This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UF/IFAS. The opinions and text are all mine.
Just about every homeowner and Florida resident understands the importance of water conservation. Unfortunately, not many people these days actually know how to go about saving water when it comes to watering lawns and gardens. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (UF/IFAS) is empowering Floridians to make better choices for their environment through programs like Florida Friendly Landscaping.™ By teaching people how to design, install, and maintain healthy landscapes they are helping to conserve and protect water supplies and add value to communities all across our great state.
UF/IFAS is an excellent resource. I’ve read some amazing articles on their blog and website. You can find lists of plants that thrive in Florida, what times of days to water, tips on irrigation systems, what length to cut your grass, and much more. If you care anything at all about the upkeep of your yard you should totally give it a read. I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about landscaping here but ended up spending an hour or two learning all sorts of new information. I learned about the importance of knowing my watershed and how it’s connected to all the springs, lakes, rivers, and wetlands in Central Florida. I also learned how to keep pesticides and herbicide runoff from contaminating the water. UF/IFAS inspired me to make several changes in how I take care of my yard so that I can better do my part to help the local ecosystem.
UF/IFAS is not just an excellent source of information. They also have and inspirational Yard Recognition Program that recognizes environmentally friendly gardeners with official FFL Yard Recognition signs. To find out whether your yard is eligible for Gold or Silver recognition, a county FYN agent or yard advisor will pay a visit to your home and use the homeowner checklist to decide whether your yard meets all the requirements. Not only is this a great way to spread the word and showcase your commitment to protecting Florida’s water resources, it’s also an amazing learning opportunity.
By planting the right plants in the right place and watering at the right times, you make life easier on yourself and keep your yard looking beautiful. I doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. By using your wits, you can design your yard to thrive off mostly rainwater and keep sprinkler usage to a minimum. When you do turn them on and they are positioned properly and set for the right times you can maximize their effectiveness and virtually eliminate water waste. I read about one guy who only uses his sprinklers 6 – 8 times a year! Keeping your irrigation system in check is a great way to save money and reduce water consumption. UF/IFAS can show you how to do that and more.