What is Florida Friendly Landscaping?

florida-friendly-landscapeFlorida-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.

From UF/IAS:

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
  • Mulch
  • Attract wildlife
  • Manage Yard Pests Responsibly
  • Recycle
  • 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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