Low-cost/Low-labor Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Practices
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ encourages homeowners to conserve water and reduce pollution by implementing sustainable practices. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program stresses nine major principles: 1) water efficiently; 2) fertilize appropriately; 3) mulch; 4) attract wildlife; 5) control yard pests responsibly; 6) recycle; 7) reduce stormwater runoff; 8) protect the waterfront; and 9) use the right plant in the right place.
Having a Florida-Friendly landscape doesn’t require a lot of money or labor. The following are some low-cost, low-labor practices you can use to make your yard Florida-Friendly.
- Mow your grass at the right height. This encourages a deeper and more drought-resistant root system and keeps grass clippings on your lawn to recycle nutrients into the soil.
- Use fallen leaves and pine needles as mulch.
- Position sprinklers correctly.
- Get an irrigation inspection by contacting your local UF/IFAS Extension office or utility provider.
- Schedule irrigation run times using the Urban Irrigation Scheduler.
- Only irrigate in the early morning, during prolonged dry periods, and when temperatures and wind are low.
- Direct downspouts onto areas where rainwater can be absorbed.
- Avoid planting invasive plants in your landscape.
- Apply pesticides to affected plants rather than using indiscriminate or routine applications.
- Fertilize only when needed.
These are only a few practices, but there are many ways to have a Florida-Friendly Landscape. For more information, visit the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ website or contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.
Adapted and excerpted from:
S. P. Brown, Checklist of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Practices (ENH1153), UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department (rev. 09/2011).
“Florida-Friendly Landscaping™,” UF/IFAS Extension (06/2010).
“Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program,” Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (Accessed 10/2013).
Related Sites & Articles
- UF/IFAS Publications
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program Publications
- A Guide to Environmentally Friendly Landscaping: Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Handbook
- Home Irrigation and Landscape Combinations for Water Conservation in Florida
- Sustainable Landscape Construction
- Recycle Yard Waste (1.12MB pdf)
- UF/IFAS Sites
- Creative Recycling in the Landscape