When it rains, it pours! This familiar phrase was first coined by Morton Salt in 1911 to sell their first free-flowing salt that promised not to clump on rainy days. The classic catch-phrase suggests that “one bad thing follows another” — like rain (or lack of it) in south Florida.
South Florida’s tropical landscapes thrive with an average of 8.5 inches of rain in August, but need irrigation to survive the January drought of just 2.5 inches.
Florida has a water problem! Our water-dependent ecosystems of springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands must survive these flood-to-drought situations and can only do so if we adopt landscape irrigation restrictions and increase our use of reclaimed water.
According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce Florida’s population could increase to nearly 26 million by 2030, a number larger than the entire population of Australia. Practicing environmentally-friendly landscaping practices are vital to protect, conserve, and sustain our water needs for people and commerce.
This is why Jenkins Landscape is a major supporter of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) programs from the University of Florida IFAS Extension. FLL promotes nine basic landscape principles for water conservation:
- right plant, right place
- water efficiently
- fertilize appropriately
- attract wildlife
- manage yard pests responsibly
- reduce stormwater runoff
- protect the waterfront
We design, install and maintain low-impact landscapes according to FLL principles, but any homeowner or HOA can adopt these practices on their own. For example:
- Prevent irrigation runoff when rainfall is plentiful using a zone approach for irrigation with a functioning automatic rainfall shutoff device for in-ground systems and a rain gauge to track rainfall amounts.
- During dry months, use low-flow irrigation methods with a soil moisture sensor in plant and flower beds.
- Use “smart clocks” on systems to save thousands of gallons of water annually.
Water conservation must be a top priority of all Floridians, especially with the new surge of incoming residents. FFL’s program for residential landscapes, Florida Yards and Neighborhoods, educates homeowners on how to design, install and maintain low-impact landscapes.
All landscapes are not the same. Some have large areas of turf and smaller plant and flower beds; others have minimal turf grass areas and expansive shade and plant beds. Each landscape requires a specialized approach to water conservation.
Do you want to be part of the water-saving solution?
Visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for ideas and suggestions on what you can do to conserve our most important resource – water!
ASK A JENKINS EXPERT
Clients trust us to design, manage and maintain their yards, create healthy, beautiful landscapes and irrigation systems in ways that conserve Florida’s vital water resources. Call us (772) 546-2861 and ask to speak with a water conservation expert.
When it comes to using technology to practice water conservation, Jenkins personnel use a “smart watering” solution that enables our technicians to actually “show” you in graphic detail how much water and money you saved every month. Ask us about our newest Internet-connected water management solution!
Please share this newsletter with anyone you know that cares about water conservation and protection of Florida’s most important natural resource.