A Day

PLANT A TREE

It will add value, shade, and beauty to your home. And we guess the oxygen it provides is nice too.

One person can plant an 8-to-10 foot tree in 60-90 minutes with a good shovel (highly compacted soil may take longer). If your name isn’t Johnny Appleseed and you need some guidance, check out this simple, step-by-step planting guide.

USE YOUR YARD TO REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE

Your County Extension Service frequently sponsors workshops that teach you to reduce, reuse, and recycle through composting, rain barrels, or micro-irrigation. They also give away free stuff—tools you need to create your own Florida-Friendly Landscape.

PLANT A BUTTERFLY GARDEN

C’mon, who couldn’t use more butterflies? Choose plants that provide food for both caterpillars and adult butterflies, focusing on flowers of different shapes and colors. Learn the basics of bringing butterflies to your yard.

CREATE A POROUS PATHWAY WITH GRAVEL, MULCH, BRICK OR STEPPING STONES

Not only do permeable pathways allow rainwater to soak into the ground, they also make that long walk from the driveway to the front door more interesting. Porous twist on the yellow brick road, anyone?

MAKE TIME TO MULCH

Need something fun to do on a Saturday morning? Take a trip to your city or county yard-waste facility and pick up some mulch for your plants! (What, does that only sound fun to us?) Mulch is usually free or dirt cheap at these facilities, and all you need to do is spread it 2 to 3 inches thick around your plants. No cypress mulch please – our swamps need those trees!

PLAN(T) A PARTY

When Floridifying your yard or area, you don’t have to go solo. Here are two easy social activities you can do in a day:

Throw a Pond Party

Game night is soo 1999—all the cool kids are partying at the pond.

If you live along a pond, organize a “Pond Party” to remove invasive cattails or primrose willows from the shoreline. The folks at Hillsborough County’s Adopt-A-Pond program say about three people can clear invasive plants from a half-acre pond in two hours. In the same amount of time, a group this size can add native plants like pickerelweed, blue flag iris, golden canna, soft-stem bulrush, and bald cypress to the area. Five people can clear a 2-acre pond of duckweed in half a day.

Host a Plant Swap

What’s the easiest way to add new plants to your yard without spending a single dollar? No, not stealing them from your neighbor’s yard while she’s at work (shame on you!)—it’s hosting a plant swap! Invite friends and neighbors to bring one or two plants from their yard, then let everyone choose a new plant to take home. Ask all participants to label their plants by name, mature size and sun/water needs.