Top 10 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Landscape During Central Florida's Dry Season

During the dry season in Central Florida, maintaining a healthy landscape can be challenging. There's no afternoon thunderstorms like we get during the Summer, but it does not feel like Spring like in other parts of the country. Here are our top 10 tips and tricks to help you navigate the Pre-Summer months of May and June in Central Florida:

Water efficiently: Water your landscape early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation. Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance in plants. For turf areas you want to make sure the grass is getting 1" of water total per week. Watering requirement on landscape bed plantings may vary based on the type of plants. If you have questions about your specific watering needs, we're here to help.

Install a drip irrigation system: Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the root zone of plants, minimizing water waste and evaporation. It's also more efficient than traditional sprinkler systems within the landscape beds. Another popular option is a drip system with maxi sprayers to feed a good flow of water directly to the base of the plant, allowing your plants the water they desperately need right now.

Mulch: Apply a layer of mulch around plants to help retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Organic mulches like pine straw or hardwood mulch work well in Florida landscapes. We recommend at least a 3" mulch layer to help keep soil temperature from getting too warm.

Choose drought-tolerant plants: Select native or drought-tolerant plant species for your landscape. These plants are adapted to the local climate and require less watering once established. Some popular choices are grasses - like Muhly or Dwarf Fakahatchee, Scrub Palmettos, many Cordyline and Croton varieties, and more. If you'd like to switch up the plants in your landscape and incorporate more drought-tolerant plants let us know.

Group plants with similar water needs: Design your landscape with zones that group plants with similar water requirements together. This allows you to water more efficiently and avoid overwatering certain plants. Even after a landscape has been installed, it is possible to move plants to areas that make more sense for their needs and tolerances.

Adjust lawn mower height: Raise the cutting height of your lawn mower during the dry season to encourage deeper root growth in grass and shade the soil, reducing evaporation. We mow at the highest setting on the lawn mowers this time of year for St. Augustine varieties. This is so beneficial for the turf because it encourages deeper root growth and will help keep the turf strong and healthy all season long.

Monitor irrigation system: Regularly check your irrigation system for leaks, clogs, or misaligned sprinkler heads. Adjust the settings based on weather conditions and plant needs. We offer wet checks for both commercial and residential clients and are happy to come do a checkup for you.

Collect rainwater: Install rain barrels or a rainwater harvesting system to collect rainwater for use in your landscape. This can supplement your irrigation needs during dry periods. Please review any HOA guidelines about rain barrel locations so you don't get a nasty letter from the HOA!

Apply organic matter: Incorporate organic matter like compost into the soil to improve its water-holding capacity and nutrient content. This can help plants withstand drought stress better. We offer an aeration with Comand soil topdressing that can do this for all of your turf areas.

Consider xeriscaping: Xeriscaping involves designing landscapes with drought-tolerant plants, efficient irrigation, and minimal water usage. It can reduce water consumption and maintenance requirements in the long term. Think Bromeliads or Scrub Palmettos around a Palm Tree, Agaves and other succulents, Drought-tolerant grasses blowing in the breeze, Landscape Boulders as an accent, and your xeriscaping landscape garden can come to life!

Don't let the dry season take a toll on your landscape. Take proactive steps today to conserve water and minimize maintenance efforts. Need assistance? Reach out to Fast Lawnscapes at 941-776-5111 for expert help in addressing these issues. Let us help you keep your landscape looking its best all season long!