In Florida, gardening can be considered a form of outdoor recreation. The Sunshine State’s subtropical and tropical climates make gardening a year-round activity, and its warmth, rich soils and moisture provide near-perfect growing conditions.
So why should water-wise gardening be important here? For several practical reasons. It’s a smart way to be kind to your landscape, lower your water bill and reduce your chores.
You got this!
Plus, being a water-wise Florida gardener is easy in such fertile surroundings. And it’s something you can contribute to even if your version of watering means monitoring your sprinkler system.
Here are a few tips to get growing with water-wise gardening.
First, take inventory
Your new custom Florida home from ICI Homes is equipped with fresh landscaping elements such as sod, shrubbery and decorative plants.
If you’re a new Florida resident or one who hasn’t done much gardening, research your greenery online, or ask neighbors for advice. Perk: it’s a great conversation starter for meeting neighbors.
You’ll discover these plant varieties thrive in the conditions of this region. These include heat and humidity and periodic dry spells. Temperate Florida winters are the driest times of the year here. Plants that can take thunderstorm dousing and winter dryness are water-wise rock stars.
Which brings us to…
Choose native plants
Ready to tinker with gardening around your new custom Florida home? Whether it’s patio pots of tomatoes and peppers, or roses, choose varieties that aren’t fazed by periods of dry weather.
You can find this information from neighbors, new friends, or knowledgeable folks at local nurseries and home improvement stores. The latter especially can point you to plants that won’t hog every drop of moisture. Many are perennials that bloom year round, such as lavender-spiked society garlic, colorful lantana and purple fountain grass — all beautiful ways to be water-wise.
About annuals: we love marigolds, petunias and other seasonal icons. But they can be very thirsty because of shallow root systems.
Which brings us to…
Bulk up your mulch
The landscaping around your new custom Florida home comes with a layer of attractive mulch that shields and shades the root networks of fresh plantings. It also keeps moisture from rainfall and sprinklers from evaporating, and close to where plants can absorb it via their roots.
Shredded tree bark is the common mulch, but pine straw is popular too. No matter what mulch you prefer, when it comes time to replace it, don’t skimp. A generous layer of mulch keeps the soil and plant roots under it cool and moist — another easy way to be water-wise
And yes, natural mulch needs replenishing at least annually no matter where you garden. Bark nuggets and pine straw gradually break down and replenish the soil with nutrients. So be prepared with reinforcements whether landscapers do it for you, or you’re the landscaper!
Ready for your new custom Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here.