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Landscaping in the Southeast

Your yard is an integral part of the natural environment. How you design and manage your yard is directly linked to the fragile ecosystem that gives your state its beauty and uniqueness. Landscaping in the Southeast provides you with the opportunity to create a yard that is an asset (rather than a burden) to your state's ecosystems. Whether your goal is to create a playground, provide habitat for wildlife, or simply reduce your water and energy bills, you can easily do so by adopting a few simple guidelines.

Getting Started

The University of Florida Extension Service has created a Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program to guide you through all of your landscaping needs. Most of the principles apply to other Southeastern states as well. Use this step-by-step guide to determine the needs for your yard's site condition:

  1. Make a sketch of your yard
  2. Collect a soil sample and take it to your county Extension office for pH testing and yard recommendations
  3. Create a landscape design
  4. Visit a nearby native plant nursery to begin choosing your favorite plants

Keep in mind that the elements of designing a landscape for a particular reason (attracting wildlife, xeriscaping, firewise landscaping) can call for different use and placement of trees and plants.

Original website content and design created by Mark Hostetler, Elizabeth Swiman, and Sarah Webb Miller. With the help of UF/IFAS Communications, the current look and functionality was streamlined for the UF/IFAS Extension Solutions for Your Life website. Al Williamson of UF/IFAS Communications uploads the steaming video for each episode. Images on this website were taken prior to national guidelines of face coverings and social distancing. The site is currently maintained and updated by Tom Barnash and Mark Hostetler.