Recently, Tampa Bay Water told you about the Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards, a program that recognizes those homeowners and businesses committed to conserving water and protecting the environment by using the most water-efficient landscaping practices in their beautiful landscapes.
This is the 16th year of this competition, and Tampa Bay Water wants to give you a chance to make your landscaping “Water-Wise.”
Tampa Bay Water has developed a six-part video series that highlights previous winners of the Water-Wise Award, and provides tips on how you can make your landscaping more water-efficient and Florida-friendly. Who knows, maybe next year you will be a winner!
The second post in this series discusses landscape design and plant selection. Simply put – the right plant in the right place.
According to the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program, achieving a healthy, low-maintenance home landscape starts with putting the right plant in the right place. Here’s how:
• Select plants that match a site’s soil, light, water, and climatic conditions. This Florida-Friendly Plant Database will help you identify the Florida-friendly plants, including Florida-native plants that will work in your yard or landscape design. The database contains a list of recommended trees, palms, shrubs, flowers, groundcover, grasses and vines developed by University of Florida/IFAS horticulture experts.
• Buy quality plants that welcome wildlife. Landscaping to attract wildlife brings nature close by welcoming it into our yards. Planting certain trees, shrubs, and flowers can create an inviting atmosphere for songbirds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Another advantage of landscaping for wildlife is creating habitat for animals that have been displaced by community growth and development where space is limited.
• Consider plant size when you make your purchase, and aim for a diversity of trees, shrubs, groundcovers, and flowers. Once these plants are established, they’ll require little – if any – supplemental water, fertilizer, or pesticides, saving you time and money.
Feeling overwhelmed? “Just take a little piece at a time,” says 2011 Water-Wise Award winner Tom Ungaro. “It is part of enjoying what you are doing, and then seeing the results that are very, very rewarding.”