The University of Florida has published 9 principles to help you maintain a Florida friendly yard that will save you time and money, and will also help protect our natural resources. Some of this may be expensive at first, especially if you need to replace landscaping, but it can save you in the long run.
- Right Plant, Right Place: Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides. Native Florida plants work best.
- Water Efficiently: Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy yard and conservation of limited resources.
- Fertilize Appropriately: Less is often best. Over-use of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment.
- Mulch: Maintain two to three inches of mulch to help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.
- Attract Wildlife: Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter can conserve Florida's diverse wildlife.
- Manage Yard Pests Responsibly: Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.
- Recycle: Grass clippings, leaves and yard trimmings composted and recycled on site provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal.
- Reduce Stormwater Runoff: Water running off your yard can carry pollutants, such as fertilizer, pesticides, soil and debris that can harm water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent pollution.
- Protect the Waterfront: Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems.