Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This Saturday at Holiday Park, around 300 Fort Lauderdale Residents will be instructed on how to conserve outdoor water and make their landscapes Florida-friendly.  You don't have to be an expert gardener or landscaper to create a Florida-friendly yard. All it takes is a willingness to learn and a desire to build a beautiful yard that helps protect Florida's environment.  The principles hold true even if you don’t live in Florida.

Here are 9 Florida-friendly principles that EVERY landscaper should follow:

1.       Right Plant, Right Place - Almost any plant will survive in your landscape if you plant it in the right place. You can drastically reduce the need for water, fertilizer, pesticides and pruning if you know what you plant needs to thrive and the mature size.
2.       Water Efficiently - Typically, at least 50% of water used by households is used outdoors. Efficient watering will not only help you save money and conserve water, but can also create a healthier landscape.
3.     Fertilize Appropriately - When too much fertilizer is applied to landscapes, it seeps past the root zone of the grass, plants or trees and into the aquifer or runs off into water bodies. Plants, animals and people depend on clean water for survival.
4.     Mulch - Keeping mulch on your plant beds helps control weeds, retain soil moisture and reduce erosion and stormwater runoff.
5.     Attract Wildlife - Friendly visitors, like butterflies and beneficial insects, will enjoy your landscape if you provide food, water and cover.
6.     Manage Yard Pests Responsibly - When it comes to pest management, nature takes care of itself! Misused pesticides in your yard can run off into waterways and harm beneficial insects.
7.     Recycle - Recycling your yard waste back onto your lawn and landscape can improve the fertility and water-holding ability of the soil and help aerate soil that has become compacted.
8.     Reduce stormwater runoff - Stormwater runoff can carry pollutants, pesticides and excess fertilizers into bays, rivers and lakes. Remember that what goes in your storm drain can find its way into our water sources.
9.     Protect the waterfront - Bays and waterways contribute to the quality of life in Florida. Waterfront owners can help protect these fragile natural treasures.

Read more at  FloridaYards.Org

Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Environmental Services
Office - (954) 828-7704 Fax - (954) 828-7897

Think before you print!