A thick layer of mulch helps keep soil cooler and holds moisture in. It also helps control weeds that compete with landscape plants for water.
Use this helpful calculator tool to find out how much mulch you'll need. Enter the size of bed and desired depth, and it will calculate how much mulch you will need (in cubic yards or number of bags.)
NOTE: Do not use cypress mulch. Using cypress mulch can encourage destruction of cypress trees, which are important native wetland trees. For more information about choosing the right mulch, please visit: the IFAS Extension website
Use the "Florida-Friendly Landscaping" (FFL) principles - These principles were developed by the University of Florida-IFAS to show how an attractive landscape can be maintained without excessive usage of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. The main FFL page serves as a clearinghouse of information. For further information or assistance on Florida-Friendly landscaping, contact the Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service Website
Consider planting native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees to replace non-useful turf. Once established, they do not need water as frequently and usually will survive a dry period without watering.
Put the right plant in the right place! Grouping plants together based on similar water needs can allow for better management of water in landscaped beds.Turn down or turn off zones with drought tolerant plants.
Use a rain barrel or cistern to harvest rainwater for your houseplants, garden or planter beds. The Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service periodically holds rain barrel workshops - check their website for scheduling
The Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards
The Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards Program recognizes individuals and businesses from across the Tampa Bay Region that are committed to conserving our water resources and protecting the environment by using the best in attractive, Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM as well as irrigation systems or techniques that minimize water waste.
The Program seeks to identify examples of outstanding Florida-friendly, Water Wise landscaping and to promote those principles within the community. Visit TampaBayWaterWise to learn more about the program or to enter your landscape.