While you don’t have to be an expert to create a beautiful and healthy garden, it pays to do a little research before you put on your gardening gloves.
Here are a few tips to bring your Florida dream garden to life:
1. First, Out with the Old
Dead and unwanted plants need to be completely removed before planting new ones. Overlooking this step will cause fertilizer and new seeds to sit on top of dead plants instead of seeping into the soil.
2. Learn How Long Plants Will Live
Before buying new plants and flowers, get acquainted with how often they will need to be replaced. Plants known as “annuals” only live up to one year where “perennials” live longer. Annuals tend to be cheaper than perennials and are less of a commitment. Also, perennials usually have shorter blooming periods while annuals bloom throughout their lifespan.
3. Use Flower Beds
Keep different types of flowers separated by using flower or gardening beds. Whether you buy them or build them yourself, they can help maintain a tidy and healthy area for your plants to blossom.
4. Grow Your Own Food
While growing your own food isn’t a task many people will try, it can be a great way to save a little money along the way. Growing herbs in home gardens has increased in popularity over the last few years as there are more and more controversies with pesticides used in commercial gardens. Some great starter herbs include oregano and basil for example.
5. Add Some Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor living is increasing in popularity in new homes and ideas are endless! Whether your garden is large enough for a gazebo or can only fit a bench or two, you can create a whole new living area to your home with a little bit of outdoor furniture.
Fun fact: Landscaping can add 7-15% to a home’s value!
6. Get the Whole Family Involved
Nowadays it can be a little difficult to share time together as a family. Why not try out a family project in which everyone can participate? I’ll admit, it’ll be easier to get the toddler to drop the ball than it will be for the teen to exchange the phone for a shovel but allowing everyone to add some input into the new garden may be a chance to create some new memories.
7. Liven Up Your Yard with Color
Are there certain areas in your garden that look a little dull? Liven up with a touch of color! Flowers such as bougainvilleas are a great choice as they can be purchased in several colors and are relatively pest-free and resistant to disease.
8. Use Mulch
Mulch helps keep water in soil around plants. Only about 2 inches is needed around shrubs, and it can also help prevent the growth of pesky weeds.
9. Water (But Not Too Much!)
You might be surprised to learn that plants and grass only need about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch of water per week. Keep in mind that evaporation rates are lower earlier in the day so it’s best to water then.
While it can help to keep a calendar, don’t rely completely on your last watering day since it’s possible your plants and grass might need water sooner. If grass blades are bent in half, it’s time for more water!
Also, be sure not to over-water as this creates shallow roots and make plants vulnerable to disease and pests.
10. Feed the Seed
Using a starter fertilizer can help provide the needed nutrients to your new garden. Remember to use this before laying new seeds but keep in mind that you’ll need to re-fertilize about 4-6 weeks after they germinate.
Last but not least, have fun with it. Creating the perfect Florida garden takes time, so try not to stress if it takes a few seasons to get it to the level you’d like.