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Florida Friendly Landscaping

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Florida Friendly Landscaping

Environmental protection begins in your yard. Learn about Florida-friendly landscaping, pick up some landscaping tips and see examples of landscape designs. Learn how to transform your yard and lawn into a Florida-friendly landscape design that will be the envy of the neighborhood. Find Florida plants for your landscape and Florida garden. Learn about Florida-friendly plants, including Florida native plants, that require little irrigation or fertilizer, are low maintenance and attract wildlife. If you are a developer or landscaping professional, get the facts about Florida-friendly landscaping and learn how others are responding to consumer demand for low-impact yards.
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Florida Friendly Landscaping

 Each water management district shall design and implement an incentive program to encourage all local governments within its district to adopt new ordinances or amend existing ordinances to require Florida-friendly landscaping for development permitted after the effective date of the new ordinance or amendment. Each district shall assist the local governments within its jurisdiction by providing a model Florida-friendly landscaping ordinance and other technical assistance. Each district may develop its own model or use a model contained in the “Florida-Friendly Landscape Guidance Models for Ordinances, Covenants, and Restrictions” manual developed by the department. To qualify for a district’s incentive program, a local government ordinance or amendment must include, at a minimum:(a) Landscape design, installation, and maintenance standards that result in water conservation and water quality protection or restoration. Such standards must address the use of plant groupings, soil analysis including the promotion of the use of solid waste compost, efficient irrigation systems, and other water-conserving practices.(b) Identification of prohibited invasive exotic plant species consistent with s. 581.091.(c) Identification of controlled plant species, accompanied by the conditions under which such plants may be used.(d) A provision specifying the maximum percentage of irrigated turf and impervious surfaces allowed in a Florida-friendly landscaped area and addressing the practical selection and installation of turf.(e) Specific standards for land clearing and requirements for the preservation of existing native vegetation.(f) A monitoring program for ordinance implementation and compliance.
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Florida Friendly Landscaping

Find Florida plants for your landscape and Florida garden. Learn about Florida-friendly plants, including Florida native plants, that require little irrigation or fertilizer, are low maintenance and attract wildlife.
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Florida Friendly Landscaping

Identify the Florida-friendly plants, including Florida native plants, that will work in your yard or landscape design. The database contains a list of recommended trees, palms, shrubs, flowers, groundcovers, grasses and vines developed by University of Florida/IFAS horticulture experts. The plants included in the database are available at nurseries throughout Florida.
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Florida Friendly Landscaping

Mulch helps retain soil moisture, protects plants, and inhibits weed growth. It gives your landscape a neat, uniform appearance and is a great Florida-Friendly choice for hard-to-mow slopes and shady spots. Keep a 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch on plant beds. Always leave at least 2 inches of space around tree trunks to prevent rot. Create self-mulching areas under your trees by letting fallen leaves lie. Be sure to choose sustainably harvested mulch like melaleuca, pine straw, or eucalyptus. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program does not recommend the use of cypress mulch, as its origins may be difficult to determine.
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Florida Friendly Landscaping

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ can be considered an expansion of Xeriscape. A Florida-friendly yard goes beyond Xeriscape, which was started in Colorado, to better fit our unique geography. It includes best management practices concerning stormwater runoff and living on a waterfront.
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Florida Friendly Landscaping

Florida’s waterways are vulnerable to everything we put on our home landscapes. Fertilizers and pesticides can leach through the soil or run off into storm drains. Along with landscape debris and eroded soil, these can wreak havoc on our water quality and the fragile ecosystems our water resources support. Florida-Friendly Landscaping seeks to retain and use as much of the rainfall and irrigation water that lands on our home landscapes as possible. Creating shallow rain gardens, or shaping the earth on slopes with berms (rises) and swales (dips), can help slow runoff from heavy rains and allow the water time to soak into the ground. Make sure your downspout is pointed into the garden, not towards a sidewalk or driveway. Wherever possible, maintain permeable walkways, driveways, and patios of brick, gravel, earth, or crushed shell, to allow rain to soak into the ground.
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Florida Friendly Landscaping

 As used in this section, the term:(a) “Local government” means any county or municipality of the state.(b) “Florida-friendly landscaping” means quality landscapes that conserve water, protect the environment, are adaptable to local conditions, and are drought tolerant. The principles of such landscaping include planting the right plant in the right place, efficient watering, appropriate fertilization, mulching, attraction of wildlife, responsible management of yard pests, recycling yard waste, reduction of stormwater runoff, and waterfront protection. Additional components include practices such as landscape planning and design, soil analysis, the appropriate use of solid waste compost, minimizing the use of irrigation, and proper maintenance.

(b) “Florida-friendly landscaping” means quality landscapes that conserve water, protect the environment, are adaptable to local conditions, and are drought tolerant. The principles of such landscaping include planting the right plant in the right place, efficient watering, appropriate fertilization, mulching, attraction of wildlife, responsible management of yard pests, recycling yard waste, reduction of stormwater runoff, and waterfront protection. Additional components include practices such as landscape planning and design, soil analysis, the appropriate use of solid waste compost, minimizing the use of irrigation, and proper maintenance.
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Florida boasts over 10,000 miles of rivers and streams, about 7,800 lakes, more than 700 freshwater springs, and the U.S.’s second-longest coastline. Even if you don’t live immediately on one of these water bodies, you do live in what’s known as a watershed (a drainage area). What you do in your home landscape has much further-reaching consequences than you might think. One of the most important steps you can take to protect any water body is maintaining a 10-foot “maintenance-free zone” around it. Do not mow, fertilize, or use pesticides in this zone. Don’t let any grass clippings or pet wastes get into the water, as these carry nutrients and harmful bacteria. Seawalls, rip rap, and gabions can keep help minimize shoreline erosion, and if you maintain a riparian (water’s edge) zone, install native aquatic plants such as giant bullrush and maidencane, and remove invasive exotic species like water hyacinth and purple loosestrife. A stormwater pond or canal can become an aesthetically pleasing and lively place, edged with plants and home to wildlife. Work with your neighbors or homeowner association to make your stormwater pond a Florida-Friendly neighborhood amenity.
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Featured site Searchable Plant Database This searchable database features more than 800 plant species and provides information on growing conditions, such as sunlight and moisture needs. FloridaYards.org A comprehensive resource about Florida-friendly landscaping practices. Features an interactive yard, a plant database and resources for landscape professionals.
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Achieving a healthy, low-maintenance home landscape starts with putting the right plant in the right place. Select plants that match a site’s soil, light, water, and climatic conditions. Buy quality plants that welcome wildlife, consider plant size when you make your purchase, and aim for a diversity of trees, shrubs, groundcovers, and flowers. Once these plants are established, they’ll require little—if any—supplemental water, fertilizer, or pesticides, saving you time and money. Help stop the spread of invasive plants by removing them from your yard—see the IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas.
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Choosing the right plant for the right place goes a long way towards conserving water. So does grouping plants with similar water needs together and zoning your irrigation system appropriately. Watch for signs of wilt before you irrigate, be a weather watcher (don’t irrigate if it’s going to rain), and water early in the morning if you can, following any restrictions in your area. Handwater when possible, using a watering can, pail, or hose. Check your irrigation system regularly; repair any leaks, clogs, or breaks; and make sure all sprinklers are irrigating your plants, not the sidewalk. Florida law requires a working rain shut-off device or switch on any automatic irrigation system installed after May 1, 1991 (FS 373.662). But even if your irrigation system is older, you can still inexpensively add a rain or soil moisture sensor. Calibrate your irrigation system (see Saving Water Using Your Irrigation System) for maximum efficiency. Mulch and mow properly to increase plant health and drought tolerance, and use microirrigation wherever possible. A rain barrel (see Capturing Water with Rain Barrels) is a great way to save water and money.

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12 Photos of the "Florida Friendly Landscaping"

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