A few years ago, I wrote an article about being a lazy gardener. To this day and, I believe, for the remainder of my gardening days, I will remain one. You, too, can have a beautiful garden while maintaining a lazy gardener lifestyle.
Right plant/right place, the first of the nine Florida Friendly Landscaping™ principles, includes knowledge of your site conditions. Other components are hydrozoning, consideration of plant size and keeping it simple.
Right Plant/Right Place: Analyze sun, shade, water requirements and soil composition.
Lazy Watering: Hydrozone—group plants by water needs, use microirrigation and harvest rainwater from roof structures for ornamental plants, not edibles.
Size: Determine garden dimensions, mature plant size and the least number of plants needed to fill space. Lazy and smart gardeners do not plant for instant gratification but for mature plant size, saving time, work and money.
Keep It Simple: If you are too lazy to water during dry spells, plant drought-resistant bloomers or wait until the rainy season to plant. If you are too lazy to rake leaves or pine needles when they fall, create self-mulching landscape beds. If you are too lazy to plant annual flowers, plant perennials.
Sweat Savers: Repeat your successes and plant reseeders. Remove dead flowers from a plant to encourage further blooming and save seeds. Use a timer system to perform 15 minutes of a dreaded gardening activity, then stop when the timer goes off. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish.
Time Saver: Wear gloves. This saves time cleaning your hands and fingernails.
Maximize Your Laziness: Use your friends wisely. Start a friends’ gardening group. Learn to love volunteer plants (those that come up on their own) and permanently borrow plants from your friends and neighbors; asking first is always a wise move. Divide and relocate perennials: No money spent, save on gasoline and no need to shop.
Lazy Maintenance Plants: Slow growers need less pruning. Wide spreaders mean fewer plants required. Drought-tolerant plants require less watering. Pest and disease-resistant plants need less lazy pest management.
Low Demands and High Returns: Includes dracaena, plumbago, firecracker bush, African and walking iris, thryallis, pentas, firebush, croton, and salvia. These are just a few. For more ideas, go to UF FFL and view a copy of The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design. Page 31 is the key to the information provided.
Look for my suggestions on limitations to lazy gardening in an upcoming addition. To view and register for upcoming workshops, go to the ‘UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County’ calendar of events.