Sustainable Landscaping in Florida

Angela Polo and Ken Micklow shows Bob how to work with native plants, discuses fertilizers and pest control. They also discuss how to plant to protect from high winds.

Clip Summary

Angela Polo from the University of Florida's Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program is on hand to show how the Punta Gorda yard exemplifies the nine principles of their program: right plant, right place, efficient watering, recycling, protecting the waterfront, reducing stormwater runoff, attracting wildlife, managing fertilizers, and managing pests. Bob and Angela discuss the soil in Punta Gorda, which is typical of new Florida construction and is sandy with no percolation or drainage. Bob talks about the native palm of Florida, the Sabal Palm or Cabbage Palm as it is commonly called, as an example of selecting the right plant for the right place. Brian Kendzior from Sun Scape Landscaping explains the landscape design for this large corner lot with screening for privacy, minimized functional lawn areas, and large beds. Kendzior talks with Bob about addressing hurricane issues and landscaping so that the home and surrounding areas are protected from damaged landscaping and wind-borne plant debris. He explains how landscapers have reduced the size of plantings near the house and moved to sturdy, native plants to reduce hurricane damage. Kendzior also talks about plant selection and maintenance. Sustainable planting tends toward native plants that require low maintenance and thrive in natural conditions. To that end, the irrigation system provided by Toro uses a pressure compensating watering system that uses weep holes to water perimeter plants. Polo also adds that raised beds will be installed by the canal, preventing turf from going right to the edge of the bulkhead. This reduces the chance of runoff from fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides into the waterway.