Hurry, entries due soon for this year’s Water Wise awards

Does your yard have what it takes to be a winner of a Water Wise Award?

The University of Florida/Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences Pasco County Office Extension and Tampa Bay Water would like to recognize attractive, yet water-efficient landscapes.

Your yard could be a contender for a Water Wise Award if you already follow these simple steps:

  • Put the right plant in the right place
  • Fertilize and mulch appropriately
  • Attract wildlife
  • Manage yard pests responsibly
  • Recycle yard waste
  • Reduce storm water runoff
  • Protect the waterfront

Water is a precious resource that some take for granted.

This is an example of a landscape that uses a variety of techniques that creates an attractive appearance, while using water wisely.
(Courtesy of Jim Moll)

In Pasco County, the UF/IFAS Extension Office has a Florida Friendly Program Manager and Program Coordinator funded by a partnership with Tampa Bay Water.

One of the efforts of our partnership is to recognize landscapes that are attractive and utilize water efficiently — whether the landscape is at a home, business, industry or government location.

How do you know if you are water efficient?

For some gardeners, this may be a very simple question to answer, if you only use rain, or harvest rainwater and store it in rain barrels, or you use an irrigation system only when necessary during drought.

Sometimes, though, it is too dry and you might need to irrigate.

You can quickly figure out your indoor water use with this simple formula: For each person living in the home, assume 2,000 gallons of water is used, per person, per month.

Additional usage is likely to be used outdoors.

Efficient landscape watering uses about 460 gallons for every 1,000 square feet of irrigated landscape. So, a 5,000-square-foot yard would need about 2,300 gallons per irrigation event.

Many Pasco County residents have created interesting and relaxing landscapes that use even less water than the 460 gallons per 1000 square feet.

Residents deserve to be recognized for water savings. They also can serve as examples to others through demonstrating ways to balance attractive design, right plants in the right place, beautiful landscaping elements, and water efficiency.

Please take a few moments to submit your landscape for an evaluation, by simply going to The deadline for submissions is June 30.

You can learn more about Florida Friendly LandscapingTM by attending one of the many gardening classes offered by the Pasco County Extension Office by going to our website or

Jim Moll is the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Manager at UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension.

Published June 27, 2018

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