|Plan ahead and use common sense to avoid planting in the wrong place. Here, this tree won't benefit from rain water (requiring supplementary watering) and will be prevented from growing to its full height. |
Practice Right Plant, Right Place
Creating a healthy yard is not unlike any other home improvement project - it helps to have a plan. Making sure you have the right plant in the right place is crucial to saving water and time on maintenance.
If you are constantly watering plants that are always thirsty or are fighting a losing battle with weeds or invasives, listen up. Proper planning can help you avoid situations like these in the future.
|Native to Florida, the Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) is both a beautiful and drought-resistant flower. |
Before you even step foot into a nursery, examine the water, soil and sun exposure characteristics of your yard. Make note of the type of irrigation available and the areas of your lawn that receive more water than others. Observe your yard at different times of the day to determine the amount of sun and shade that falls on it and where.
Have your soil analyzed to determine which plants would thrive - and which would fail. After you've considered what your yard has to offer, select plants that meet your yard's requirements.
Choose a variety of plants that need minimal irrigation and maintenance. NatureScape Broward emphasizes the use of native plants. That's because native plants are uniquely adapted to South Florida's climate and conditions.
Native plants can often better tolerate both the wet and dry seasons, and tend to be more resistant to pests than non - native varieties. These plants also are more attractive to native and migrating wildlife, providing food, shelter and sources of nectar. Once you've selected your plants, group them based on their water and maintenance requirements. Grouping the plants by their needs allows you to water and fertilize them on the same schedule.
Native plants should require minimal supplementary water once established. Mulching around your plants will hold in moisture longer, further reducing their need for water. But, when you do water your plants and lawn, make sure to do it the right way.
The best time to water is in the early morning hours, before 9 a.m. Remember that your lawn will tell you when its time to water when it shows signs of distress such as bluish-gray color or folded leaf blades.
In the long run, following these principles will save water and protect our vast system of waterways from pollution. Visit NatureScape Broward's web site for more tips like these and for information on how your yard can become a certified NatureScape.