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Sustainable Next Step Blog

Conserving Water In Your Florida Garden This Year

by Gob Greene

Florida’s climate makes it a fantastic gardening location year-round with the ability to grow plants from all over the world. Whether it’s flowers or cacti, gardening is a fun hobby and a great way to enjoy the Florida sunshine. 

But, water conservation should be a priority for you as you map out your garden plans for this year. There are several methods to reduce the amount of water you might use over the summer months, and still enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. 

Today, we'll highlight seven tips to maximize your watering efforts in your Florida garden this year.

Selecting Plants That Require Less Watering

When deciding which plants to include in your garden, think about each of their unique watering needs and consider going with plants that need less frequent watering than others. A beautiful cactus and succulent garden is the perfect choice for Florida and they only need to be watered about once a week.


Planting Close Together

When it's time to hoe a row or transplant your starters, consider planting with a closer proximity. When those garden variety favorites take hold, their root systems will be closer together. 

Knowing this can be helpful when it comes time to water, as you'll only need to saturate a smaller, more condensed area.


Mulch Where You Can

Mulching around your garden or plants can help protect the soil from the hot, Florida sun. There are a variety of mulch products available that can be used as an added layer of protection from increased evaporation. 

Make sure the majority of the water you use stays within the soil and is accessible to the root systems.


Ideal Watering Times of the Day

Be mindful of when you choose to water your garden or set watering timers. The experts suggest it's best to water either early in the morning or later in the early evening. 

By avoiding the heat critical times of the day, you can prevent excessive evaporation. Also, keep the watering low to the ground and not on the leaves of the plants themselves, to avoid sun damage to the plants.


Drip Irrigation Solutions

Consider setting up soaker hoses or drip irrigation if you have the ability to do so. These methods are typically easy to install and can ensure most of the water you provide goes directly to the plant root systems as needed. Underground systems can also reduce the effects of evaporation. As an added bonus, these systems can reduce the amount of water necessary overall and reduce costs.


Collect Rainwater and Monitor Forecasts

It's important to be mindful of the forecast when you strategize how to conserve water. You can be smart by planning watering days and times around scheduled rain. In the summertime (especially in Florida) it rains quite often, so be sure not to overwater.

You can also set up rain barrels or cisterns in an effort to collect the rainwater water. You can then draw from rain reserves to keep your garden watered.

Gardens tend to do well in Florida, and you may be ready to get started with yours. You can make sure your watering efforts are conservative, and you can employ these best practices to keep your water usage to a sustainable minimum. For more tips on Florida conservation or if you'd like to share those tomatoes, contact us!

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