Homeowner's Academy

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Is Your Home Landscaping "Florida-Friendly?”

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Apr 23, 2015

Florida Friendly YardHave you ever asked yourself if your home landscaping is “Florida-friendly?”

When planning a lawn or garden, most homeowners don’t consider the environmental impact of their landscaping decisions. Keeping your yard in line with your local climate is the easiest and best way to ensure beautiful and healthy curb appeal. 

Getting ready to landscape your yard? Take a look at these important steps to ensure your landscaping is “Florida-Friendly.”

Know Your Yard 

Does your yard get a lot of sunlight? What about frequent rainfall? Are there any shady areas? Assess your lawn’s natural strengths and weaknesses to determine what plant species will thrive best in your home garden.

Grow Florida-Friendly Plants

Select plants that will attract beneficial butterflies and insects to your yard. Create a healthy habitat by increasing plant variety and creating natural corridors that allow animals to move around freely.

Here are some Florida-friendly plants for you to try:

  • Cuban buttercup
  • Purslane
  • Golden dewdrop
  • Petunia
  • Tampa Verbain
  • Milkweed
  • Purple Cone Flower

For more Florida-friendly plants that best suit your yard’s climate, check out Florida Yard’s comprehensive Plant Database. 

Create a Safe Habitat for Wildlife

A birdbath or fountain pond is a fun way to attract birds and other small animals. Avoid using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to keep wildlife healthy and poison-free. If you own pets, try not to let them terrorize the nearby wildlife.

Reduce Storm Water and Chemical Run Off

Storm water runoff is a top pollutant in Florida lakes and rivers. It poisons our natural water resources, which is dangerous for humans and animals alike. Pet waste is another significant source of bacteria found in lakes and rivers.

Pet owners - pick up pet droppings to prevent them from being swept into storm drains. A quick and easy way to reduce storm water run off is to outline your yard with brick or mulch.  

Mow, Rake and Prune

While these are not the most exciting outdoor activities, they are necessary for a healthy lawn. These tasks generate natural waste that is beneficial to your soil. Also consider creating a compost pile to add nutrients and fertility to your soil.

To do this, combine leaves, grass clippings, or garden fruits and vegetables. Florida humidity makes composting easy and effective.

Properly Handle Yard Pests

Pesky animals are inevitable, but it’s important to handle them in a safe, respectable way. Check your plants regularly, and remove any ticks. Weeding by hand is usually more effective, and less toxic, than weed killer. When handling pesticides, use spot treatment instead of spraying your entire lawn.

Water Your Lawn and Garden Efficiently

Conserving water is an important part of creating a low-impact environment. Follow your community’s guidelines, and make sure that your sprinklers aren’t accidentally watering the driveway and sidewalk.

Be mindful of the weather. If it just rained, don’t water your lawn immediately after. Your plants AND the environment will thank you.