Summer is just around the corner, in fact it already feels like summer here in Tampa Florida. As you begin to plan your landscaping projects for the coming months consider a few cost and water saving tips.
1 ) Choose Native Plants
It is amazing how we forget which plants and vegetation are indigenous to Florida. When we select plants that are local to the area they tend to require less water and are more tolerant to pests in the local region. A great little website I found to help out with identifying local plants, flowers, trees, etc that work best in our climate is Florida Native Plant Society
2) Group your plants
If you put plants together by the amount of water they need it will help in two areas. First, it will cut down on time to water and water use. Second, you avoid the problem of either over or under watering your plants. A general rule of them is to put your plants requiring more water closest to the house so they can benefit from rain coming off the roof. Those plants that require the least water should be furthest way from the other plants that require more water.
3) Mulch It!
Mulch can help save water by keeping your soil cool which in turn reduces evaporation and thus prevents roots from drying out. It is important to consistently have fresh mulch. If your mulch is drying out or is looking very brittle it is certainly time for adding a new layer.
4) Know your Time
It is important to water in the early morning when temperatures are cooler. When you water during the hot sun, it causes the flowers or leaves to open up and can cause stress to your plants. Also, try to avoid watering in the evening when the dampness overnight can cause fungus or other unwanted growths.
5) Shrink It
In many areas of the country and particularly in Florida many folks are minimizing the footprint of their actual green area. While it is fantastic to have lush greens all around, it is important to be sensible if you are also trying to conserve or reduce your water usage. Look for opportunities to Xeriscape or even replace existing grass with a more drought-resistant line.
I know as we begin our home landscaping projects we will certainly utilize many of these water saving tips. I hope that it helps you out this planting season.