Friday, February 24, 2012

Creating a Florida-Friendly Landscape

Designing a landscape is a daunting task. You may not be able to figure out where to put that new plant, much less create a new mulched bed or revamp an existing area. There are many tips that can help make this process much easier.

1. Decide why you want to landscape.
Aesthetics, environmental protection, improving resale value, noise reduction, climate control and wildlife habitat are just a few reasons people decide to landscape.

2. Determine how you will use your property.
Determine how much lawn you need for children or pets and how much time you want to spend caring for your plants.

3. Analyze the existing site.
Walk around your property with a clipboard and paper making notes of all the things you see. The factual information about your site is very important in creating your plan.

4. Prepare a land-use plan.
Using a ruler and graph paper you can create a scaled drawing of your property and include all the factual information you obtained from the walk around your yard. You will also want to make notes of your ideas for the new landscape on this paper.

5. Add the landscape plan to the sketch.
Determine what type of plants you want to put in your yard. Sketch them into your plan remembering to keep them away from the house, group them according to water needs and give them plenty of room to grow.

6. Incorporate the irrigation plan.
If you are planning on using an irrigation system of some kind, now is the time to draw a plan or contact an irrigation contractor to do so for you.

7. Select landscape materials.
Considering your maintenance requirements, it is now time to select plant material. Consult gardening books, local nursery professionals and the Extension Service for help.

8. Implement.
Purchase quality plants and make sure that you install them correctly.
9. Maintain.
Proper maintenance including irrigation, fertilization, pruning, mowing, mulching and pest management are crucial to the health of your plants. Make sure that you are environmentally
aware when maintaining your landscape.

10. Enjoy!
The final step takes a long time and a lot of hard work to get to, but if you follow the Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles and attend a landscape design workshop you will have a
low maintenance landscape to enjoy!

For a list of upcoming landscaping workshops go to http://polkfyn.com.

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