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Landscaping and Lawn Care

The quest for the perfect weed-free, green lawn can have a major negative impact on the environment.

Image of Millions of lawns in Florida communities are watered and fertilized regularly, contributing to the degradation of the aquifer and springs.Zoom+ Millions of lawns in Florida communities are watered and fertilized regularly, contributing to the degradation of the aquifer and springs. © Russell Sparkman

The typical Florida yard seems to be little more than a "postage stamp" on the land. Yet, the collective impact of an estimated three-million postage stamp lawns is having a significant impact on both the quality and quantity of water in the aquifer. Many homeowners use varieties of grass requiring large amounts of fertilizer that contribute to high levels of nitrates in the aquifer, our source of drinking water. These nitrates in the water contribute to nuisance algae growth and can endanger fragile plants and wildlife species in the springs. The same lawns along with landscaping with non-native plants also require daily watering and frequent applications of chemical pesticides to keep them healthy and disease-free. Nearly fifty percent of all water withdrawn for public supply is used solely to water residential lawns and landscaping.

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Florida-Friendly Landscaping

Image of The Interactive Yard is an educational tool designed to teach basic concepts behind Florida-Friendly Landscaping.

Landscape without polluting the aquifer and springs by reducing fertilizer and pesticide use and saving water.

Go »

 

How You Can Help

Image of At the Citrus Country Extension demonstration garden, signs explain to visitors the principles and practices of a "spring friendly" yard while volunteers help with maintenance and getting the word out.

Steps you can take to help protect our springs. Go »

 

Learn About The Aquifer

Image of spring_flow

View an interactive presentation to learn more about our aquifer and human impacts on Florida's springs. Go »

 
 
 
My FloridaFlorida Department of Environmental Protection