The following is meant to be a guide, but I am not an expert in the field of landscaping. Each project is different and I encourage you to continue to do your research and consult with professionals. Please continue to read on for Resources and Tips for Home Landscaping In Florida!
Since I have owned homes in Florida, I have found myself dabbling in all sorts of landscaping and gardening experiments.
Now by no means do I consider myself a professional, but being that I come from a long line of family members who worked the land, I have been influenced to try new things in my beds. Just to give a little history, my paternal grandparents were very enthusiastic about their yards.
This was evident in watching my grandfather who lived in Jacksonville turn half of his backyard into a garden as well as seeing him constantly tinkering around with the plants and trees in his yard. He was raised in the country and growing your own food was part of that experience.
As a child I would get to try out the corn, tomatoes, green beans, and other plants he would harvest from his garden crops.
My grandmother in her youth also lived on a farm and after she moved into a condominium after the passing of my grandfather, she immediately went to work on the grounds surrounding her place.
I remember seeing the pride she felt about her plants, and the joy her garden beds brought to fellow residents in the retirement community. Based on how both my Father and I both like to work out in our properties, we definitely inherited that passion for plants.
So what do I have to add to the conversation about Landscaping In Florida? Well through my own trial and error, here are a few of my ideas that hopefully will come in handy.
1. Observe: Take a walk around your neighborhood and see which plants are doing well at your neighbor’s homes. Be sure to note which trees, shrubs, and flowers are growing in the shade, partial sun, and full sun. Determine whether they face, North, South, East, or West. If you have existing beds, look at which plants are performing well in your yard already.
2. Check your Zone: Florida has multiple zones and slight temperature differences can determine the performance of your plants. Before you start purchasing plants for Landscaping In Florida or order online, be sure to confirm that it is greenery that would prosper in the varying temperature changes during the seasons.
3. Research: Do you want a low maintenance yard or one that will require constant trimming or weeding. If you have limited time to garden, this is something to take into consideration. Personally I am a fan of Ferns, Periwinkles, and Oyster Plants, however they like to spread and constantly need to be thinned out. However, arbicolo, crotons, and ti plants take a longer time to grow and typically only require seasonal trimming.
Before you buy, take a trip to your local nursery or hardware store to see which plants they have and ask for recommendations.
4. Design: Once you have observed, checked your zone, and researched your plants, it is time to make a plan. I personally like to use a ruler, pencil, and paper, but they do make apps for this as well. I prefer to put plants in odds and spacing them out accordingly. Example: 7 Mexican Petunias in the back, 5 Arbicolas next, 3 Crotons in the middle and staggered in front if the gaps of the Arbiocola, and then have 7 Liriope in the front.
This way you can see all of the plants because they are staggered and have height differences.
5. Check for pipes or utilities: Before you begin to dig, make sure you know where any pipes for irrigation systems are or any other phone, cable or electrical lines are located. Check with call811.com/before-you-dig to confirm that you are going to hit any important lines or pipes and ask your irrigation company to give you a map of your piping as well.
6. Be prepared: Make sure you have the proper tools on hand for your project such as spades, shovels, rakes, etc. You will also need gloves, sunscreen, and proper attire.
7. Timing: Now that you have done all this planning, it is time to look at the Almanac for your area to see when the optimal time is to plant and set a date (provided that it doesn’t rain).
8. Pick a Border and Mulch: These both can either be artificial or natural. Obviously rocks and pavers can come at a substantial cost, but black plastic edging may be a cheaper option for borders. Plus, you can use border grass as an all natural option. In my front beds, I have used a combination of black plastic edging and liriope grass. As for mulch there are recycled materials and ones made of cedar, leaves, and you could even using rocks as a way to deter weeds.
9. Irrigate: I have lived in homes with built in sprinkles as well as hoses and sprinkler heads. Either way, if you are planting new items you will need to be prepared to water those items a little extra for the first couple of weeks in order to get them out of the initial shock of being transplanted.
Be careful not to over water.
10. Fertilize: I just so happen to be blessed with very fertile soil at our current home. I don’t know if the previous owner bought earthworms, but it is teeming with life. I have also mulched over the years and the decomposition has helped add nitrogen to the ground. If in doubt of the quality of you soil, you can have it tested at your local extension service.
You can also order a soil testing kit. This can help determine how often and how you should fertilize your beds.
11. Weed, Thin, and Trim: In order to keep plants healthy, they will need to have overgrown weeds removed in order to give them access to optimal nutrients. In addition, certain plants can suffocate themselves if they are not thinned out. An example of this is the liriope. As for trimming, for aesthetic purposes this will give your beds a manicured look and it will also allow for smaller plants beneath larger plants to receive light and continue to flourish.
Remember: Before you cut, research the plant to confirm it is time to trim.
There are other items to take into consideration when it comes to gardening and landscaping because each project is different. I encourage you to do additional research and know when to ask for help and consult your local hardware store/ nursery and local extension service.
However, I do hope you find these Resources and Tips for Home Landscaping In Florida helpful and you have great success with your upcoming project!
Carlee @ FLL