Care of Florida's environment begins at home

 Care of Florida's environment begins at home

Waterways woes continue to dominate the news in Southwest Florida. The problem is so big, what can any one of us do to make a difference? The good news is there is one thing we can do. And the more of us who do, the bigger the impact. So what is this one thing? Make your yard beautiful! Let’s qualify that: Make your yard Florida-beautiful. That means applying some basic principles in your landscape that will improve the health of the environment while your outdoor space reflects your personality.

The best part is there’s plenty of help to get you on your way toward Florida-beautiful landscaping. A great place to start is the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Homeowner Program. It’s brought to you by the experts at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services. As they put it, “The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Homeowner program educates homeowners about how to design, install, and maintain healthy landscapes that use a minimum of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. The result? Low-cost, low-maintenance, attractive landscapes that add value to your community and reduce the chance of polluting the water supply.”

At this link, you will find free resources to download, including the FY&N Handbook, which is arranged in informative chapters around the 9 core principles of Florida-friendly landscapes:

  1. Choose the right plant for the right place
  2. Water efficiently
  3. Fertilize appropriately
  4. Mulch
  5. Attract wildlife
  6. Manage yard pests responsibly
  7. Recycle yard waste
  8. Reduce stormwater runoff
  9. Protect the waterfront

It’s really pretty simple, when you break it down to these basics. Wouldn’t it be fun to be the envy of the neighborhood? You can even work toward earning gold or silver Florida-Friendly Landscaping status, with a sign to prove it. Be a trendsetter! This is one trend that’s very sustainable indeed.

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