Once upon a time, having a large, sprawling lawn was the goal of every suburbanite. But here in South Florida, there are many reasons why we may want to reduce the square footage of our lawns and design properties which are easier to maintain, use water efficiently and more accurately reflect our lifestyles.
If you are looking to minimize your grass yet still have an amazing yard – here are some tips.
Reasons to Shrink Your Lawn
- Less Maintenance: Maintaining a large yard in the Tampa area takes a lot of work. The lawn needs care all year-round, and during the summer rainy season it may need to be mowed twice per week. Did we mention – it is hot out there! Fertilizing, mowing, trimming and edging a large lawn in the summer heat is enough of a reason to want to minimize your grassy area. Even if you hire a lawn service, you pay more based upon the amount of space which needs mowing and ongoing maintenance.
- Water Conservation: More and more homeowners are looking for ways to be more “Earth-friendly” and to conserve water. The EPA estimates that up to 50 or 60% of water consumed in residential areas is used to water the lawn – but by adopting a mixed landscape, you can reduce water usage significantly.
- Less Waste and Pollution: Although lawn mowers only represent about 5% of our noise pollution, eliminating any noise on a Sunday morning is sure to make your neighbors happy. Less mowing means less noise and emissions, and also minimizes yard waste in our landfills.
How to Shrink Your Lawn
- Check out Xeriscaping: By definition, xeriscaping is a method of landscaping which minimizes or eliminates the need to use supplemental irrigation (over and above rainfall). Xeriscaping is popular in many desert areas such as Arizona, but is also a great option for the Tampa and Sarasota area. Replace grass areas with mulch, gravel, rock or even seashells for a beautiful, low maintenance yard.
- Expand Your Entertainment Capability: Create an extended lanai or patio, add sitting areas, build a firepit – there are many ways to add elements to your yard which will be welcoming to friends and family. Because we spend so much of our time outside, these areas are sure to become the most popular at your home.
- Create an Oasis: Replace an expanse of grass with a vista worthy of a botanical garden. Butterfly gardens are generally comprised of wild, overgrown local flora which is colorful, gorgeous, and great for attacting butterflies and bees. Dry riverbeds are a stunning aesthetic addition to any landscape and will allow for rainwater runoff and drainage; while adding gravel or seashell walkways between areas will encourage meandering walks.
- Consider Ground Cover: Florida native ground cover plants will provide a blanket of lush plants or flowers which need little maintenance, and keep weed growth to a minimum. Ground covers should be chosen based on the topography of your lawn – for instance, there are choices which will thrive in shade, and others which desire full sun. Check out your Florida ground cover options, then sit back and let nature provide a replacement for your standard turf.Important to Note: Both the Sarasota and Tampa areas are known for their beautiful communities, which often are regulated by deed restrictions. Before undertaking a landscape project to replace your turf or Florida grass, check with your association for approval.Big Earth Landscape Supply provides never-ending inspiration for those looking to shrink their grass and create a beautiful, unique yard. From architectural elements to natural stone furniture, you will find everything you need to create the yard of your dreams. If you have any questions, just ask! We’d love to help.