Florida Summer Landscaping Guide



May is in full swing, and here in Florida, this means Summer is here. Many of us will be planning to improve the curb appeal of our homes or make our backyards an oasis for outdoor living. With that in mind, we’ve put together some convenient information that should make putting together a Florida Summer Landscaping plan a little easier.

Plants

One of the key aspects of landscaping in Florida is summer is heat. And selecting the right plants to cope with the heat is key. Here are some great options that can handle the summer weather in our state

Sunflower

Find out more about growing the sunflower in Florida with the UF/IFAS guide.







Caladium

Find out more about growing the sunflower in Florida with the UF/IFAS guide.







Periwinkle

Find out more about growing the sunflower in Florida with the UF/IFAS guide.









Zinnia

Find out more about growing the sunflower in Florida with the UF/IFAS guide.










Mulching


Another great summer landscaping tip is to

consider mulching your flower and shrub beds. Here are some great reasons why:

Conserves soil moisture.

Moisture moves by capillary action to the surface and evaporates if the soil is not covered by mulch. When you take into consideration that our typical soil is sand and the fact that we are still in a drought, it just shows how important mulch is for plants

Suppresses weeds.

A thick layer of mulch, 3 to 4 inches deep, shades and covers the soil so that any weed seeds on the surface won’t germinate. Moderates soil temperature.

This is very important throughout the heat of summer and during our cold spells in the winter. If you have ever tried to walk on the beach on a summer afternoon, you understand how hot the sand can get. By placing mulch over the soil surface, shading it, the soil stays cooler. The roots of the plants can grow continuously because of the shading.

Prevents crusting of the soil surface,

thus improving absorption and percolation of water into the soil.


Reduces soil erosion.

Bare soil can easily be blown away by the wind or washed away by rain. One of the most important reasons for using mulch is that organic materials used as mulch can improve the soil by adding organic matter to our sandy soil. Organic matter is food for the soil microbes that supply nutrients to the plants, and it can improve the soil structure. Organic matter can increase the water-holding capacity of the soil, which is very helpful during a drought.


Source here



Watering


Water at the right time


The best time to water any of your landscaping is in the early morning. The second best time is in the evening or night. You want to avoid evaporation due to heat.

Find out more





Moisture sensors


If you have an irrigation system, many municipalities require the installation of a moisture sensor that will shut the system off in the event of rainfall. This is a good device to have even if it's not mandated, it’s a cost saver.

Find out more



Drip irrigation


If you want to go all-in, you can investigate installing a drip irrigation system, however, this can come at an increased cost. Find out more









Heat Safety


The final step is you. If you are taking on these landscaping projects yourself, or with friends or family, you need to be conscious of the Florida heat and humidity. No matter how well adapted you are, you are still vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.




So please be aware of the following: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover. Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint. Wear Sunscreen

Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Drink Plenty of Fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.


Find out more HERE