About this series
- Rising costs have brought on rising concerns. The ripple effects of the years-long COVID pandemic continue to surface in economies worldwide, from grocery shelves to gas pumps.
- In an ongoing effort to help people – from producers to consumers – weather the storm, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences offers research-based information to help everyone through these costly times.
- Homeowners looking to save money on water and pesticide usage in their landscapes can consider adopting Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles.
The UF/IFAS Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) program helps homeowners find more sustainable alternatives for their landscapes. The changes reduce overall water usage and pollutants that can enter Florida’s waterways, but a bonus effect is long-term cost savings.
“A Florida-friendly landscape can be designed to look the way you want, fit the aesthetics of your community and suit your lifestyle, while being environmentally sustainable,” said Esen Momol, FFL program director. “If you don’t know where to start, seeking guidance from your local UF/IFAS Extension office and Florida Master Gardener Volunteers is always a free and easy phone call or visit away.”
Get familiar with the 9 Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ at ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/about-ffl/9-principles, or be inspired by success stories on the program’s website. Find more information on the benefits of FFL at Ask.IFAS.ufl.edu, including publications like “Twenty-Two Ideas for a Low-Care, Low-Cost Landscape” and “Estimated Water Savings Potential of Florida-Friendly Landscaping Activities.”
Below, the FFL program leaders share a few cost-saving strategies for the home landscape.
Plant selection and installation
- Plant dwarf plants that require less pruning.
- Choose plants that have few pest problems, resulting in savings on pesticides.
- Use perennials instead of annuals so that you do not have to replant as often.
- Use drought-tolerant Florida-Friendly plants that require less water once established.
- Buying smaller plants for install makes for a lower initial investment. Give them space and time to grow in.
- Planting the right trees near the east and west sides of your home will shade the house and reduce your air conditioning bill in the summer.
- Calibrate your irrigation system.
- Adjust your irrigation clock with the seasons.
- Use smart irrigation controllers and components.
- Install and maintain your rain shutoff device.
- Check irrigation system for broken or misaligned heads.
Other best management practices
- Use leaves and pine straw from your property as mulch.
- Practice integrated pest management to reduce the amount of pesticides applied.
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn.
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