Florida-Friendly Landscaping: Tips for the Home Gardener
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Conserves Water
Landscaping the Florida-Friendly way means using low maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Florida-Friendly landscapes may incorporate both native and non-native plants. Learn how you can have a beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future. Find out more from your county's Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) program.
- A Guide to Florida-Friendly Landscaping [PDF]
- Datos Rapidos: Ornamentación Amistosa a la Florida [PDF]
- Florida Yards and Neighborhoods – Florida-Friendly Landscaping
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping – UF/IFAS Extension Service Tips
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping Model Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for New and Existing Community Associations [PDF]
- Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes [PDF]
- Natives for Your Neighborhood – find appropriate native plants
- Quick Facts on Florida-Friendly Landscaping [PDF]
Top 10 Tips for the Home Gardener
1. Water Infrequently, Deeply and 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. Over-watering creates shallow roots, making plants more vulnerable to disease and pests, as well as to drought.
2. Water at the Right Time of Day
Water early in the day, especially in warmer weather, when evaporation rates are lowest.
3. 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.
4. Use Drip or Micro-Irrigation Systems and Save Water
These systems deliver water to the root of plants, so much less is lost to the atmosphere.
5. Install a Rain Sensor
This recognizes when nature brings the water your lawn needs and shuts off automatic sprinklers.
6. Keep Your Irrigation System in Check
Inspect your irrigation system frequently for leaks and overspray to conserve water.
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.
8. Attract Wildlife
Choose plants with seeds, flowers, or berries to attract birds and insects. This can help manage pests, reducing the need for pesticides.
9. Remove Weeds; Add Florida-Friendly Plants
Weeds or other unwanted plants use water. Removing them means more water for the plants you want.
10. Adjust Your Lawnmower Blades and Keep Them Sharp
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. Clean, sharp cuts cause less trauma to grass blades, making the grass more resistant to disease.
Improving Water Quality - Tips on using fertilizers, pesticides and managing water within your landscape or neighborhood.
The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design
For more information on Florida-Friendly Landscaping, check out this this Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design.