Extension to be at least somewhat useful (Figure 28). Fewer than half (43 percent) thought they needed more information on ELM. The
vast majority of participants reported positive perceptions about ELM practices (Figure 29); they consider them easy to use and realize time and money savings on fertilizer, pesticides and water bills by adopting the practices. On the other hand, just 40 percent believe that starting ELM practices will not cost extra money, only 50 percent are likely to use ELM practices if they cost more, and less than half have no trouble finding environmentally friendly pesticides (Figure 30).
Nevertheless, over 90 percent of the participants consider environmental effects of landscape practices at least somewhat important (Figure 31). Almost 60 percent of program participants reported that they talked to friends about ELM and, of these, half said they encouraged their friends to use ELM practices (Figure 32).
The ovewhelmingly positive results indicate that ELM is "on target" in reaching its audience with the important, focused message that appropriate landscape practices can protect and enhance Florida's environment.
REFERENCES
Black, R. J. and A. W. Meerow. 1989. "Landscaping to Conserve Energy." Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society. 102:142-144.
Campbell, Donald T. and Julian C. Standley. 1963. Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs for Research. Chicago: Rand McNally.
Gilman, Edward F. and Sydney Park Brown. 1991. Florida Guide to Environmental Landscapes. Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. SP114. 32 pp.
Karlik, John. 1992. "A Study in Xeriscaping." American Nurseryman. July 15. pp. 72-77.
Nelson, John O. 1987. "Water Conserving Landscapes Show Impressive Savings." Journal of the American Waterworks. March, pp. 35-36, 38-42.
� (


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
APPENDIX: QUESTIONNAIRES
The pre-program questionnaire and the follow-up questionnaire, respectively, are included in the following pages.
100%
80%
60%
Positive Responses
Program Group Data Only
& Self-Pre-Test ? Self-Post-Test Service-Pre-Test Service�Post-Test,
40%-
20%
Follow Stop Scheduled Accept Spot Treat
Pesticide Label Spray Plant Damage
Figure 25. Effects of ELM training on pest management practices by use of a lawn-care service.
100%
80%
60%
Positive Responses
40%"
20%
Program Group Data Only E3 Self-Pre-Test ? Self-Post-Test Service-Pre-Test Service-Post-Test ,
Fertilize Lawn 3 Times or Less
Use Recycled Mulch
Plants for Wildlife
Use Compost Pile
Figure 26. Effects of ELM training on selected landscape practices by use of a lawn-care service.


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
Positive Responses
^ Control ,D Program
31 32
22
20
12
56
10
44
15
30
15
Friends/ Land/ Pest Nursery Extension Agents/ Other Other Neighbors Lawn Control Publications MG Agencies
Co. Co.
Figure 27. Yard care information sources.
100%
Positive Responses
80% -
60%
40%
20%
0%
56
36
43
Very Useful Somewhat Useful Not Useful Need More Help
Figure 28. Program participants' rating of Extension information.


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
100%
Positive Responses
80%"
60%
40%-
20%
0%
An
Starting Them Costs No Extra Money
46
No Trouble Finding Environmentally Friendly Pesticides
Not Less Likely to Use if It Costs More
Figure 30. Program participants' views on ELM (continued).


Environmental Landscape Management: Use of Practices by Florida Consumers
100%- 3ositive Responses
80%-
60%- 57
40%- i 36
20%- ^^^^H iBiiiliil
o%-' 3 Very Somewhat Not Do Not Important Important Important Know
Figure 31. Program participants' rating of environmental consideration's
role in using ELM practices.
Have you talked to friends about ELM? Encouraged anyone to use ELM?
Figure 32. Program participants' sharing information about ELM with others.


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