Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

GIE+EXPO Breaks Attendance and Exhibitor Records
The 2016 GIE+EXPO topped the last two year’s records for attendance and exhibitors. More than 22,600 people from around the world represented a 12 percent increase in registration over last year. Thirty-three percent of dealer and 44 percent of lawn and landscape attendees were first timers.

  • Over 900 exhibits in total at GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America (HNA), and 230 new exhibitors were at the event.
  • The New Products Showcase sold out with a record number of companies (76) spotlighting more than 100 products that were introduced within the past year.
  • The indoor booths show was 676,000 net square feet or (the size of 14 football fields); the indoor show floor was 80,000 square feet larger – a 17 percent increase over 2015.
  • The Outdoor Demonstration Area covered 20 acres, up from 19 acres last year.
  • HNA increased in size by more than 25 percent over 2015 and was moved to the North Wing this year to accommodate its growth.
  • More than 30 exhibitors hosted press conferences.

Read more about the GIE+EXPO in Turf’s recaps.

Greenworks Announces “Landscaper of the Year” Program for 2017
Greenworks Commercial,
which offers battery-powered outdoor equipment, is launching the Greenworks Commercial “Landscaper of the Year” program in January 2017 to honor those in the landscaping industry volunteer in their communities. A winner will be selected each month and all 12 winners will be awarded with a complete set of Greenworks Commercial 82-volt outdoor power equipment and will be eligible for the Grand Prize – an all-expense-paid trip for four to the 2017-18 College Football National Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.

Replacing Lawns with Xeriscaping Can Raise Soil Nitrate Levels
Drought and encouragement to remove lawns, have given rise to a new popularity in xeriscaping. In 2015, almost 80 cities paid residents to rip out the rye. A recent study by a pair of Arizona State University researchers, however, revealed that xeriscaped yards contain higher levels of nitrate than turf yards. Downstream, as irrigation transports nitrate into the soil, those levels could affect water quality, leading to algal blooms and wreaking havoc with aquatic ecosystems. Organic material left behind from turf that has been killed, tilled and removed, decomposes into the soil and nitrates build up. In the study, xeriscaped yards had more nitrates than yards with lawns and increased nitrate levels until 14 to 18 years after conversion.

San Diego Incentivizes Sustainable Landscapes
The San Diego Sustainable Landscapes Program partnership is offering a new grant-funded financial incentive for qualified participants who upgrade residential turf lawns to landscapes that provide multiple environmental benefits. Incentive recipients are required to comply with a set of rigorous design criteria that includes water-efficient plants and irrigation equipment, rainwater capture and detention features and soil amendments to improve water efficiency. Qualified applicants can receive up to $1.75 per square foot toward eligible project costs for upgrading 500 to 3,000 square feet of existing turf areas. A project goal is to capture the first flush of rain onsite (one inch of rain within the first 24 hours of rainfall). Participants will be required to calculate the amount of rainwater captured from onsite impermeable surfaces and the volume of detention areas capturing rainwater, such as swales or rain barrels.

Nufarm Announces New Herbicide
Nufarm Americas
recently added Celero Herbicide to its portfolio. Celero post-emergent herbicide controls tough sedges in a variety of cool- and warm-season turf settings. Celero’s active ingredient — Imazosulfuron — translocates down to the roots for effective, lasting control of Kyllinga, yellow, purple and annual sedges. The product is effective against Burclover (California), Burweed, Chickweed (common, mouse-ear, sticky), Geranium (Carolina), Henbit, Parsley piert and Purslane (common).

Tests Show Water Savings with IrriGreen Genius Irrigation System
The Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT), the leading independent laboratory specializing in scientific testing and objective evaluation of irrigation equipment, tested one Irrigreen Genius computerized smart head per irrigation zone against conventional systems with six to nine mechanical rotors or spray heads per zone. IrriGreen and the conventional systems increased soil moisture by equivalent amounts, but IrriGreen used 40 percent fewer gallons of water, claimed the company in a recent news release.

Heaviland Offers Tips to Prevent Downy Mildew this Winter
With wet, cooler months approaching, Heaviland Landscape Management urges property managers to take steps now to prevent new downy mildew outbreaks and protect their Red Apple ice plants (Aptenia cordifolia) which have been a main staple of the San Diego landscape for years. Primarily, Red Apple ice plant is used on slopes along roadways and hillsides surrounding properties, as its roots are helpful in preventing soil runoff. The downy mildew fungus thrives in damp, dark, cool conditions. It eats away at bright green ground cover, leaving slopes full of brown and decayed ice plant. Here are a few suggested preventative measures:

  • Limit use of overhead irrigation during the evening hours, as the moisture combined with dark conditions can create a breeding ground for the downy mildew fungus.
  • Thin nearby trees and shrubs to increase light and improve airflow so the Red Apple ice plant leaves will dry faster after irrigation.
  • Apply fungicide before a downy mildew infection occurs, as once a plant is affected it cannot be cured.

Deadline Extended to Enter “Our Winning Green Space” Contest
A partnership between Project EverGreen, Exmark Manufacturing, the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) and The Foundation for Safer Athletic Fields for Everyone (SAFE) is sponsoring the “Our Winning Green Space” contest to give Parks & Recreation and Public Works departments a chance to win a top-of-the-line Exmark Lazer Z X-Series mower package — valued at $15,000 — and a “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.” renovation project for their city. The deadline for municipalities to submit an essay and photos online declaring why their city deserves the new equipment and renovated playing field, has be extended through November 15. The winner will still be announced in early December.

Project EverGreen Transforms Vacant Lot Into Sustainable Garden
Project EverGreen, with support from a Con Edison community service grant, teamed up with local landscape and nursery industry professionals and New York City Parks to transform a previously vacant lot  into a new, sustainable fruit and vegetable garden and community park. With more than $12,000 in donations of in-kind of materials and services, volunteers transformed the lot adjacent to the Carter Burden Center for Aging. The work was completed over a two-day span for The Neighbors of Vega Baja Association in East Harlem, New York with the help of Artisan Gardens Landscape Construction, Plant Detectives, Inc. Nursery and Garden Center; Kevin’s Tree Service, LLC; and the New York City Parks Green Thumb agency. In early 2017, Project Evergreen and Artisan Gardens will return with Con Edison employee volunteers to plant new vegetable bushes.

Rain Bird Irrigation System Maintaining Renovated National Mall
Over the past nine years, the grassy areas along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., have been undergoing renovation to help reverse the impact caused by up to 3,000 permitted events and 33 million visitors per year. Running from the Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial, this newly restored 18-plus-acre area now includes a Rain Bird irrigation system to help it remain healthy year round. A water-efficient Rain Bird IC System with Stratus II software was installed, which ideal for large projects since it requires less wire and fewer components to run the self-flushing EAGLE 900 series rotors.  The system uses no above ground equipment that could be susceptible to damage or vandalism while making installation and long term maintenance easier.

New Holland Announces New Brand Communications Marketing Manager
New Holland has announced the addition of Modesty Guarente as its new Brand Communications Marketing Manager, as of Monday, October 31, 2016. She will be primarily responsible for overseeing all brand, product segment and channel marketing communications. Guarente brings over 15 years of communications and marketing experience to the role and will also manage creative agencies and vendors associated with New Holland in North America.

NALP Awards of Excellence Winners Announced at LANDSCAPES 2016
The National Association of Landscape Professionals held its annual Awards of Excellence awards presentation during LANDSCAPES 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky, on Oct. 20, 2016. This year, the Awards of Excellence were given to 131 projects in the following categories: two Decade Awards, seven Recognition Awards, 60 Merit Awards, and 61 Grand Awards. The panel of judges hand-selected three projects from the list of grand winners to award the highest honor – a Judges’ Award. Bonick Landscaping (Dallas, Texas), Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers (Portland, Oregon), and Town and Gardens, Ltd. (Long Island City, New York) took the top honors.

New NPDES Permit Requirements Now in Effect
According to the NALP
, the EPA just released a pre-publication copy of its 2016 Pesticide General Permit (PGP), which took effect October 31. The new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit replaces the 2011 PGP.  The 2011 permit was issued in response to National Cotton Council of America. v. EPA, in which the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated EPA’s 2006 Final Rule on Aquatic Pesticides. The final 2016 permit will be published in the Federal Register in November.

NALP-PAC Launches Alumni Challenge
Members of the NALP can support their school of choice in a competition to see which schools’ alumni and fans can raise the most for NALP-PAC, the National Association of Landscape Professional’s Political Action Committee. When members make an online investment in NALP-PAC, just fill in the box that says “alumni school name” to designate what school you want to receive support points. One support point for every dollar invested in NALP-PAC.

Read last week’s industry news here: SiteOne Partners with Greenworks, New Project EverGreen Mission: Last Week’s Industry News