Florida-friendly landscaping is a program that is run by UF/IAS. It is an educational initiative meant to teach people how to create a more sustainable landscape in their own back yards.
Why Does Florida-friendly Landscaping Matter?
Using Florida-friendly landscaping helps to reduce pollution.l It also helps to reduce water waste. A Florida-friendly landscape also helps you save money by reducing a need for pesticides and commercial fertilizers.
What you do in your yard has a big impact on water-use issues, which in turn has a big impact on many of the issues Florida faces, such as sinkholes.
Florida is covered with water. The state boasts over 10,000 miles of rivers and streams, about 7,800 lakes, more than 700 freshwater springs, and the second-longest coastline in the United States. Even if you do not reside on a water-front, the land you live on is directly connected to a nearby water body. That’s because no matter where you live, surface water that leaves your landscape as runoff (either due to rain or over-watering), together with any fertilizers and pesticides in the runoff, will eventually drain into a water body. The contributing drainage area is called a watershed.
All watersheds are ultimately connected to each other and to the underground aquifier that supplies most of Florida’s drinking water. So what you do in your yard has farther-reaching consequences then you might imagine.
How Do I Build a Florida-friendly Landscape?
There are many methods. We’ve already talked about some of them on the site: using native plants, for example, to reduce the amount of watering that you need to do.
UF/IAS suggests adhering to nine principles in your quest to create a Florida-friendly landscape. They are:
- Right Plant, Right Place
- Water Efficiently
- Fertilize Appropriately
- Attract wildlife
- Manage Yard Pests Responsibly
- Reduce stormwater run-off
- Protect the waterfront
You can get more information about how to adhere to each of these principles in this document.
Remember, UF/IAS also runs a lot of Florida-friendly landscaping classes. Take advantage of some of them if you’d like to help our state preserve its natural resources!
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