Likely, your dog is another highly valued member of your family. Sometimes (like the rest of us) he does not follow the rules. He makes a mess of your lawn just by being a dog. Choosing the best lawn types for dogs and following a few rules below will help. You will be able to avoid the usual brown spots or matted dirt areas that result from a dog doing what a dog does. So, what to do? Teach your dog new tricks and make good choices on the best lawn to stand up to their high jinx!
The three lawn types that stand up to dogs in Florida are Bermuda, Zoysia and Bahia. All three of these options are good for high-traffic and are accepting of dog activity. However, no sod is completely dog resistant. These three grasses for dog owners below make life just that much easier and more beautiful.
Bermuda grass is a dog’s other BFF.
We know you’re number one in your dog’s eyes – but he would probably consider a great lawn as his other BFF. Bermuda grass is one popular choice to combat pet urine and lawn damage. It is a warm weather grass and grey-green in color. It is perfect for Florida dog owners with sunny yards. Once Bermuda grass is established, it does not take much water. It is not the best barefoot grass because of its short blades and rough edges. However, it has deep roots which make it incredibly resistant to drought, weeds, and your pet’s running path.
Bermuda grass grows rapidly in all types of soil. It is sensitive to cold temperatures, pests, and shade. Regular maintenance and weekly watering help maintain its appearance and place it high in the category of best grass for someone with dogs.
Both you and your canine will love Zoysia sod
Dogs love to roll in the soft grass, and emerald zoysia sod feels luxurious. It is a dark-green turf grass, so it looks plush, too. One of the best features of a backyard for dogs in warm-weather areas is plenty of tree cover and good shade. This often means dry climate and sand soil. Zoysia grass is the best grass for high traffic and shade. It has great tolerance to salt, shade, and dog paw traffic. It grows more slowly than the others and is generally maintained at a shorter length. This provides a thicker, more trimmed look. The good news is, if brown spots do appear, you can change them out easily with zoysia grass plugs.
Florida dog owners will appreciate Zoysia sod’s drought and disease resistance. It is even less prone to weeds because of its dense turf. Once it is established, it is hardy, but it could take four years to get a good root system. Of course, like any sod, proper maintenance is necessary to maintain its density and beautiful color. All-in-all, it’s one of the best lawn types for dogs in all areas of Florida.
Bahia, another “Best-in-Show” winner for a dog-friendly lawn
When looking for the best grass for someone with dogs Bahia Grass is another great option. With naturally deep roots it prefers full sun and is drought and heat tolerant. You’ll find it’s a perfect combination for pet owners in Florida. Bahia grass’ coarse leaves and tolerance to drought are both great solutions for dog urine and damage. Within the Bahia Grass family are various varieties for your specific lawn needs. Your local nursery will happily guide you through the differences and steer you in the right direction for your specific lawn.
Maintaining a high traffic lawn for dog owners
We love to play with our dogs on the lawn. We even love to invite our human friends to join us on the lawn during a picnic. To maintain a high traffic lawn here are five suggestions for solutions for handling the damage caused by a dog’s paws and urine:
1) Be sure to water the area daily where the dog pees. The extra water dilutes the nitrogen that has deposited when your dog pee’d. This activity curbs the possibility of brown spots.
2) If your dog is on his obedience school honor roll, teach the dog to pee in one area only. Keeping this activity confined leaves the rest of your yard available for fun play. It just helps you maintain a beautiful lawn.
3) If your dog is an obedience school flunky, or if you’re home-schooling him, be sure to encourage and reward his good behavior. Every time he finds the specified “unloading zone” provide him a yummy treat and heap on the praise.
4) Less is more. Fertilize less, or not at all, where your dog pees. Fertilizer has nitrogen in it, just like your dog’s pee. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Refer back to tip #2 and fertilize where your pup is not going.
5) Encourage your dog to drink more water (lowering the nitrogen strength in his pee). Drinking water is always a healthy thing. You might even be thinner and richer for it! Fido drinking more water will provide you with more exercise in getting up from your chair to let him out the back door more often. It will also save you money on keeping a beautiful lawn.
6) If you still find these tips are not working, you might feed your dog a dietary supplement. There are several veterinarian formulations available that include probiotics and other ingredients that bind with the nitrogen in the urine, making your dog’s urine less harmful to your grass. If you're unsure, then by all means, consult your dog’s favorite veterinarian first.
By choosing and installing the best lawn types for dogs - your battle is half won. To help in finding sod near you, you will find your local garden center is your source of sod for a dog-friendly yard. Your local nursery will be able to answer questions like “how much is a pallet of sod?” The best way to determine the perfect sod type is to talk with your local nursery sod specialist. Share with them your lifestyle, yard characteristics, and Fido’s territory habits and they will guide you in the right direction. When you do stop by to order your new sod – do not forget the “pet”-unias!
When you think of Florida what are some things that come to mind? The Florida sun, beaches, alligators? Palm trees? Definitely! Palm trees are Florida’s pride and joy. The technical term for these plants is Arecaceae. They are perennial flowering plants. The Arecaceae come in many different forms but the most well-known and valued is the palm tree. Palms are beautiful statement pieces that thrive in the Florida heat. Palm trees truly enhance any landscape and do a wonderful job at being both visually appealing and eye catching. Palms can grow to very grand measures but it’s crucial to choose the right type of palm tree for your yard. Palm plant care is also very important. Read on to discover the different types of palm trees that are best for Florida and how to care for them.
What are the different types of palm trees?
Despite the general idea being that all palm trees look the same there are actually many different types of palm trees. They vary in shape and size. There are classic palm trees, popular palm trees, and date palm trees. Some examples of classic palm trees are: Saw Palmetto, Windmill Palm, and Mule Palm. These three are classics because they are extremely reliable in nature. They are very resistant to both harsh weather conditions and pests. They do well in humid conditions and are tolerant of salt and wind. These classics are known as classics for a reason.
Besides old reliable, there are also popular palm trees like: Ribbon Palm, Royal Palm, Alexander Palm, and Coconut Palm, and Paurotis Palm. These palms are popular because of their staple look. When you see snapshots of Florida in movies or on postcards these are the featured palm trees. They grow very grand in size and are some fan favorites for the beach. There are also date palm trees which include: canary island date palm, senegal date palm, pygmy date palm, and mexican fan palm. Something important to note is that date palms require a little more care than other types of palm trees. They are strikingly beautiful but typically require a moist, nutrient rich environment and it is no secret that Florida is very drought-prone. However, date palms like the Canary Island are actually drought-tolerant and perform better than most. Therefore, it is not impossible to nurture and grow a beautiful date palm in your yard but it will take more maintenance than other options.
Best Palm Trees for Florida
Contrary to popular belief, palm trees are not originated from Florida. However, there are some beautiful palms that are native to Florida. The best Florida palm trees are: Sabal or cabbage palm, needle palm, foxtail palm, Paurotis Palm, and the Latania Palm.
The Sabal or Cabbage Palmetto:
The Sabal or Cabbage Palmetto is native to Florida and is considered a cold hardy palm tree. This means that they can withstand the harsh cold weather conditions. Florida can get very cold in the winter months so these are ideal trees to flourish in all temperatures.
The Needle Palm:
The Needle Palm is another Florida native plant. This type of palm is on the smaller side, but is perfect for adding volume to your yard. Similar to the Sabal Palmetto, these are also cold hardy palm trees that thrive in varying weather. They are also great at being pest and disease resistant in humid, tropical climates.
The Foxtail Palm:
The Foxtail Palm may not be native to Florida, but it surely loves the Florida sun. This palm tree thrives in full sun and temperatures over 100 degrees which is no problem for Florida. Foxtail Palms are very low maintenance. They are self-cleaning meaning the old fronds fall off by themselves.
The Paurotis Palm is perfect for sandy soils and sprays of salt. Perhaps that is why its name is also known as the Everglades palm. It is the ideal hardy tropical plant that flourishes in the sun.
The Latania Palm:
The Latania Palm is a great plant to grab attention because of its striking appearance. This palm is salt-tolerant and prefers the sun and sandy soil which is great for Central Florida. These can be seen as a viable palm for temperate gardens because off their hardiness in tropical climates.
Although there are many different types of palms that are popular choices and beautiful in shape and size, it is important to remember which ones would be the best fit for your yard in Florida.
Large Florida Palm Trees
Some large Florida palm trees previously mentioned include: The Royal Palm, Coconut Palm, Alexander Palm, Queen Palm, and Chinese Fan Palm. These are all very large palm trees that grow taller than 20 feet. For example, the Royal Palm and Coconut Palm can grow to 80 feet. While the Chinese Fan Palm and the Queen Palm can grow to 40 feet and the Alexander Palm can grow to 25 feet. Things these grand palm trees have in common include:
Indoor Palm Trees
If you’re not looking for the typical outdoor palm tree but rather palm plants that thrive inside, here are the top choices for types of indoor palms: The Bamboo Palm, Cascade Palm, Parlor Palm, and the Ponytail Palm. Our personal favorite for indoors is the Bamboo Plant also known as the Areca Palm:
The Areca Palm is the best indoor palm because it has very soft fronds and is fond of low light. This palm also requires very little energy or time to maintain. It needs an adequate amount of water regularly. This indoor plant will only grow to a maximum of 12 feet at maturity but typically anywhere from 4 to 8 feet is average height.
There are many options when it comes to choosing the perfect indoor plant for your household so reach out to your local garden center to get the best advice for your planting needs.
Which Palm Tree is Right for You?
As we’ve discussed, there are so many variations of palms trees that are perfect for Florida. Palm trees are incredibly hardy in tropical climates and require full-sun to grow to their majestic heights. The variation of palm trees is wide and seemingly endless. There are some reliable classics like the Saw Palmetto, and some popular choices like the Royal Palm, and also some date palms like the Canary Island which are drought-tolerant. Florida has many native palm trees like the Needle Palm which is a cold hardy plant that requires little to no maintenance.
The most important takeaway is to choose the type of palm tree that will check off all of your boxes. Palm tree care does not typically take a lot of time or energy but it is crucial to the health and longevity of the palm tree of your choice to be as informed as possible. Some maintenance may be necessary despite its drought-tolerance or resistance to wind, sun, pests, etc. For the best advice and highest quality products refer to your local exotic palm tree nursery or visit our website. Feel free to also check out our Pinterest account for inspiration for future landscaping projects.
There is truly nothing quite as pleasing as a beautifully landscaped house. Choosing to landscape your yard is a great decision and adds value to your home. However, landscaping in Central Florida presents its own unique challenges. You might be asking yourself some of the following questions:
How Climate and Weather Affect your Florida Landscaping
Central Florida is known for its tropical climate. Florida’s weather is always changing. There is a distinct rainy season (Summer), hurricane season (Summer and Fall) and a distinct dry season (Winter and Spring). It can be extremely dry and hot one day and the next, rainy with a chance of humidity. Except for a few months in Winter, it is usually humid. So, it is crucial to build a strong foundation with plants that thrive in a humid subtropical climate.
Soil in the Central Florida Yard
Central Florida is unique in that it is very sandy compared to other parts of Florida. The sand here has its own name: Myakka. It is very poor at holding water and nutrients. You will need to enrich the soil around your house. Soil amendments will provide the organic, nutrient-filled materials that will help your garden grow. Compost is a great choice. It is essentially decaying plant or animal matter that acts as a soil fertilizer. It can be layered with mulch to prevent the growth of weeds. Speaking of mulch...pine straw works really well as a mulch in Central Florida.
Florida Trees, Plants and Shrubs: What to buy
Budget-friendly landscaping options should always include perennials. Perennials are plants that flourish long-term. Florida native perennials that are good for the residential landscaper include the Florida boxwood shrub, yellow elder flower, silver buttonwood hedge, firebush shrub, Dwarf Podocarpus, bay cedar shrub, and the Live Oak tree. These are all affordable plants that would thrive in the Florida sun.
Other affordable plants that are extremely hardy and perfect for the Central Florida weather include Rosemary, Loropetalum, and an Indian Hawthorne shrub. The Indian Hawthorne is a very popular shrub for the Florida landscaper that requires little to no gardening experience. These plants are very low maintenance and can be planted anywhere in your yard. Flowers that will last in the hot Florida sun include: Pentas, Coreopsis, Bush Daisy, Mexican Heather, and Hibiscus. These flowers are fantastic additions for your front yard because of their vibrant color and low cost. Again, visit your local garden center to see what they have on hand.
Low Care, Low Cost Front Yard Design
You may be struggling to decide whether you want low care plants that are cost-friendly or beautiful flowers that flourish in the Florida heat. You can have both.
Go Grass Free: The first way to minimize expenses for your landscaping, is to go grass free. Although the thought of having artificial grass seems a bit out of the norm there are many pros to turf installation. Artificial turf is basically a surface of synthetic fibers that look like natural grass. The many pros of this include:
Rocks: Another great way to landscape your yard is with rocks. Rocks are inexpensive and require no maintenance. They make great beds for flowers and add definition to your front yard.
Entrance Path and Driveway Design: Another simple and easy way to bring your front yard alive could be with a flower-lined path to your focus point: The Front Door. When visitors enter your front yard, you want it to feel inviting. What better way than to install a pathway. Line the pathway to your house with mulch, shrubs and bushes. Add flowers or seasonal annuals from your nearby garden center for some pop of color. Additionally, another great idea is to line your driveway with mulch and colorful foliage plants like Crotons. This is a wonderful option because it is budget-friendly and a fan favorite in Florida. Crotons are easy-care and feature a variety of colors like red, gold, orange, and green.
Small Yard Design
One of the best ways to design a small yard is to omit the lawn entirely. No more lawn mowing. This can be done through landscaping flower beds. Flower beds add great texture and depth to your front yard. They are also great for reducing surface area. The issue for many front yards, is the constant need for upkeep and maintenance. By making the decision to garden a large part of your yard, you are saving yourself money and upkeep down the line. Using the space in your yard to fill with beautiful plants and flowers will have your lawn mower thanking you for giving it a break! Flower beds will transform your front yard from being an ordinary plot of green land to a land full of color. That’s why it’s very important to pick the right plants that would work for your yard. Some flowers that will flourish in Central Florida include: Lantanas, Tickseed, Petunia, Buttercup, and Blue Daze. These are great flowers to choose from because of their hardiness and ability to bloom year round. They are also very durable and Florida-friendly.
Keep it Simple, Keep it Easy
Simple, easy landscaping designed to enhance your Central Florida yard should be just that...simple and easy! First, amend the sandy soil. Consider synthetic grass. It will save you loads of money, and it is both low maintenance and eco-friendly. Choose Native trees, plants, and shrubs that are ideal for the climate. Your plants stay alive longer and flourish year-round. Use locally grown plants. Buying local not only supports your local business neighbor, it is budget-friendly. And, because the plants are already acclimated to the area, they will more likely thrive in your yard.
Aventura Nursery is your local go-to garden center for the perfect trees and plants for your Hernando County home. Call us at 352-799-3200 for more information. And don’t forget to Follow our Pinterest where we post our latest specials and garden projects to try at home.
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