This article is about the four R’s. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repeat. Keep reading if you want to save time, money and perspiration.
You can reduce water consumption by purchasing drought tolerant plants. To determine what plants fall into that category, see the University of Florida’s Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design which can be viewed at: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf. If you group your plants by watering needs, you can decrease the number of plants suffering/dying from over- or under-watering. You can reduce the amount you spend on plants by propagating your plants or sharing with friends and neighbors. You can reduce the amount of landscape pruning by utilizing plants that are the height and spread for a particular area and consider slow growing plant materials. Microirrigation in landscape beds decreases the amount of water utilized for irrigation. Mulching landscape beds conserves water because mulch retains moisture in the soil.
You can reuse plants by dividing those that clump, propagate cuttings in water or using a rooting hormone, save and plant seeds. Relocate plants from one area of your landscape to another for repetition of color, form, texture, proportion and balance.
Rainwater harvesting recycles a free resource and works well for ornamental landscape and container plants. You can compost your plant prunings and use as soil amendments. By leaving grass clippings on your turfgrass, you can decrease fertilizations by one, meaning you need to fertilize once or twice per year. Grass clippings break down quickly and provide nitrogen to the turfgrass.
By repeating the above Reduce, Reuse and Recycle concepts, you will have more time to do other fun things in which you are interested, such as reading, golfing, shopping, taking a vacation or chilling out by a pool.
Lisa Meredith recommends: “Consider even more recycling by entering the Hillsborough County Fair and our Recycled Yard Art Contest in October 2015. Check our website for details: http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu”. Please contact the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County at 744-5519 or visit the office and demonstration gardens at 5339 CR 579, Seffner, FL 33584.