South Florida’s Trifecta: Summer Rain, Yard Pests, and Mulch

Jenkins Landscape has always been deeply connected to the 9 Principals of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ as defined by the University of Florida | IFAS Extension

Right plant, right place
Water efficiently
Fertilize appropriately
Attract wildlife
Manage yard pests responsibly
Recycle yard waste
Reduce stormwater runoff
Protect the waterfront

South Florida’s sandy soil and torrential summer rainstorms require a measured approach to landscape design. We prioritize native Florida plants that adapt well to specific locations to balance the even distribution of sunlight, soil, and water. When we install an irrigation system, we prioritize water conservation to make sure that plant fertilizers will not flow into ponds, lakes or other bodies of water. We also employ smart fertilization that won’t damage plants or the environment. 

The job of mulch is to retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds, and also give the landscape an orderly, neat look. Adding mulch just before a major rainfall can cause some of that mulch to run off or in high winds, blow away. In south Florida, that’s why we may recommend stone-lined paths or brooks that guide rainwater away from turf and toward proper drainage systems. 

South Florida’s rainy season also brings on the yard pests…all sorts of critters, some good (like butterflies) and some not good (like grub worms, mole crickets, and chinch bugs). Did you know that Florida-Friendly Landscaping offers a free Mobile App so anyone can identify common landscape pests?

Our design philosophy is… Design Innovation Meets Sustainable Landscapes. When stormwater is an issue, we contract with landscape architects that are licensed by the state of Florida to design walkways, walls, softscapes, swales, and other systems that use natural depressions and rocks to slow water flow, prevent flooding, and protect a landscape investment. Please call us if your landscape needs the “right plant in the right place” to sustain efficient movement of water. 

How Florida-Friendly Landscaping Works

We are big fans of Florida-friendly landscaping.
That why we support each of its 9 principles and
incorporate them into our landscape designs and practices.

1. Right Plant, Right Place. There are over 330 annuals, ferns, ground covers, grasses, palms, perennials, shrubs, trees and vines that all thrive along the Treasure Coast. 

2. Water Efficiently.  Our article on “smart irrigation” shows how technology can monitor weather, soil moisture, evaporation rates and plant water use then automatically adjust sprinkler schedules to actually save both water and money.

3. Fertilize Appropriately.  Nitrogen in fertilizer is health food for plant-life, but too much can hurt plants, birds and animals—and pollute our aquifers. Watch this video and use only a licensed applicator.

4. Mulch.  Great for giving your landscape that “finished” appearance, mulch is also good for the soil. It reduces the spread of weeds and it moderates soil temperatures. Caution! Don’t use cypress mulch. Lumbering has decimated our cypress trees!

5. Attract Wildlife. Birds and critters love plants with seeds, fruit, flowers, and berries, and they love a cool splash in a rain garden or bird bath. Learn how to attract butterflies with wildflowers.

6. Manage Yard Pests. Think ahead! Choose pest-resistant varieties or practice integrated pest management. Learn how. Identify those pests with the IFAS/UFL tool.

7. Recycle Yard Waste. Our crews always remove major yard waste, but on request will leave some onsite for a client’s compost pile/bin. Compost is a sustainable way to create organic fertilizer for use in plant beds and gardens. Read Trash Talk from UF/IFAS.

8. Reduce Stormwater Runoff. Water that is clean and chemical free can be strategically diverted to run through berms and swales to give it time to soak into the ground. Permeable walkways, patios and driveways also reduce stormwater runoff.

9. Protect the Waterfront. If your home is on a lake, next to a spring, or overlooking a beach, a ten-foot “low-maintenance zone” that is not mowed, fertilized, or sprayed with pesticides protects native water plants and may attract interesting animal life. 

Image from UF/IFAS

Smart Irrigation Month

Smart Irrigation. Sustainable Solutions.
Saving Water. Saving Money.

Jenkins is celebrating by helping our customers save water and money while seeing better results!

July is traditionally the month of peak demand for outdoor water use. Annually, we receive 50 or more inches of rainfall in most parts of Florida. Even so, some people leave their irrigation system timer set to the same schedule, wasting water. So in cooperation with the Irrigation Association, landscapers across the U.S. promote Smart Irrigation Month to highlight water-efficient products and services.

When rainfall is adequate to meet plant needs, Smart irrigation systems help our South Florida customers save water and save money while seeing better results.

Smart Irrigation is the solution and our FNGLA Certified Landscape Irrigation Service Technicians are the problem-solvers you can turn to.

So what is “smart irrigation?”

Think of it as “water conserving irrigation” that, unlike traditional irrigation controllers that operate on a preset programmed schedule and timers, Smart Irrigation Controllers monitor weather, soil conditions, evaporation and plant water use to automatically adjust the watering schedule to actual conditions at your location. This prevents water run off into streets and sidewalks and regulates pressure so water has a chance to soak into the ground.

If you want to save water, save money, and see better results with your landscape, Smart Irrigation is the solution and our FNGLA Certified Landscape Irrigation Service Technicians are the problem-solvers you can turn to. Call us (772) 546-2860.