Not all of us are born with a green thumb.
Plus, central Florida is unique in geography, and while that does allow us to have some beautiful subtropical plants, it can also present its own set of unique challenges for your lawn and landscape.
If you're struggling in an attempt to grow a thick green lawn or to make your ornamental shrubs thrive, take a look below and make sure you've addressed each of the toughest three landscape challenges in central Florida.
#1. Managing Tough Soil Conditions
Out of sight and out of mind, right?
Unfortunately, the soil that remains hidden underneath your landscape is often overlooked, but is arguably one of the most important components for a successful landscape. And it’s also probably the one that’s causing the most problems for you.
Generally speaking, central Florida's soil type is a sandy-loam. This means it is a mixture that is primarily composed of sand and some clay. While sandy soils allow for great water drainage, they aren’t going to retain many nutrients.
If you’ve ever been in a new subdivision while it's under construction, you’ve probably noticed just how sandy the soil conditions are. Land is cleared for new houses and what little layer of organic soil was there before is often stripped away, leaving nothing but white or light orange sand behind.
Knowing is half the battle, and that’s why soil tests can be a great tool for improving the overall condition of your landscape. Once you have a baseline of your soil conditions such as its texture and composition, soil pH, percentage of organic matter content, and relative nutrient levels, you can begin to determine which soil amendments are going to be the most beneficial.
#2. Surviving the Heat and Drought
Just like us, your plants and lawn need the proper amount of water to thrive. While us locals have come to expect the daily afternoon summer shower, central Florida can also go several weeks or even months without significant rainfall. It’s also worth noting that those afternoon showers aren’t always enough to provide adequate water requirements for your landscape as they are often short and spotty showers.
One way to help your landscape survive periods of drought and severe heat is to use Florida-Friendly landscape principles. By choosing the right plant for the right place you have much better chances for success in your landscape.
However, if you are expecting your landscape to thrive in central Florida, you’re going to need an adequate irrigation system that stays properly maintained season after season.
#3. Preventing Insect Pests and Disease
Florida is a lush environment for insect pests that can cause a variety of damage to your landscape.
With mild winters, insects are able to spend more time feeding and reproducing. Whereas there may only be one or two generations per year of certain insect pests in northern parts of the country, we can experience wave after wave of insect pests all year round in central Florida.
Similarly, heat and humidity also are contributing factors to the development of various plant diseases which can cause things like leaf spots, root rot, and general decline in your plants and lawn if left untreated.
If you're going to expect a thick luscious lawn and flowering ornamental shrubs you need to plan on implementing an integrated pest management program to protect them against insects and diseases.
Conquer Central Florida Landscape Challenges
If you are able to commit to a landscape plan that addresses each of these challenges, your chances for success while landscaping in central Florida will be greatly improved.
Otherwise, it might be time to consider hiring a landscape professional to help you navigate all the challenges that central Florida landscapes can face.
Whether you are looking to completely renovate your landscape or you need the right team to care for your existing lawn and shrubs, McMaster Lawn & Pest Services has the expertise to help you navigate the challenges that central Florida landscapes endure season after season.
With years of experience installing sod and renovating landscapes that we continue to maintain for our satisfied clients, why wouldn’t you trust McMaster for all of your landscaping needs?
Frequently Asked Questions
Managing your soil condition and fertility levels, being prepared for heat and drought, and implementing an integrated pest management program to combat pests and diseases are the toughest challenges for central Florida landscapes
Most turf and landscape plants grow well with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5
Sand is coarse in its composition and low in organic matter. Therefore it won't hold a lot of water or nutrients which makes it more difficult to grow plants
In addition to choosing drought tolerant plants, you should also maintain a functional irrigation system
You must first learn what insect pests and diseases pose a threat to your landscape and then implement a preventative lawn care and plant health treatment plan, which is also known as an Integrated Pest Management plan.