Natural Fertilizers and Non-Toxic Pesticides

Project: Storm-Ready Design, Episode 11, Part 3

Bob is in Punta Gorda to learn about sustainable landscaping from Angela Polo of the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program. Polo is joined by Brian Kendzior who explains the overall landscape design, the need for screening and privacy, and the move to get large landscaping away from homes that might be damaged from hurricane-force winds. Kendzior talks about plant maintenance and water use, showing Bob the Toro low-flow irrigation system that will water the plants through eight separate zones. Lawn Logic complements the irrigation system with a soil moisture monitoring system that will override the irrigation timer for each individual zone when in-ground sensors detect moisture above pre-set levels. This water-saving strategy is complemented by the selection of natural plants that thrive in the sandy, low-moisture soil of Florida. Polo and Micklow show Bob the plantings, beds, and wildlife gardens that are created to protect the waterway from pesticide and fertilizer runoff and transition the yard from controlled turf areas to native growth sections. Craig Harmer from Gardens Alive brings plant-specific natural plant foods, soil enhancers, and pesticides for the raised vegetable garden. PestAgon installs the Sentricon low-impact termite control system around the perimeter of the house.
Part 1: Sustainable Landscaping in Florida
Part 2: Sustainable Planting for Florida Landscape
Part 3: Natural Fertilizers and Non-Toxic Pesticides
Angela Polo and Ken Micklow are on hand to show Bob the sustainable plantings selected for the Punta Gorda home. Polo shows Bob the firebushes selected for the water side of the garden, chosen because they are dwarf varieties that will not block the water views but will still attract butterflies. Micklow shows Bob how the vegetable garden is built with interlocking anchor blocks and erosion cloth to prevent the rich humus mixture from seeping out of the raised bed. The soil is a mix of compost, peat moss, bark, and dolomite. This sunny spot will house tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs that will thrive in the heat and sun. Craig Harmer from Gardens Alive brings natural plant and animal products that are suited to specific plants to enhance the soil and promote growth. These soil mixes are completely unprocessed meals and protein blends developed for each plant. The pesticide applications are natural pyrethrins and canola oils that target specific pests. Even snails are eradicated with Escar-Go! Composting is also encouraged through the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program. Polo adds that composting clippings, trimmings, and kitchen vegetable waste will build soil enhancers and microbes to enrich the gardens and plantings.