Florida-friendly landscaping tips that benefit environment

SEFFNER, Fla. - As spring blossoms across Florida, many residents are gearing up to tend to their gardens.

However, the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County Office is taking a proactive approach by promoting Florida-friendly landscaping tips. They aim to educate people on using native species and Florida-friendly plants that are not only resilient but also low-maintenance, benefiting both the environment and native wildlife.

The focus is on creating beautiful landscapes that provide valuable ecosystem services, particularly in their upcoming Bay-Friendly Landscaping class. The class will emphasize selecting plants adapted to Florida’s extreme conditions, such as sandy soil, high winds, drought, and flooding.

By reducing the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation, participants can contribute to protecting Tampa Bay while also lowering landscape maintenance costs.

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"People might typically want to go to their big box stores to find pretty plants, but they do not often live that long when you plant them in your landscaping. People should embrace native and Florida-friendly plants, especially perennials, which will last longer and live for many years in your landscaping," said extension agent Tia Silvas with the Hillsborough County Extension Service.

The Bay-Friendly Landscaping class will take place in person on Thursday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Hillsborough County Extension Service in Seffner.

Attendees will have the opportunity to receive a hard copy of the "Plant This, Not That" book, further empowering them to make informed decisions about their landscaping choices and contribute to the preservation of Florida’s natural ecosystem.

To register for the class, click here.

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