With winter winding down on Florida’s Gulf Coast, many Tampa Bay residents are considering what to plant come springtime. Some are thinking ahead to summer and wondering what, if anything, to tend during those hottest months. Environmentally friendly lawn care helps ease the burden of managing what can feel like a full-time yard.
Professor Green Thumb has been serving St. Pete and the Tampa Bay Area for nearly twenty years and many of our clients have been with us for as long. It’s fair to say, we pump up the full-service lawn maintenance during the summer season.
Even still, many residents want an easy to care for yard whether they’re doing maintenance themselves, upkeeping in between professional services, or simply conserving precious resources.
We know, it’s still officially winter but for Florida’s Gulf Coast, summer comes quick, so we wanted to offer these three swift tips for successful environmentally-friendly lawn care.
1. Water Wisely
While you don’t have to give up watering your yard to save on your water usage, you can be wiser about it. In St. Petersburg, the heat, humidity, and near-constant sunshine cause grass to dry out and even scorch when not watered at the proper intervals. The best times of day for watering and lawn maintenance are either in the morning or the evening when there is less evaporation. Also, watering infrequently but deeply promotes the healthiest growth.
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science recommends the following timetable for watering based on the month:
- January — 12 minutes
- February — 10 minutes
- March — 17 minutes
- April — 40 minutes
- May — 64 minutes
- June — 50 minutes
- July — 49 minutes
- August — 60 minutes
- September — 48 minutes
- October — 43 minutes
- November — 32 minutes
- December — 16 minutes
Unless you use reclaimed water, the City of St. Pete restricts your water use to twice a week–in the mornings between 5 and 9 or evenings between 7 and 11. The days of the week you’re scheduled to water are in accordance with your property address.
Visit the city of St. Pete’s website for more water use rules in the Burg. By following these guidelines, not only will you help reduce water usage, but you will save money on your utility bill and help promote the health of your yard. Click here to see Tampa’s watering restrictions.
An Environmentally Friendly Landscape Design with Low-Maintenance Plants
Many Tampa Bay area residents want to enhance their lawn’s appearance with landscape design, but don’t want to spend all their free time managing upkeep. If you want to add color or dimension to your property, we can point you toward low-maintenance plants to complete the look!
Environmentally Friendly Tampa Bay
We know you have an active life here in the bay area, and with the harsh heat, you shouldn’t spend too much time grooming your yard. This is manageable during the winter months, but summer can be unbearable. Don’t put your health at risk; instead, select low-maintenance, environmentally friendly plants like:
Due to the colors and variety, flowers are a popular choice for individuals in Clearwater, who want to improve the appearance of their yard. Not only are flowers visually appealing, but they can also attract butterflies and hummingbirds! We suggest planting:
- Wild sage
- Sunshine Mimosa
- Blanket flower
- Crinum or spider lily
- Swamp or beach sunflower
Each of these is native to Florida and will add color to your landscape design. The wild sage has white petals and a golden yellow center. Such bright spots of color would complement deep green agave stalks or the red blanket flower. The yellow swamp or beach sunflowers pair nicely with purple powderpuffs, also known as the ‘Sunshine Mimosa.’ Sunshine Mimosa is also a great ground cover if you like a pop of color in your grass. If you’re looking to add some height, consider crinium and spider lilies, which have longer stems.
This is a terrific way to cover a large area with something other than grass, mulch, or rocks. The soil in Clearwater tends to be sandy, so landscape design professionals in the area suggest Bluestem grass, autumn ferns, or Tampa Vervain. Each adds height and texture, and the Tampa Vervain has purple blossoms.
Pinellas County is host to many beautiful palms, and these trees certainly contribute to the tropical scene. The Cabbage, Coontie, and Paurotis palms are all native to Central Florida and can provide shade for other flora. Palmettos are shorter than palms; we suggest the Dwarf or Saw varieties because they require little care after they’re planted.
3. Consider Homemade Herbicides
Sometimes all-natural is a great environmentally friendly alternative to industrial chemicals. Sometimes home remedies aren’t enough. Consult a professional if you’re unsure which option is best for your situation. Whether natural or synthetic, if chemicals are misused, they can do more harm than good. Try this natural weed killer recipe we found on the Home and Garden website:
Natural Weed Killer Recipe
- 1 gallon white vinegar
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and treat weeds at the sunniest time of day for best results.
With routine lawn maintenance, you can be sure that your yard is healthy and primed for growing lush and luxurious. With the help of Professor Green Thumb, you can easily keep your Tampa Bay property healthy, manicured, and with a little native flair if you desire.
Whether you want to install palms for a grand entrance or create a butterfly garden for an environmentally friendly sanctuary, let Professor Green Thumb guide your landscape design! We can help you select low-maintenance plants that are right for your lawn, whether that’s drought-resistant, water-loving or sun thriving. That way, you can improve your property’s appearance without the demand for strenuous upkeep after installation.