Landscaping the Florida-Friendly way means using low maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Here are a few of the ways you can improve your home’s landscaping.
Water infrequently but thoroughly
Most lawns need about 3/4 to 1 inch of water once per week, or once every two weeks when the weather cools. Water can come from rain, or from irrigation. Infrequent but deep watering encourages deep rooting, as well as healthier and hardier plants with a greater tolerance for drought.
Water at the right time of day
Water early in the day, especially in warmer weather, when evaporation rates are lowest.
Watch your lawn instead of a schedule or calendar
Your lawn needs watering when:
- Grass blades are folded in half
- Grass blades are blue-gray
- Your footprint remains on the lawn
In the region, year-round landscape irrigation conservation measures limiting landscape irrigation are in effect. Some local communities have additional local water restrictions. You should adapt your watering to fit these limits on landscape irrigation.
Too much water can hurt plants
Over-watering creates shallow roots, making plants more vulnerable to disease and pests, as well as to drought.
Drip or micro-irrigation systems save water
These systems deliver water to the root of plants, so much less is lost to the atmosphere.
Adding mulch helps to keep water in the soil around plants. At least 2 inches is suggested around shrubs, trees, annuals and vegetable and flower gardens.
Remove Weeds; Add Native Plants
Weeds or other unwanted plants use water. Removing them means more water for the plants you want. Native plants are adapted to our rainy and dry seasons and offer habitat to area wildlife.
Install a rain sensor
This recognizes when nature brings the water your lawn needs and shuts off automatic sprinklers.
Adjust your lawnmower blades
Most lawns are healthiest when blades are 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches long. Longer blades shade the soil and keep in water.
Keep lawnmower blades sharp
Clean, sharp cuts cause less trauma to grass blades, making the grass more resistant to disease.