Is Your Irrigation System Running At Optimum Efficiency?

With the end of the rainy season and the onset of Florida's long dry season it's a great time to take a look at your irrigation system and determine if everything is in order.

Below are some tips to help you make sure you are both providing enough water to keep your turn and landscape healthy and not using too much resulting in higher costs, unhealthy plants and breaking water restrictions.

What Time Of Day Is Your Irrigation System Running?

Make sure that your irrigation system is running only in the early morning, just before the sun comes up. When the season change that time will have to adjust as well. Running an irrigation system during the early morning hours when it's cooler will allow the water time to soak into the soil where it can be absorbed by the plants. If your sprinkler is running during the day the hot sun and warmer temps will evaporate as much as 60% of the water. If your sprinklers are running in the middle of the night, the prolonged time that the plants are covered with water can lead to mold, pests and other problems for your landscape. So make sure your system is only running in the early morning, shortly before the sun comes up.

How Much Water Should I Be Using During Irrigation?

Depending on your system, types of sprinklers, water pressure etc... your irrigation system will have to run for a different amount of time to provide the optimal amount of water for your landscape.

The soils in Sarasota and Manatee Counties is mostly comprised of sand with very little organic matter or clays, as such our soil is not great at retaining water for very long. However it usually takes just one half inch or so to hydrate the turf. This will allow -even the roots to be adequately watered. The turf should be allowed to dry out between waterings to encourage a deep root system. Just be sure to check with the local water restrictions for your area so you are compliant. Watering regulations can change depending on the drought level of your area through out the year.

How can I tell how much water my system is providing?

Knowing how much water you should be providing for each application does not help without knowing how long it takes your irrigation system to do the job. There is a simple test figure this out. Simply place cans or cups that are all the same size in each zone of your irrigation system. Placing more than one cup in each zone at different distances from the spray head to also measure if your irrigation zone is providing constant coverage through ought the zone.

After you have placed the cups, run the system for 15 minutes then take measurements from each cup to determine how much water has been used. From your measurements (the depth of water in each cup), you will be able to figure out how long to run the system. For instance, if the sprinklers filled the cups to an average depth of one quarter inch than running the system for a half hour should give you a half inch of irrigation.

How will the changing season effect the amount of irrigation needed?

The changing season will require your system be adjusted to keep optimal performance. Both the time that the system runs and the amount of water dispersed will need to be adjusted. Fortunately most modern irrigation systems are computer controlled and should run reasonably well throughout the year if installed and programmed correctly, and some even come with weather stations to adjust automatically for the weather.

However during each seasonal change you should check on your system to make sure nothing is amiss.

During the fall in the Sarasota area less irrigation is required. Our temperatures are generally in the mid 80s to upper 70s so evaporation is reduced somewhat. However regular irrigation is important during this time because with the cooler temps come a lot less rain, but be careful not over water or fungus and other plant pests can cause problems.

The spring can be the driest time of Florida with rain often not returning until the end of June. Early spring is usually the coolest time of the year but often temps will swing wildly between as low as the 30s in at night to over 80 in the day just 48 hours later. Keeping your system delivering just enough water at a regular interval during this time and again be careful not to over water.

Late spring early summer will be hotter and usually require irrigating twice a week to maintain a healthy lawn. Unfortunately this is also often a time of water restrictions so be sure you are not exceeding restrictions or you could be hit with a fine.

If you would rather leave the landscape irrigation to the professionals, contact Grants Gardens and we would be happy to help maintain your property at optimum water efficiency.

Big Impact From Small Landscape Design Projects

A small space can have big opportunities for landscape design and add value, function and enjoyment to your property.

Pathways along properties are a great example of a small space that has lots of potential. While a path along a home or property line may not have a large horizontal surface it also has a large vertical surface to make use of. Florida's climate allows us to use a variety of vines that will cling to vertical surfaces and can provide a stunning backdrop. If the area is under full sun at least 6 hrs per day bougainvillea can be grown and cropped to create a path lined with colorful magenta blooms. Varieties of Jasmine can be planted to provide both a visual feast and a treat for the sense with amazing fragrant blooms and dark thick foliage. Many small to medium sized palm trees are perfect for lining paths or for use in other small spaces. Our professional designers can create an the illusion more space by curving the path or having it wind around other focal points like, bird baths, park benches, large planters or decorative vases.

Potted gardens are another great way to add color and life for even the smallest space like a condo patio. They also give the homeowner a nice garden to have when home owners association restrictions limit the available options. Many of our clients on Longboat Key already know how much a small potted garden can do for an otherwise spartan space like lining a driveway or porch of a compact villa home. Potted gardens can take full advantage of the conditions on our property by planting suitable plants for your full-sun, full-shade or hot and dry spaces with the amazing variety of plants that can thrive in our warm climate. Everything from cacti and succulents to shade loving lush tropical broad leaf plants can be used with potted gardens.

Large trees, depressions in the ground and even the corners of buildings all provide great places for big impact with a small project. An island can be created by adding a planting around any large trees. The tree provides the anchor and shadier conditions to plant a larger variety of plants and shrubs. A large boulder placed in a planted island with tropical plants like bromeliads can create drought tolerant accent that looks beautiful and is easy to maintain. A low-spot or depression in your lot is a great place to ad a small rain garden. Rain gardens do not take up much room but look beautiful and help conserve and cleans runoff after storms. The angular corners of buildings are also an opportunity for a landscape project to make a big impact. By adding a gracefully curved bed wrapping around the corner you visually soften the appearance and create the illusion of a larger space. Taller shrubs can be used to hide other Florida-friendly improvements like rain barrels, cisterns or other irrigation equipment.

While Grants Gardens is well known for creating large magnificent and ecologically friendly landscapes in Sarasota, Bradenton and the barrier islands. We also create beautiful landscapes, patio gardens and other small wonders that will improve your property but not over grow your bank account.

Florida Native Plants - Benefits For Home Owner and Community

A presentation recently posted by Grants Gardens featuring detailed information on the differences between Florida native Plants and use of exotics in local landscapes. In this presentation Grant explains how native plants can be a benefit to home owners in landscape maintenance savings, water usage savings, reduce environmental impact and enhance the sustainability of a home.

Florida Native Plants from Grants Gardens, Sarasota Florida

Irrigation and Runoff Planning Is Essential For Turf At Waterfront Locations

As a landscape designer who believes in a reduced impact on the local environment is always the best way to go I rarely recommend large amounts of turf, especially when that turf is located along Sarasota's canals or bays.

However sometimes it can't be helped, either it's already in the design or the client simply wants to keep views as open as possible.

Having large square footage of turf directly against a salt water presents several challenges for the responsible landscaper that must be addressed. These challenges include the potential for saltwater inundation, proper irrigation, pest management and fertilizer programs that won't end up in the bay and of course control of storm water run off.

Anyone who has spent much time at a coastal waterfront location becomes aware the bay does not always stay below the seawall. When large storms combine with high tides often the bay or canal rises above the seawall and can flood the landscape. Planning for this eventuality is a must at waterfront job sites, and proper plant and turf species selection is the key component. Many types of palm trees and tropical shrubs are salt-tolerant but what about the grass? While no turf is completely invulnerable to prolonged salt water exposure there are a few types that make for great lawns that will survive being inundated with saltwater if properly flushed. Zoysiagrass in particular is a nice choice when salt exposure is an issue.

Saltwater inundation is one consideration but in general it is water coming from the property that requires the most planning. Many of Sarasota's waterfront homes have very large roof surface areas. During a storm huge amounts of rainwater are collected by roof, paved drives, paths, decks and patios and will rush towards the bay or canal. This runoff will contain pollutants that have settled on the roof over time, oil and other pollutants from drives and excess fertilizers and pesticides from turf areas. Low close cropped lawns are perfect for allowing all of this run off into the bay if not managed properly.

Grants Gardens takes this into consideration and will install measures that can both work to greatly reduce storm water runoff and clean that water on it's way to the bay. By grading the landscape to direct runoff water into retention drainage swales and cisterns water can be stored for later use in dry times or allowed for natural biological processes to clean captured water in underground drainage swales. After proper installation of these features the next best thing to do for improving your waterfront turf's environmental impact is to make sure you have a proper fertilizer and pest control program in place. Again proper planning makes all he difference. By fertilizing during times of lower rainfall in amounts that are not in excess of what the lawn will consume, there will be far less excess nutrient that makes it's way into the bay even during the summer rainy season. These measures will go along way keeping polluted or nutrient rich water from entering Sarasota Bay.

Last but not least is irrigation. A well-designed irrigation system will provide what water your lawn needs when it needs it and not excess. Grants Gardens are experienced at designing and installing highly efficient irrigation solutions that will be so water efficient they often are not effected by Sarasota county's water restrictions. We us advanced computer controlled systems that include their own weather station. The control system has been programmed with years of historical data about how fast water will be evaporating from plants called evapotranspiration. With this data the irrigation controller will take into account the current date along with the current weather conditions and determine how much water is needed to irrigate without over doing it. Grants Gardens also uses a highly advanced irrigation spray head that creates water drops with a special size and shape that breezes will not blow away. In fact these spray heads are so efficient normal use is allowed even when we are under water restrictions.

While large amounts of waterfront turf is not ideal, if required Grants Gardens can make installing bayside lawns environmentally friendly and easy to maintain.

Reasons Why Consumers Detest Irrigation Systems

Here are some of the reasons why people become disillusioned with irrigation systems:

1. Old Controllers - Rotary telephones are pretty hard to come by these days. Does your cell phone still flip? Irrigation controllers that are older than five years are not using the latest technology. To obtain efficiencies in irrigation technology you must be using the latest irrigation controller.

2. Runoff - once water starts to sheet flow, all flow freely from the landscape onto impervious surfaces like sidewalks, driveways and roadways, the soil has reached a saturation point and can no longer absorb any further irrigation. The amount of time that it takes for the sheet flow to occur depends on the following factors:
a. Slope
b. nozzle type
c. head type
d. soil type
e. compaction
f. frequency of irrigation
g. volume of water per irrigation event

3. Misting - also known as aerosolization, is a result of high pressure and as much as 50% of the water is evaporating into the atmosphere before it can get to the landscape. Misting is affected by relative humidity and wind.

4. Irrigating when raining - if it is raining for more than 10 min. your irrigation should be turned off. There are numerous automatic shutoff devices sold in the marketplace. Sarasota and Manatee counties have a mandate that all irrigation controllers must be installed with the automatic shutoff device.

5. Broken heads - at a minimum, a broken nozzle will emit 4 gallons per minute. If a zone is operational for 10 min., 40 gallons of water will be wasted. If the zone is operational for three times per week, I hundred and 20 gallons of water will be wasted. The average consumer in America uses approximately 120 gallons of water per day.

6. Shrubs blocking spray patterns - during the establishment period of a landscape, plant material are usually small or young. As the landscape matures and grows into the desired design intent, the irrigation coverage becomes compromised. A plant interfering with a designated spray pattern may mean higher concentrations of water in one area and a “rain shadow” in another area of the landscape.

7. Leaking valves - sand, rocks and small debris in and irrigation system can impact the operation of a valve. Typically, valves do not fully shut when debris is interfering with the diaphragm. These are “invisible” leaks where just enough water gets through the valve to the lowest head and oozes out at approximately half a gallon per minute, 30 gallons per hour, 720 gallons per day, 5040 gallons per week!

Here are some recommendations that Grant's Gardens, Inc. would make when encountering some or all of the above irrigation “headaches”!

Grant's Gardens recommends the following to remedy ailing or out of date irrigation systems:

Upgrading controllers to smart technology to accurately determine how much water a specific plant in a landscape requires.

Use a cycle-and-soak feature on the new smart irrigation controller so that zones run for a short amount of time, but may run more than once per watering cycle.

Install a pressure ridge use on the mainline to control the pressure. When renovating or installing a new irrigation system always use pressure regulating heads for better control of pressure. Always remember that water pressure at the bottom of the hill

Install a rain sensor or an in-ground soil moisture sensor.
Install a flow-meter along with the smart irrigation controller. If you have the right technology, the system will bypass the zone with the broken head and send a message to your smart phone to let you know that there is a problem!

If mature plant material is interfering with a spray pattern, and the head is next to a building, Grant's Gardens, Inc. may be able to change their head to a fixed riser. A conversion to drip may also be possible all, if the plant material is well-established and is in an area with ample rainfall, a well-established shrub bed may be able to be weaned off of irrigation.

Often valves in the landscape need to be taken apart and serviced by a professional. Leaking valves are an indication that the irrigation system is not being serviced proactively.

If you are dissatisfied with your current irrigation system contact Grants Gardens and we will be happy to design and install a custom irrigation system that will perform well without headaches. We also can repair or upgrade current systems to bring them into top performance.

Florida Winter Lawn Care

For those without a skilled lawn maintenance company at their beck and call maintaining a beautiful green lawn of the unpredictable Florida winter can be difficult. Will winters in the Sarasota area are extremely mild, the combination of often, a prolonged dry season with a few cold fronts that can pass through, adds stresses to turf that are not present most of the year.

The difficulty lies in several factors, cooler temps means Florida lawns require less irrigation. Too much watering will cause many problems including pests, fungi and root rot issues. However even though it's cooler and the less water is needed it is usually very dry at the same time. Couple that with an occasional overly warm weather front and you can easily go the other way, and have your lawn suddenly dry out. Careful attention to correct irrigation amounts for the weather conditions and soil moisture content will be essential to get right for a healthy winter lawn. A well-designed and modern irrigation system will have sophisticated control systems that can help by monitoring, temps, humidity and even keep track of the last rain fall. These systems can go a long way on helping to maintain proper watering amounts over the winter months.

Another but less known factor in maintaining our lawn's health over the Florida winter is a regular and correctly administered lawn fertilizer program. As anyone knows who has lived in the Sarasota area for a while, our soil is sandy with little organic matter, and poor in nutrients. To maintain health through stressful conditions grass will need to have a healthy and deep root system. A properly planned fertilizer program during the peak growing season will help prepare the lawn for dryer and cooler conditions by ensure that that the grass has a robust root system going into the winter. Deeper roots will better be able to access moisture, and nutrient from the soil allowing the grass to deal with an occasional dry spell or cold snap. Fertilizer can be a double edge sword though if not done correctly. Too much may actually harm the turf over time by causing the build-up of salts in the soil. With less water available to remove them, the buildup these salts or other excess compounds from too much fertilizer can begin to damage the plants. In addition too much fertilizer is not only potentially harmful to the grass plants, but it cost more money had can have a major impact on the quality of water in Sarasota bay and the Gulf of Mexico. A frequent unwelcome example of the impact of too much fertilizer are the red tide blooms ewe have begun to be more accustomed too.

A third factor in keeping lawns healthy over the Sarasota winter, is mowing. It's important not to cut the grass too short during the dry months. By cutting the grass too short you in advertently cause the lawn to lose moisture and accelerate water loss by evaporation from the turf. The shorter grass allows the sunlight, and airflow to penetrate further down and reduces the shade naturally created on the grass base when the turf is longer. Your lawn mowing company should increase the height of their mower deck during the dry months to help maintain levels of moisture.

If you have issues with your lawns health or quality contact the Lawn Maintenance team at Grants Gardens and we can make sure your home's lawn stays healthy and green all-year.

Landscaper's Challenge: Diagnosing Citrus Tree Problems

One of the benefits of living in the Sarasota Florida area is being able to grow beautiful and productive citrus trees. Nothing says Florida like being out side in the evening when the fragrance of blooming Orange trees is carried in the air.

However as with many other fruit trees, citrus trees can be prone to problems both from nutritional deficiencies and diseases or fungus. The one major advantage a landscape maintenance company or homeowner has when figuring out what is wrong with an ailing citrus tree is most of the common citrus tree problems have highly visible symptoms. These symptoms can show themselves in a variety of ways including overall yellowing of the leaves, yellow spots or yellowing veins on the leaves, black spots or other problems with the fruit, or even dropping all of the fruit in a short amount of time. In this article we'll show a few examples of some citrus tree problems and how to remedy them.

The problems can be put into 3 general categories, Disorders, Diseases & Pests, and Nutritional deficiencies. Problems with inconsistent irrigation can also lead to issues with citrus plants.

Well start off with a quick note on a subject near and dear to our hearts: irrigation. Citrus trees like to have consistent moisture evenly dispersed. A weekly moderate watering of the tree would be preferred to letting things dry out then a heavy douse of water. Also over watering your citrus trees can cause major problems with root-rot and invite fungus and other pests so when diagnosing citrus tree problems always start with the irrigation and soil conditions. Further on that end, though citrus trees need consistent even soil moisture to stay in top health, they also require well drained soil, that is not in a low or soggy spot. Once we have ruled out watering problems as an issue we can look at the other possible causes.

This article will focus on Nutritional Deficiencies

One of the easiest problems to overcome with citrus trees is fixing a nutritional deficiency. To determine the type of nutritional deficiencies your citrus plant may have well need to take a close look at the leaves. The leaves will yellow in a variety of ways specific for each deficiency but the culprits is usually found in deficiencies of Nitrogen, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc or manganese. If your citrus plan suffers from any of these, your yard maintenance company should be able to fix the problem with the proper fertilizer coupled with a supplement of the deficient mineral.

Nitrogen Deficiency - A common problem with citrus is nitrogen deficiency. This will show it's self with and overall yellowing of the leaves. The color has a slight orange hue as opposed to a bright yellow common with other problems and the yellowing covers the entire leaf, not just spots or the veins. The veins will be nearly the same color as the leaves. The tree will have fewer leaves than normal because a nitrogen deficiency will cause it to drop leaves. The new leaves will be much green than the old leaves. A proper fertilizer program should correct nitrogen problems.

Zinc Deficiency – Zinc deficiency, also known as "little leaf", "mottle leaf" and rosetting will cause major problems with citrus plants especially if it is bearing fruit. A bad case of zinc deficiency will not only affect the color of the leaves but actually change there shape from more rounded to more pointed and much smaller than healthy leaves. Zinc deficiency will drastically reduce the size of fruit growing on the tree. Zinc deficiency cannot be corrected wit traditional fertilizer but can only be corrected by spraying a solution of sulfate, oxide or nitrate. The best time of year to spray the citrus tree would be during the spring flush to ensure that new growth has adequate zinc going forward.

Iron Deficiency – If your citrus plant's new growing leaves are very light colored and the veins of the leaves are actually a darker green than the leave the plant may have an iron deficiency. This problem is common in alkaline soils, or when the plant has been over irrigated or sitting in overly wet soil for long periods. Iron problems will cause the leaves to be reduced in size and the tree may drop older leaves early. This one is easy to fix though your yard maintenance company just needs to apply an iron fertilizer supplement.

Magnesium Deficiency – A magnesium issue will certainly be noticeable. Causing bright yellow blotches on leaves that will over time connect together to form large yellowed areas that may cover all of the leaf except for the tip and the base and the midrib. Really bay cases will defoliate branches and some leaves may begin to get a bronze hue. Defoliated stems often die back from magnesium deficiency however this problem is readily treatable. Simply water in Epsom salt, which can be purchased at any grocery store and the problem should be quickly corrected.

Manganese Deficiency – Manganese deficiency can be a little tougher for your lawn maintenance company to diagnose. It may be confused with the early stages of zinc deficiency. The leaf tissue will become a lighter green color than the veins of the leaf. However the color difference is not nearly as distinct as with other deficiencies like zinc or magnesium. The leaves will not be reducing size or shape but will be thinner and less robust. As with zinc, treatment is with a spray on the leaves. The spray should contain a manganese (Mn) solution.

We will follow up with another post on diagnosing citrus plants focusing on disorders.

The Rugose Spiraling Whitefly A New Challenge For Florida Landscape Maintenance

The Rugose Spiraling Whitefly, also known as Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly is new Whitefly to South West Florida

This new whitefly is a large, slow-moving insect capable of infesting a wide range of landscape plants such as: Gumbo Limbo, White Bird of Paradise, Mango, Black Olive, Palms, Copperleaf, Cocoplum, Wax Myrtle.

This whitefly is different from the Ficus Whitefly. So far, the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly is not causing severe plant damage such as plant death or severe branch die back.
This insect is very easy to identify. White spirals and a white waxy substance builds-up on the underside of leaves. Heavy infestation can sometimes weaken plants and disfigure infective plants and understory plants with Black Sooty Mold that grows on the insect’s excrement, also known as Honeydew. The sticky Honeydew can accumulate on cars, pool decks and patio furniture. Once the insect is under control, the Sooty Mold and Honeydew will disappear.

Whitefly Management:

Small Plants - thoroughly wash plants off with a strong stream of water. Follow-up with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil sprayed once a week for 3 to 4 weeks. Repeat as needed.

Larger plants and ornamental trees; heavily infested ornamental plants - thoroughly wash plants or for the strong stream of water. Systemic insecticides can be applied as a soil drench, trunk injection, as a granule or as a tablet. Systemics may take several weeks to be effective for large trees and palms. However, systemics of very long-lasting (9 to 12 months).

Trunk injection is the most effective alternative to spraying or soil applying pesticides for tree insect or pest-control. Unlike spraying or soil applications, trunk injection injects formulations directly inside the tree or Palm.

Fruit trees - must be treated in the same way that small plants are treated. Grant's Gardens, Inc. does not recommend the use of insecticides and pesticides on edible crops.
Please call Grant's Gardens, Inc. for a consultation.

Landscape Maintenance Tips: Rejuvenation Pruning

Are your old hedges looking tired and are not providing privacy? Your hedge may be a candidate for rejuvenation.

Rejuvenation pruning is an aggressive pruning practice to restore and reinvigorate hedging plant material. Healthy plants and correct timing are important considerations. The preferred time for rejuvenation/renovative pruning is just before bud break in the early spring. The aggressively pruned shrubs will flush and in a very short space of time take on a healthy vigorous growth habit.

I think we’ve forgotten this technique because the customers’ expectations have changed. Many homeowners who don’t know the ins-and-outs of horticulture think that landscape maintenance means keeping the shrubs the same size forever. But hedge trimming like that leads to problems – like an increasing number of dead and diseased/unproductive wood and branches.

One of the best techniques for Ligustrum rejuvenation is to remove growth gradually, also known as selective pruning. The first year, remove one third of the oldest, unproductive branches. The next year, take one half of the old, lingering stems. Finally, in the third year, prune out the remainder of the old branches. New, productive stems should quickly replace the old wood. This method takes longer to complete, but the shrub stays more attractive throughout the rejuvenation.

Another technique used to rejuvenate hedges is to cut to the ground or stubbed back to a severe degree. This looks pretty shocking, but in a few months the hedge will have flushed out full and green and with flowers, for example hibiscus and ixora. This type of “hard pruning” should be done judiciously.

If the rejuvenation approach is used more often, then it needs to be specified in the maintenance contract instead of “pruning”, landscape maintenance contracts should spell out the pruning techniques that will be used for the various hedges on that particular property.

Longboat Key and other Beachfront Locations Require Special Considerations For Landscape Designers

Longboat Key's climate and location, while beautiful does present some challenges for large landscape projects. Particularly for waterfront locations when the home owner wants a really impressive tropical landscape that's runs right up to either a canal or beach front.

Many more factors need to be balanced on waterfront property than the inland. In terms of the design and plants and trees used, very hardy species will need to be selected with a range of qualities including drought tolerance, the ability to grow well in sandy soil also important for waterfront homes is a certain amount of salt tolerance. By planting salt tolerant plants like cocoanut palms, Black olive, or even sea grapes, landscapers ensure flooding from high tides or storm surge will not destroy the landscape.

Cold hardiness is much less of a concern for homes on Sarasota's barrier islands and canals. During the occasional winter cold-front when temps get close to freezing, the relatively warm water in the canals and gulf usually keep sensitive tropical plants from suffering much damage and prevent a hard frost.

For bay-front and beachfront homes a well planned landscape can help protect the property from erosion and shifting shorelines by helping to hold the ground behind dunes in place. Wildlife must also be considered for homeowners in waterfront areas. Longboat Key and Sarasota take wild life protection seriously and as such there are regulations that affect the homeowner's options in their landscaping projects. One example of this is Turtle-friendly lighting. Many homeowners want to enhance their tropical gardens and outdoor decks and patios with landscape lighting. However bright lights in the evening can be disastrous for hatching sea turtles. The Sea Turtle's instinct is to follow the moonlight into the water, if a homeowners lights are too bright the baby Turtles will become confused and may end up going the wrong direction. Grants Gardens offers Turtle-friendly lighting that meets local regulations for protecting the turtles and creates a beautiful and safer ambiance for enjoying your outdoor space.

Another obvious consideration for waterfront and island homes is water management. This includes landscape irrigation, controlling runoff and pollutants like fertilizers and pesticides.

Many of the beautiful broad-leaf tropical foliage plants require lots of fresh water, as such careful thought on where to place these plants can save thousands of gallons of water over time and result in healthier plants. By carefully planning with irrigation zones that are appropriate for your property's micro-climates and selecting the right plant for the right place it is possible to have a stunning and lush tropical garden, directly at the waters edge. Furthermore by planting certain shrubs and grasses as a natural barrier, they will act as a filtration system to help remove any excess fertilizers that may be present during the hard rains in the summer months.

For ongoing landscape maintenance on Longboat Key and other Sarasota area locations, careful application of fertilizer is essential. Get it wrong and get used to more red tide and fish kills ruining your beach day or boating trip. Get it right and your beach-side garden will be lush year-round and can actually help remove excess nutrient from runoff.

Grants Gardens have been providing fine landscaping services to Longboat Key home owners and businesses for years including, landscape design, landscape maintenance, irrigation systems and outdoor lighting. We can design and maintain a beautiful and responsible landscape that will add, beauty, value and peace of mind for your waterfront property.