As recently discussed, the State of Florida protects homeowners from too much interference from HOAs about xeriscaping, the drastically increasing trend to make laws more eco-friendly. In Florida, we call xeriscaping “Florida Friendly Landscaping.” Do you know the seven principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping (FFL)?
7 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping
The seven principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping include the following:
- Appropriate planning
- Soil improvement
- Turf location
- Drought-tolerant plants
- Use of mulch
Appropriate planning and design are crucial for Family Friendly Landscaping. Homeowners and landscapers implementing xeriscaping must be aware of which plants are companion plants, what plants are native to South Florida and where they best function and planning the irrigation system.
In xeriscaping, improving the soil is important. The xeriscaping will improve the soil with time, but some improvements might be required upfront. The soil must absorb water at a healthy rate for our area. The soil also must have nutritional value for the plants.
Irrigation must be efficient. With xeriscaping, any turf areas are usually irrigated separately from the rest of the landscaping. Plants should be grouped together by how much water they need. In plant beds, bubblers and drips should be used.
Turf should only be planted where it actually helps. It shouldn’t be in with the decorative plants, the trees or the shrubs. It should be watered separately, so it should be kept separate. Xeriscapers often replace turf with mulch or low ground covers. Turf should be placed in swales because it’s skillful at absorbing water and filtering pollutants out of water.
Drought-tolerant plants should be used as often as possible. The goal of xeriscaping is to use as little water as possible and to use the plants to clean the water.
Use of Mulch
Xeriscaping includes a lot of mulch use. It’s a beautiful way to replace turf areas. Plus it cools the soil and reduces evaporation. It also slows weed growth, ensuring little if any weed killers are required. Mulch reduces erosion and adds visual appeal to any yard. Mulch should be placed over biodegradable landscape fabric.
Once installed, xeriscaped lawns require very limited maintenance. Still, some pruning and pest control is sometimes used. Irrigation systems must be maintained and mulch and the lawn fabric below it will need to be added upon.
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