Florida Friendly Landscaping Tips

You’ve likely seen a lot written about ways to help your lawn survive a blistering Florida summer, or how to help your tropical plants withstand a sudden overnight freeze in January. The conditions in our region can be challenging from a landscaping perspective, so these tips and tricks are invaluable to Sarasota and Tampa Bay area homeowners.

Living in a coastal paradise is something many only dream of, and there are ways we can help to protect the ecosystem for years to come. So these tips offered today are from a slightly different perspective. Read on for ideas and insight into responsible and Florida friendly landscaping tips which will keep your property beautiful.
Florida landscape supplies

Easy Florida Friendly Landscaping Ideas

Provide a Habitat: In more heavily populated areas, many of the small birds and animals have lost much of their habitat. If you have a viable property to do so, you may wish to recreate some of these habitats to provide food and shelter for the local critters. A bee and butterfly garden is one easy example, which not only helps to encourage pollination but is a gorgeous addition to your landscaping. You may also consider growing thick bushes around the banks of a pond or lake, or growing shade trees for squirrels and birds. Koi ponds are perfect to give amphibious wildlife a place to call home, and can be a serene water feature for your property. If you decide to provide any type of food (such as a bird feeder), keep it away from the structure of your home so as not to encourage the animals or birds encroaching on the home, invading your attic, or chewing through your roofing materials.

Practice Proper Mulching: Mulch is not only for beauty and weed control. When you maintain at least 2 to 3 inches of mulch in your flower beds and around trees, you help to conserve water – by allowing it to seep down to the roots without running off, as well as keeping the roots cooler so as not to need as much water to stay healthy. Mulch also helps to prevent erosion which can be a real problem during the Florida summers. Heavy rains can cause destructive erosion which the mulch can help to prevent. Not a fan of mulch? Many rocks and gravel can do the same thing, while providing a completely different aesthetic. Here’s a Tip: Prevent soil erosion around lakes and riverbanks by planting reeds and grasses. Ask a professional about species of plants that are native and non-invasive.

Plant Placement: Choosing plants and trees which are native to sub-tropical climates will help to keep watering requirements to a minimum, basically eradicating the need to water during the spring and summer months. For those plants which are more prone to being wilted or scorched by the sun, choose shady locations, such as under trees or along your home. Less watering not only saves water, but it also minimizes runoff which can be harmful to our waterways. When possible, utilize natural fertilizers such as earthworm castings or compost, which will not be harmful to the water supply.

Finally, if you live on the coastline, it is important to be aware of the fragility of that ecosystem. While there are some laws in place to constrain damage (such as laws against removing mangrove trees), you can also use your own good sense. Leave natural dunes, banks, and vegetation as much as possible, and look into ways of building docks or davits which will not disturb them. The more you can leave natural Florida natural, the better it is for us, and for our kids. Florida friendly landscaping is a great start.

For natural fertilizers, grass seed, sod and more – the best place to shop in Sarasota and Tampa is Big Earth Landscape Supply. While you are there, be sure to check out our pottery, natural statuaries and furniture, all designed to allow you to create a beautiful sanctuary in your yard.