There are many ways to save water in Florida’s gardens.

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.