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FYN Principle #1 - Right Plant, Right Place
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FYN Principle #1 - Right Plant, Right Place


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FYN Principle #1: …

FYN Principle #1:
Right Plant, Right Place

Rebecca McNair & Allison Steele
Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • 1. Right Plant, Right Place Landscape Design Principles Planning Site Analysis Plant Selection Trees Palms Shrubs Lawns Turf Alternatives Natives Author: Rebecca McNair
  • 2. Key to Success
    • Proper planning and plant selection:
      • Can avoid problems later
      • Can save energy, effort, water, money, etc.
      • Makes the landscape more enjoyable
  • 3. Plan First, Plant Once
    • This is a process, not a one-time event!
    • Have a plan!
    • Know the plants and what they require to thrive
    • Utilize regional gardening books and magazines
    • Consult with your UF County Extension Office
    • Ask qualified nursery professionals for advice
  • 4. How Do You Currently Use Your Property?
    • Family Activities?
    • Pets?
    • Outdoor entertainment?
    • Low-maintenance?
    • Do you like wildlife?
    • Is there a view you want to hide or enhance?
  • 5. What are the site characteristics?
      • Soil
        • Sand, silt, clay,
        • Organic materials
        • pH
      • Light
        • Sun or shade
      • Drainage
        • Wet or dry
        • Drainage patterns
      • Structures and obstructions
        • Utility lines (overhead and underground)
        • Sidewalks / driveways
  • 6. Know Your Plants
    • What is the mature size of the plant?
    • Does it grow well in sun or shade?
    • Does it tolerate flooded conditions?
    • Is it salt tolerant?
    • Is it susceptible to pests which may be difficult to control?
    Helianthus debilis Beach Daisy
  • 7. Selecting Plants
    • Be familiar with botanical names
      • Binomial nomenclature - a species name has 2 parts:
      • Genus and specific epithet
    • Buy healthy plants
      • Look for new growth
      • Roots are white and fibrous
      • Avoid pot bound plants
      • Avoid diseased or insect infested plants
    Jerusalem Thorn Parkinsonia aculeata
      • Genus
    Specific epithet
  • 8. Engage The Senses
    • Scent
      • Fragrant flowers, aromatic plants or mulch
      • Be mindful of allergens
    • Sound
      • Running water, wind chimes
    • Touch
      • Fuzzy, waxy, smooth
    • Taste
      • Edible fruits, herbs
    The sound of running water attracts wildlife.
  • 9. Trees in the Landscape
    • Provide shade
    • Increase property values
    • Add color
    • Add texture
    • Attract wildlife
    • Provide a framework for the rest of the landscape
    Quercus virginiana Live Oak
  • 10. Factors to Consider
    • Most trees DO NOT have taproots
    • Tree roots grow OUT, not down
      • 80 - 90% of a tree root system is found in the upper 18 - 24 inches of the soil.
      • Roots of trees and shrubs grow to about 3 times the branch spread.
    Incorrect Correct
  • 11. Trees
      • Trees growing in commercial settings live an average of 13 years
      • Trees in residential areas average 37 years
      • Trees in rural, undisturbed sites average 150 years
      • Some species live longer than others
      • Rapid growth results in weaker wood and shorter lifespan
    Quercus nigra The Water Oak is a relatively short-lived tree.
  • 12. Urban Influences
    • Compacted soils
    • Over-pruning
    • Limited space for roots
    • Improper staking
    • Mechanical injuries
    • Construction
    • Pedestrian and vehicle abuse
    • Improper planting
    • Improper fertilization
  • 13. Construction Issues
    • Changing the soil grade by as little as 6 inches can seriously damage a tree
    • When building, remove a tree that cannot be adequately protected and plant several younger, healthy trees
    • When in doubt, consult an arborist!
  • 14. More Factors to Consider
    • Trees damaged by construction may not initially show symptoms and may decline slowly for many years
    • Topping a tree can create a dangerous situation
    • Trees which are subjected to stress are more susceptible to insects and diseases
    • Tree paints do not prevent insects or diseases
  • 15. Selecting the Right Place For a Tree
    • Know the mature size
    • Provide adequate space
    • Trees should be planted at least 15 ft from the foundation of a home!
    • Avoid overhead power lines
    Quercus laurifolia Laurel Oak
  • 16. Tree Planting Tips
    • Dig the plant hole the same depth as the root ball and 2 to 3 times wider
    • Do not amend the backfill soil
    • Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the tree to retain moisture, but
    • avoid contact with the
    • stem or trunk
    • Water regularly
    • until established
  • 17. Transplanting
    • Container-grown or “hardened-off” balled and burlapped trees can be planted any time of year
    • Research indicates that establishment time can increase 1-2 months/ inch of trunk diameter
  • 18. Fertilizing New Trees
    • Avoid fertilizing a tree until it is established
    • Proper irrigation is important
    • Fertilize 4-6 weeks
    • after planting
    Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip Poplar
  • 19. Palms Are Different!
    • Palms have only ONE terminal growing point
    • Palms do not increase in diameter as they mature
    • Palm roots grow longer but do not increase in diameter
    • Many palms are harvested from the wild
    • Transplant palms in spring and summer
    Acoelorraphe wrightii Paurotis Palm
  • 20. Shrubs
    • Shrubs are woody plants usually with multiple trunks and branches arising from near the roots
    • They provide structure, texture and color to a landscape
    • Many shrubs can be pruned to form hedges and topiary figures
    Serenoa repens Saw Palmetto
  • 21. Keep It Simple
    • Don’t plant shrubs too close together. Space them according to how far they will spread.
    • Plant in large groups for continuity and increased visual impact
    • Don’t place too many different species in the same area
    Strelitzia reginae Bird of Paradise has a clumping habit; in time, it will fill an area.
  • 22. Planting Shrubs
    • Plant in beds
    • Incorporate organic matter in the bed
    • Group according to water and maintenance needs
    • Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch, but do not allow mulch to rest against the plant stems
  • 23. Major Turfgrass Species in Florida
      • St. Augustinegrass
        • The most popular
      • Bahiagrass
        • Very drought tolerant
      • Seashore paspalum
        • Very salt tolerant
      • Bermudagrass
        • Used on golf courses
      • Centipedegrass
        • Common in the Panhandle
    Bahiagrass Bermudagrass St. Augustinegrass
  • 24. St. Augustinegrass- Varieties
    • Floratam
      • Poor shade and cold -tolerance
      • Coarse texture
      • Resistant to chinch bugs
      • Reddish colored stolons
      • Sheds foliage coming out of dormancy
      • Excellent heat tolerance
      • Best mowed at 3 - 4 inches
    • Delmar
      • Improved shade- tolerance
      • Dwarf variety
      • Good cold- tolerance
      • Susceptible to chinch bugs and sod webworms
      • Slow growth means it takes longer to establish
      • Mow at 2.5 - 4 inches
  • 25. A Shady Spot Even the shade tolerant varieties will do well only up to about 50% shade.
  • 26. St. Augustinegrass Varieties for Semi-Shade
    • Bitterblue
      • Improved cold- and shade-tolerance
      • Finer, denser texture than Floratam
      • Susceptible to chinch bugs
      • Darker green than other varieties
      • Mow at 3 - 4 inches
    • Seville
      • Does well in partial shade
      • Semi-dwarf type, mow at 2 - 3 inches
      • Susceptible to chinch bugs (more in sun than in shade)
      • More prone to thatch formation than other varieties
  • 27. Drought Tolerant Varieties
    • Seashore paspalum
    • ‘ SeaIsle 1’
    • Excellent salt and drought tolerance
    • Tolerates flooding and some shade
    • Fine textured, dense, dark green growth
    • Disease and pest resistant
    • Moderate thatch
    • Mow at 1 – 2 inches
    • Bahiagrass
    • Argentine
      • Good cold and drought tolerance
      • Poor salt and shade tolerance
      • Coarse textured, dense growth
      • Dormant in winter
      • Wear tolerant
      • Mow at 3 - 4 inches
  • 28.
    • Turf areas should be functional and easy to maintain!
  • 29. Alternatives To Turf
    • Landscaping beds require less effort and cost less to maintain than turf
    • Consider low-maintenance ground covers, mulched landscape beds, and pathways
  • 30. Native Plants
    • Native Plants are adapted to Florida’s environment
    • Many non-native species are also appropriate for a “Florida-Friendly Landscape”
    • Visit garden stores and ask
    • about low maintenance
    • and native plants
    • Association of Florida Native Nurseries
      • Search for a specific plant and locate the native plant nurseries that sell it! Zamia floridana Coontie
  • 31. A Few Natives Rhapidophyllum hystrix Needle Palm Passiflora edulis Passion Vine Calicarpa americana Beautyberry Erythrina herbacea Cherokee Bean
  • 32. Environmentally Friendly Landscaping
    • Your yard is an integral part of the protection and preservation of Florida’s environment.
  • 33. The collective decisions we make about our landscapes have a profound impact on the quality of surface and ground water supplies, and ultimately, our quality of life.
  • 34. With a little thought, our landscapes can combine beauty, function and environmental protection.
  • 35. Further Reading
    • Circular 536 Basic Principles of Landscape Design
    • ENH-15 Budgeting For a Better Landscape
    • ENH-25 Native Florida Plants for Home Landscapes
    • SS-ENH-901 Botany Handbook for Florida, Revised Edition
  • 36. Thanks for your attention!
    • The following presentation was made possible through a grant from FL DEP and EPA. Special thanks to the following reviewers for their valued contributions:
      • FL114 ELM Design Team and the FYN Subcommittee
      • Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, UF
      • Agriculture Education and Communication Department
      • Environmental Horticulture Department
      • Entomology and Nematology Department
      • Soil and Water Sciences Department
      • Florida Cooperative Extension Service in: Alachua, Broward, Clay, Hillsborough, Lake, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Volusia Counties
      • Florida Organics Recycling Center for Excellence
      • The Center For Wetlands, UF
      • United States Department of Agriculture
      • FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences: Division of Plant Industry