We should care about saving potable water in our landscapes because it is drinking water. About 1,000 people move to Florida daily, which increases demand on water, a nonrenewable resource. To make sure there is enough to go around, each of us needs to consider ways we can save this resource.
Below are examples of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles and related practices that conserve water. The first two suggestions will save water and money and cost you nothing.
• Shut off your irrigation controller. Especially now, during the rainy season, you may not need landscape irrigation.
• If you are a high-water user—15,000 gallons per month or more—you may qualify for a free irrigation evaluation.
• Your rain shutoff device may not be working if your irrigation system is operating when it is raining.
• Grow drought-tolerant plants which require minimal to no water after establishment.
• Hydrozone your plants by grouping them according to their watering needs.
• Plant groundcovers instead of turfgrass where turf is not purposeful. Turfgrass purposes can include play areas for children or a pet area for dogs. If you live in a deed-restricted community, check the restrictions before making changes.
• Consider creating a rain garden in a low area of your landscape to decrease some of the stormwater runoff from your yard.
• Mulch landscape beds (2-3 inches deep after settling). Mulch is beneficial because it retains moisture in the soil.
• Microirrigation is great for landscape beds. Compared to traditional in-ground irrigation systems, microirrigation provides gallons of water per hour versus gallons per minute.
• Apply a 1/2 to a 1/4-inch of water (irrigation or rainfall) per watering event. Use a rain gauge to determine the amount of rainfall received, view, then empty it. You can also do a ‘catch can test’ to determine the amount of water your in-ground irrigation system is providing in each zone.
• Harvest rainwater for ornamental plants, not edibles, if captured from your roof.
All of us have a stake in and impact the future. Conserving water in our landscapes is easy and important. Call our office at 744-5519 for more information about these water-saving tips.