Ask Master Gardener Volunteer Dan Dobbins
Florida’s water resources are being challenged by the rapid increase of new residents who employ traditional land use practices. The urban standard of a manicured lawn, so popular with homeowner landscaping, is a major contributor to the contemporary water demands.
In addition to heavy irrigation requirements, collectively large amounts of fertilizer and pesticide application can pose a serious problem in the form of surface water runoff and groundwater contamination.
Recognition of the problems associated with traditional landscaping has sparked an increased interest in other landscaping forms recent years. Of particularly interest is low maintenance landscaping with native plants.
A major advantage of this landscaping technique is little or no use of fertilizer or pesticides. Wildlife, especially native pollinators, commonly benefit from the change in protocol.
Master Gardeners at the UF/IFAS Extension Wakulla County Office have grown and evaluated a variety of wildflower species over the past several years, some with very promising results. These will be addressed in future months with details for growing successfully in the area.
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