Creating a gorgeous tropical garden is a goal of many gardeners who chose to make their home in Key West. However, there are many unique considerations for gardens in the Florida Keys.
Gardeners interested in Key West Landscaping need to be aware of water conservation techniques, utilize xeriscape landscaping, and make use of the important natural resources such as mulch and seaweed.
The residents of the Florida Keys get all of their water from a pipeline that comes from Florida City. Because much of the southern states experience frequent droughts, water conservation is an important factor to consider when caring for Key West landscaping.
There are several things a gardener can do to conserve water. Collecting rainwater in cisterns during the wet season, using drip irrigation systems to water plants in the dry season, and making sure that any watering that is needed is done in the morning.
When installing a sprinkler system, make sure that the irrigated turf is separated from the shrub and plant beds. Turf requires far more water than rooted shrubs and trees. In fact, if you can forgo having St. Augustine grass, you will use far less water which is good for everyone in the Keys.
Xeriscape landscaping is the practice of using native plants as a way of beautifying properties without using a lot of water or other resources. Because local Key West landscaping plants are acclimated to the unique climate, they are drought resistant during dry spells and tolerant to heavy water during long periods of wet weather.
Not all drought tolerant plants are native. There are many non-native and invasive low water usage plants available in Nurseries. Make sure to ask the Nursery manager if the plants you want to buy are truly native species.
They are also less apt to need fertilizing or pesticides to thrive, and also help to attract butterflies and birds. Using mulch and seaweed in Key West landscaping is beneficial for many reasons. They help to keep the soil of a garden at an ideal state to maintain a healthy plant.
Mulches and seaweeds keep moisture in, can provide essential nutrients to plants, and are also attractive and organic ways to beautify spaces between plantings.
In addition, the use of seaweed will create an ideal growing environment for those Key West gardeners interested in procuring a vegetable garden.
Seaweed contains neutral to slightly alkaline pH levels, which is ideal for the climate in Key West. Using seaweed as a natural fertilizer will allow gardeners to avoid harsh chemical fertilizers which may harm the soil or leech into the ground water.
By considering the good of the Keys for years to come, homeowners and gardeners, both novice and seasoned can create their ideal gardens by using responsible gardening techniques.