Florida-Friendly Landscaping

A “Florida-Friendly Landscape” is not only beautiful, it is also environmentally friendly. Understanding that your home landscape is part of the larger natural system will help in creating a “Florida-friendly” property that is an asset to the environment, protecting natural resources.

There are nine principles to creating and maintaining a “Florida-Friendly Landscape”.

1.     Right Plant, Right Place

Achieving a natural, healthy balance in your landscape starts with putting the right plant in the right place. Consider things like maintenance and water needs. Matching plants to conditions in your landscape can help them thrive, once established, with little or no irrigation and few or no fertilizers and pesticides.

2.     Water efficiently

Overwatering does more than deplete the water supply; it also makes plants more prone to disease and pests. By choosing and operating a watering system correctly, you can reduce water bills, decrease plant problems, and lower maintenance requirements. Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy Florida yard and conservation of limited resources.

3.     Fertilize Appropriately

Less often is usually best. Overuse of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard, your plants, and the environment.Too much fertilizer can weaken your plants, promote disease, and invite pests, in addition to wasting money and harming the environment. It also means more pruning and mowing.

4.     Mulch

A mulch layer around trees, shrubs, and planted beds provides many benefits. In areas that are difficult to mow, irrigate, or otherwise maintain, use mulch to replace turf or groundcovers. Also consider placing mulch in shady areas where many plants don’t grow well. Maintaining a 3-inch layer of mulch will help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.

5.     Attract Wildlife

Attract birds, butterflies, squirrels and beneficial insects by using plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter for Florida’s diverse wildlife.

6.     Manage Yard Pests Responsibly

Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.

7.     Recycle Yard Waste

Landscape maintenance activities like mowing, pruning, and raking generate yard waste, like grass clippings and leaves, that you can compost or mulch. This recycles valuable nutrients back into the soil and reduces waste disposal.

8.     Reduce Storm Water Runoff

Water running off your landscape into storm drains can carry pollutants such as soil, debris, fertilizer, gasoline and pesticides that can adversely impact water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent this type of pollution.

9.     Protect The Waterfront

Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems.

For more information about “Florida-friendly” yards and how to design and maintain your lawn and landscape according to these principles, please visit to http://www.floridayards.org/.  They also have a searchable plant database and great tips.  Then let Sunrise Landscape & Maintenance professionals help you attain the yard of your dreams!  Call us today to discuss the landscaping and lawn care services we can provide for you.

Information in this post is gathered from http://www.floridayards.org/.  The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is a joint program from the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Service and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with Florida’s Water Management Districts and with the support of industry and local governments.

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