We’re on the lookout for water-wise landscapes

Pasco County Extension and Tampa Bay Water are looking for yards that demonstrate practices that reduce the waste of water, while still presenting a lovely oasis.
(Courtesy of Whitney C. Elmore)

The Pasco County Extension Office and Tampa Bay Water are looking for attractive landscapes with irrigation systems or techniques that minimize water waste and represent the best in Florida-Friendly Landscaping.

We would love to present your outdoor oasis for relaxation and a haven for wildlife as a powerful environmentally friendly example of Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping is a concept based on the use of low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices.

  • Using the right plant, in the right place
  • Watering efficiently
  • Fertilizing appropriately
  • Mulching appropriately
  • Attracting wildlife
  • Managing yard pests responsibly
  • Recycling yard waste
  • Reducing stormwater runoff
  • Protecting the waterfront

When planning, establishing, and maintaining a Florida-Friendly Landscape, the appropriate use of each of these principles can produce a beautiful landscape that’s low maintenance, cost efficient and environmentally friendly.

A Florida-Friendly yard is a win for everyone and for the environment, as it helps to conserve and protect our water.

Many Pasco residents already incorporate these practices into their landscapes. Some have done so without expending much time, effort or money.

By using these principles, many Pasco County residents have produced relaxing outdoor spaces — worthy of gracing the front page of a lawn and garden magazine.

When the right plant is planted in the right place, it can thrive without excessive watering. You can use micro-irrigation to deliver water where it is needed, and use mulch to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.
(Courtesy of the University of Florida)

In Pasco County, the UF/IFAS Extension Office has a Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Manager and Program Coordinator, funded by our partners at Tampa Bay Water.

As part of Tampa Bay Water’s efforts to conserve water, they offer the Water Wise Awards each year to recognize attractive, water-conserving landscapes at homes, businesses, industry and government.

In conjunction with our UF/IFAS Pasco Extension professionals, a winner is selected during landscape evaluations, and that winner is acknowledged with a beautiful, handmade mosaic stepping stone and recognition from the Pasco Board of County Commissioners.

If you would like to submit your landscape for an evaluation, simply go to TampaBayWaterWise.org, and click on the entry link.

The deadline for Water Wise Award applications is June 30, 2017.

It’s quick, simple, and a fun way to recognize the work that you’ve done to create your personal oasis.

Dr. Whitney C. Elmore is the UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension director and an Urban Horticulture Agent III.

Want to know more about gardening?
Check out these workshops:


#101 Propagation From Seeds
June 3, 10 a.m., Pasco Extension Office 36702 State Road 52, Dade City: Learn how to create an attractive and productive garden at this free workshop. Learn how to successfully germinate seeds. Registration is required. (The same workshop is also being offered June 8 at 2 p.m., at Centennial Park Library, 5740 Moog Road in Holiday).

Bonsai: The Art & Technique
June 6, 6:30 p.m., Hudson Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson: Free seminar focuses on an introduction to the art of bonsai, a unique combination of horticulture and art. Registration is required.

Colorful Container Gardening
June 10, 9 a.m., Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes: Learn how to plant flowers, foliage and herbs in containers at this free workshop. Registration is required.

Attracting Pollinators to your Garden
June 10, 10 a.m., Zephyrhills Library, 5347 Eighth St., in Zephyrhills: Learn what elements are needed in the home garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds at this free seminar. Registration is required.

Easy to Grow Native Plants & Their Pollinators
June 20, 2 p.m., New River Library, 34043 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel: Learn about native plants that are easy to grow and find out about these plant’s pollinators, too, at this free workshop. Registration is required.

Registration for workshops can be made through EventBrite. Search under the name of the seminar, it should pop up.

Published May 10, 2017

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