Creating a Florida-Friendly Landscape

The traditional Florida garden is characterized with wildlife activity, indigenous colors, and textures. You might think that maintaining a traditional Florida garden may be costly and strenuous, but it is not. There is a simplified way that can be utilized to realize the best Florida gardening experience. Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ is an education program to educate gardeners how to garden in a more environmentally friendly way utilizing nine principles.

The principles are Right Plant, Right Place; Water Efficiency; Application of Appropriate Fertilizer; Mulching; Attract Wildlife; Managing Yard Pests Responsibly; Reducing Yard Wastes; Reducing Storm Water Runoff; and Protection of the Waterfront. These principles can be applied one by one until the garden attains the Florida-friendly landscaping™ standards.

Right Plant, Right Place
Plants can have less pests and survive in any landscape when planted in the right place. Having a Florida-Friendly garden is an advantage because it utilizes many native pants. Transforming the garden into Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ standards involves selecting plants and planning your garden. The three basic steps in achieving this principle is know your yard, planning the landscape, and choosing the right plants carefully.

Water Efficiency
Transforming a landscape into a water efficient garden does not require the owner to competently redesign the landscape, and it does not require a lot of money either. Simple changes such as shifting watering schedules, adding mulch, or relocating plants are an easy method to start the transformation. This method is ideal for both the traditional Florida garden or starting a new one.

Utilizing efficient water methods in the garden saves money and conserves water. Watering the right amount also makes the landscape healthier. Micro-irrigation should be used to avoid over watering and plants should only be watered when they need it. Also, creative methods such as capturing rainwater are also recommended.

Fertilize Appropriately
Applying fertilizer appropriately is essential to the growth of plants. If we use unnecessary fertilizer it can ruin plants and contaminate water.

Mulching
Mulching the garden will retain soil moisture, inhibit weed growth, and sustain the plants.

Attract Wildlife
Harmless and beautiful wildlife such as butterflies, birds, and other pollinators will come to your landscape if there is water and shelter. Attracting wildlife is critical in promoting an eco-system in the garden.

Managing Yard Pests Responsibly
Nature will take care of pest management. It is good to dispose of pesticides appropriately to avoid harming beneficial insects. Identify beneficial insects, and only eliminating harmful pests is very important.

Reducing Yard Wastes
The best way to reduce waste in the garden is composting grass clipping, leaves, pruned trees, and plants parts. This will increase fertility of the soil and improve soil aeration.

Reducing Stormwater Runoff
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ seeks to retain rainwater for future gardening purposes. Recycling storm water is crucial in managing flooding and preserving water.

Protect Waterfront
Always guard the waterfronts to avoid contamination. All the water in the garden should be valuable to the landscape life. Waterfronts can be protected by following fertilizer and herbicide guidelines.

Following the above principle is critical in turning your garden into a Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ .The steps are very straightforward and cost friendly.

Do you want to learn more? During the upcoming weeks I will be sharing with you more about each of these principals and you can register to attend one of the FREE Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Classes/Series in the local libraries during January and February. In addition, we are hosting the first Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Spring Festival and Plant Sale Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Osceola Heritage Park located at 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744; at the festival we are going to have plant vendors, classes, kid’s activities and more.

If you have gardening questions you can contact the Plant Clinic at 321-697-3000 for a free phone consultation. Master Gardeners are available to help you with your garden questions.

For Classes registration visit https://www.eventbrite.com/o/ufifas-extension-osceola-county-2487539736?aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_eid=8b3faf06b0&mc_cid=9cd62056cc

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