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Make Your Florida Garden Thrive

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By : Rob Thomson    99 or more times read
Landscaping a Florida yard has some challenges that are not necessarily issues in other parts of the country. Some of the most beautiful plants thrive here, but others don't do so well. Before you begin planning your fair weather garden, you might want to use this handy guide to make sure you get off on the right foot.

1. Location - Location - Location

Know where you're planting, and what types of plants will survive best in that location. Consider the amount of sunlight, water, and soil conditions. You need to know if your shade-loving plant will survive in the sunny spot you've chosen. Proper placement is also important. Planting that bushy palm in front of a window may not be the best idea if it blocks your view.

If you have oceanfront property, choose plants that have high to medium salt tolerance. They should also be plants that can handle a lack of fertilizer or pesticide to avoid seepage into the groundwater. You should also consider types of vegetation that won't be devastated by high winds.

Always select a Florida-friendly plant over an invasive species. They will thrive in the climate and help to sustain butterflies, insects and wildlife that are native to the area.

2. Conserve Water

Planning your garden around an efficient use of water will save you time and money that you'll appreciate down the road. Select plants that don't require constant watering once they've reached maturity, and use low-volume irrigation. By adding a rain sensor you'll also avoid unnecessary watering. All your lawn requires is 3/4 of an inch of moisture per watering session, and even less in cooler months.

3. Nutrition for Your Plants

Fertilizer will give your flowers bigger blooms, help everything grow faster and produce more fruit. However, too much of a good thing can also cause problems. In lawns, over-fertilizing can create pest problems and stimulate over growth, and contribute to groundwater pollution. Look for slow-release nitrogen fertilizer that provides nutrition over an extended period of time. In the summer, switch to an iron source mixture that will green the lawn without causing excessive growth.

4. Mulch - Your Garden's Secret Weapon

Mulch is the easiest way to cut down on weeds, make your beds look instantly beautiful, and retain moisture in the soil. It also works great as a maintenance free solution in place of grass, especially in hard-to-grow areas.

5. Create a Habitat

Plan your garden so that it has a dual purpose - aesthetically pleasing for you, and a home or habitat for native wildlife. The bird and butterfly population is declining due to their homes being wiped away, and you can do your part by making your garden wildlife-friendly. Have a variety of plants that attract butterflies, choose those with edible berries as natural bird feed, or add a pond or other water source. Provide shelters such as bird houses, bat houses, or piles of wood and rocks.

6. Be Pesticide-Responsible

Over use of pesticides can harm people, pets, native wildlife and can seep into storm water and eventually into local rivers, creeks and lakes. If you must spray, use least toxic versions available such as insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils. Know your insects. Often times, valuable insects that feed on pests are killed off, when nature could have done the job for you.

7. Protect the Waterfront

If you are fortunate enough to own oceanfront or waterfront property, take the time to preserve this valuable resource. Design a ten to thirty foot pesticide and fertilizer-free border along the shoreline. Plant low-maintenance, native plants to help collect runoff. Removal of any sort of native vegetation, such as mangroves, requires permits or adherence to special guidelines.
View listings for Palm Beach properties at Our market specialists will show you the many Palm Beach FL homes for sale and answer any questions you may have about this popular oceanfront community.

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