For nearly 63 million Americans living in a suburban community or planned unit development, it is often challenging to abide by the rules of the homeowners association, including maintaining a watered green lawn especially in drought conditions and water restrictions. Homeowners take heart! There are many ways of practicing drought friendly landscaping in HOA yard’s to save water and keep your yard looking aesthetically beautiful. In fact, these are things you might want to do now!
Take Small Steps
Making small changes in your Florida HOA’s communal areas, like reducing water waste, improving the irrigation system to make it more efficient, along with proper maintenance, can make a big difference.
Cut Down On Turf
Reducing or eliminating lawn areas on site with ground cover, turf replacement and native landscaping can be a huge water-saver, since turf is the thirstiest part of your landscape. There are also many drought-resistant grasses suitable for the area that you live in that don’t need watering as frequently as a standard lawn. This can save you water, while allowing you to keep a green lawn. You can also install water-saving sprinklers to reduce the hydration requirements of large turf spaces in the neighborhood.
Reduce Water Waste
Water-conscious landscaping can lead to a large reduction in your water usage every month and it is simple to practice too. Check for leaks in areas where you notice run-off or washout and do not water, when it isn’t needed. Leaks can be due to a broken sprinkler head, or pipe. Keep an eye on your irrigation leak detector when all the other water is shut down. If you notice the low flow dial is moving, there is bound to be a leak in the system. Sometimes run-off can also happen from watering plants too intensely over a short period of time. Seek professional advice for an optimum watering cycle for your landscape. Significant water savings can be achieved by simply adjusting sprinkler timers to match plant watering needs. To correct this, check your soil moisture and lower your run times duration while increasing the number of times the zone runs. This will keep plants healthy with less waste.
Use Proper Irrigation Tech
For many Florida HOAs, upwards of 90% of all the water used at their properties are from irrigation methods. Efficient water use is possible by installing modern irrigation technology that can adjust for changes in weather and cut back on irrigation cycles. Irrigation cycle schedules need to be changed at least on a monthly basis to take into account environmental conditions Reducing your normal watering schedule by even a few minutes can easily save gallons of water.
Smart controllers or irrigation systems with a rain sensor enable the correct amount of watering for your landscape by measuring conditions such as soil moisture, slope, and temperature. You can use special sprinkler nozzles and drip irrigation system that is designed to deliver water more directly to plant and shrub roots. Drip or micro-irrigation is 90% more efficient than conventional systems!
Go Local With Drought Resistant Plants & Grasses
For those in a sunny climate, such as Florida, consider planting a variety of native drought-resistant plants and grasses that are uniquely suited to the soil and climate and won’t require much use of sprinklers and chemicals. Read our article on “Drought-tolerant plants for Your Florida Landscape” to get planting ideas for your HOA.
Lastly, stick with a program of regular maintenance. Use natural methods to keep off pests from your plants, keep your grounds fertilized properly, don’t fertilize when prohibited, and do immediate repairs and adjustments to your irrigation system for a healthier landscape.
Know that even the smallest adjustments have a bigger pay off in the long run. Wilcox Nursery & Landscaping Services can help you plan your Florida HOA investment in an updated irrigation system or switch to drought tolerant and other low-water use plants, suitable for Florida landscapes. Want a professional to do the work for you? Contact us at 727-219-9549.