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Creating Florida Friendly Yards to Reduce Our Environmental Impact

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Xeriscaped Yard

With so much focus on water issues right now because of the nearly year old red tide bloom that continues to devastate marine wildlife, and the several months old toxic blue-green algae bloom that’s being fed by nutrient-rich releases from Lake Okeechobee, we thought it would be a good time to explore the world of xeriscaping.

One factor in our water woes equation is stormwater runoff containing nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers, and this runoff doesn't only come from agricultural fields, but also from homes and businesses. Xeriscaping is using mindful landscaping techniques that reduce the need for fertilizer and water by choosing plants that are native, or properly suited to the natural conditions we find here in Southwest Florida. We're joined by Thomas Becker, he’s a Florida-Friendly Landscaping Education and Training Specialist with the University of Florida IFAS extension office in Port Charlotte. And we’re also joined by Marlene Rodak, she’s Vice President of the Coccoloba chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society.