Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ – Right plant, right place
Many homeowners turn to their yards when it comes time to bump up the beauty and pump up the property value, only to watch in mounting frustration as plant after plant withers under blazing sunlight or sags in torrential rains. If only they’d considered Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ before turning the first shovel of dirt.
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ is a way to create healthy, sustainable, and beautiful landscapes while protecting Florida’s unique natural resources. These landscapes thrive in local conditions, rather than struggling to change them.
Once you know what you want, choose plants carefully for your site conditions. This will help ensure the plants thrive, while minimizing the need for irrigation, fertilizers, pesticides, and other maintenance. You’ll need to dig into the data on plants: how much light and water does a species or variety need, how high and wide does it grow, and what will it look like when grown? Grouping plants according to their water requirements and other maintenance needs is a good idea.
Finally, don’t waste time, energy, and money trying to grow a plant in a location where it won’t – or shouldn’t – grow. For $5, have your soil tested for pH and soluble salts at our Extension office. For $7, the University of Florida will test soil samples for pH, soluble salts, and nutrients, like phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium.
All of this might sound daunting, but we can help. As part of the University of Florida, we offer expert advice based on years of research. Visit us online at http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu for more information about landscaping, gardening, and more, or to find a calendar of classes. Stop by one of our Master Gardener Plant Clinic locations, where volunteers answer your questions on plants, turf, and landscaping. Find a clinic at http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/PlantClinic/.
Our “Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Handbook” gives you more about the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ approach, and the “Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design” can help make your landscape vision a reality. If you prefer a printed copy of either or both, stop by our office. Or find others at our web site.
And if you need further help, call us at 941-861-9900, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by our office at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.