7 DIY Florida Landscaping Tips

Posted: June 19, 2020 | Categories: News | General Info | Design and Decorating
By Highland Homes

Updated July 12, 2024

Having your own yard and outdoor living space is one of the many benefits of homeownership. When you become a Highland homeowner, you not only enjoy a beautiful new home, but also a beautifully landscaped yard ready to add your finishing touches and design your outdoor living dream space! Yard maintenance doesn’t have to take up all your time or empty your wallet. With these gardening and Florida landscaping ideas and tips, you can be well on your way to creating your own oasis at home!

1. Create a Plan 

No matter how big or small your yard is, creating a landscaping plan will help ensure you budget accordingly and know which season to work on certain areas of your yard. Start by deciding how you will utilize the space. Do you need a play area for kids? Desire a firepit for relaxing as the sun sets? Would you like to grow fruit trees or have a vegetable garden? Set pen to paper and create a rough sketch of your ideal yard – it’s a simple yet effective way to start your plan, just like the professionals do!

When you’re planning your yard, don’t forget to make note of the areas that get full sun, morning sun or mostly shade, so that you can be sure you put the right types of plants in the right conditions they need to thrive, as well as design your outdoor living and play spaces to have the light (or shade) you desire.

And, keep in mind the size of a plant when it matures. Leaving enough space around each plant makes it easier to grow them and will prevent crowding and the need for excessive pruning later on.

2. Remember the Rule of Three

Similar to decorating inside your home, grouping things in odd multiples gives it a more cohesive look. Unless you’re planting things like groundcover or planting 10 or more of the same thing, try to stick to odd numbers of one species in one area.

3. The Grass is Greener 

Contrary to that popular saying, the grass is going to be greener on your side of the fence thanks to your tender loving care! Your grass is the foundation of the yard, so no matter how much work you put into the rest of your landscaping, if your grass is unhappy then the rest of your landscaping won’t look as pleasing. There are a variety of things that can cause your lawn to look less-than-perfect and if that happens, diagnosing the issue is the first step. Whether you need weed control, to de-thatch your grass to remove the compacted dead grass within the lawn, or just need to water it more in the middle of summer, knowing the cause will help to find the solution - And, you can find remedies for some of the most common lawn issues by clicking the Pinterest pin above!

4. Know Your Zone 

Many varieties of plants and trees require specific soil, sun, and climate. Fortunately, the USDA has created a map of growing zones across the US to help you find the best plants for your low maintenance Florida landscaping. Our Florida new home communities are located in Zones 9 and 10, and knowing which one you live in is key to selecting plants that will work best in your specific area. Most plants and trees sold in retail centers will have their ideal growing zones printed on their tag or label, so be sure to look for it while shopping!

5. Choose Sun-Friendly Plants 

Once you know your growing zone, you can select appropriate plants, grass, and trees. Knowing the best plants for Central Florida’s growing conditions means they’ll require a little less work on your part to keep them alive. A few of the most popular plants that will thrive here include pineapple, guava, Japanese holly fern, and Mexican sage. Plants like beautyberries, various palm trees, and beach sunflowers are very drought tolerant and are natural Florida natives. And, if you're looking to grow fruits and vegetables, try citrus plants, cherry tomatoes, and peppers.

Click the Pinterest pin above to learn more about the versatility of these and several more popular plants for Florida landscaping.

6. Be Realistic About the Amount of Work You’re Willing to Do 

Do you love spending time outside playing in the dirt, or are you more of a plant-it-and-forget-it type? Knowing how much time and effort you’re willing to put into your landscaping is important as you select the elements you’ll add. If you want an abundance of borders, islands and flowering plants, you’ll probably have to spend more time weeding, fertilizing, and edging than if you have primarily grass with low-maintenance plants along your yard’s edge.

7. Harvest Your Rain for Good 

Having lots of landscaping requires a lot of water, especially in the first few weeks after planting everything. Creating a DIY rain barrel without gutters requires a few simple steps and will give you access to fresh water at no cost! First, the next time it rains, observe the places where the most water drips from your roof. You can then place rain barrels at each location, or select one primary location for your rain barrel. Then, place a food-grade 55-galloon barrel in the selected location with mesh screening across the top to deter mosquitos. See the remaining steps by clicking the link in the pin above!

Once you’ve got the basics figured out, it’s time to create your dream yard! If you need more inspiration, check out our Florida landscaping Pinterest board.

When you build your dream home with Highland Homes, your new home comes with excellent curb appeal and landscaping including Florida-friendly plants, sod, and an irrigation system to make watering it all a breeze. Simply add your own finishing touches to create an awesome and low-maintenance yard and garden. To find your new home in Lakeland-Winter Haven, Orlando, Tampa, Bradenton-Sarasota, or Ocala, call or email to connect with a Florida New Home Specialist!

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