- Arbor Day Foundation
- The Official Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection
- Sarasota County's Florida Friendly Landscaping Program
- Sarasota County Sustainability
- Southwest Florida Water Management District
What is Florida-Friendly Landscaping?
According to UF/IFAS, there are nine principals that make up the widely known Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program. These principals are practiced by homeowners, builders, landscape maintenance professionals, and residents throughout the Sunshine State and help create an environmentally sound design when it comes to landscaping.
The City of North Port practices these methods when landscaping all of its common areas and parks, and encourages local residents and businesses to follow the same principals.
Here is a brief overview of the nine principals for Florida-Friendly Landscaping.
- Right Plant, Right Place. Match plants with areas of your property based on their water and light requirements, soil conditions, salt and wind tolerance, and other factors. The idea behind this principal is to place plants where they will need less irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticide.
- Water Efficiently. Overwatering can be costly to your water bill and makes landscapes more attractive to unwanted pests. Water plants according to the UF/IFAS-recommended rates and application schedules and the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s watering restrictions.
- Fertilize Appropriately. Fertilizing at the correct times and amounts can help your plants flourish, and also can protect our drinking water supply from unwanted runoff.
- Mulch. This protects against soil erosion, helps maintain moisture, and inhibits weed growth. Mulching also improves the soil quality and reduces the need for pesticides.
- Attract Wildlife. Florida’s native wildlife can help manage insects and pollinate your garden. Incorporate a bird feeder, bat house, berry bushes, and more to attract wildlife.
- Manage Yard Pests Responsively. Smart planning, proper maintenance, and natural or low-toxicity controls help keep pests at bay without using harsh chemical treatments.
- Recycle. Recycled yard waste is a great way to create mulch, compost, and raise the quality of your soil.
- Manage Stormwater Runoff. Porous pavers, rain barrels, rain gardens, and swales keep rainwater on site or allow it to be captured for later use. This can save you money on your water bill, and also prevent toxins from flowing into the drinking water supply.
- Protect the Waterfront. If you live in a home or operate a business along a waterway, create a 10-foot maintenance-free zone between your landscape and the water's edge. This further protects any runoff from your landscaping to leak into the local waters.