Florida is an unique and special place. No wonder why so many folks from other states move here! If you’ve recently moved to Florida and are struggling to understand your yard, use the resources outlined in this guide to help you get acquainted with your new environment.
Get to Know your New Landscape
Firstly, you will want to get familiar with our *air quotes* seasons *air quotes*. Here is a calendar of what to grow/do each month in your garden: North, Central and South Florida Gardening Calendars
Plants in the Landscape
When determining which plants to plant in your yard, refer to the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program principles. The FFL Program is a resource to help you learn how to have healthy and beautiful landscapes while protecting natural resources and the environment. Since Florida has such unique environmental/growing conditions, the FFL Program has created publications for homeowners to help you choose the right plants for the right places in your yard. If you decide to hire a professional to maintain your landscape, check this out first: Tips for hiring a Landscape Pro
Turfgrass is found in almost every Florida yard, it acts as a filter and helps with the structure of your plot by keeping soil in place. Here are some common Florida turfgrasses to learn about: St. Augustinegrass, Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, & Zoysiagrass. Check out Mowing your Florida Lawn, Rule for Home Lawn Fertilizer & Best Practices for the Home Lawn for more information on best practices for maintaining your lawn.
Irrigating your Lawn
Irrigation might be an aspect of Florida landscapes that folks from out of state may not be too familiar with. Water, especially in Florida, is a precious resource and needs to be conserved as much as possible. With the ongoing development in the state, Counties and Cities all over the state are putting into place initiatives to ensure there is enough clean water for current and future residents. As a homeowner and Florida resident, you are responsible for doing your part in protecting our natural resources. Find the watering restrictions in your County to see what days you’re allowed to irrigate: Water Management Districts. For information on proper irrigation practices check out these publications: Landscape Irrigation, Irrigating with Reclaimed Water, Rainfall Shutoff Devices, Irrigation and Nutrient Loss, and Microirrigation for Home Landscapes. One of the most important things to remember about irrigation, is that it is supplemental to rainfall and your lawn typically only needs around 3/4″-1″ of water per week. Look for the signs mentioned in this publication to know when your lawn needs water: Watering your Florida Lawn.
Your Local Extension Service is Here to Help!
Lastly and most importantly, its a great idea to get familiar with your county’s UF/IFAS Extension. Each county’s extension office offers a lot of information and programs, most of the services are free! Here are the offices and their contacts: UF/IFAS Extension Offices. If you need more guidance or have any questions about your landscape, irrigation or conserving water, reach out to your local Extension office for help!