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Grass, Bushes, or Flowers?

May 6, 2020 1:30:00 PM / by Don Magruder, CEO RoMac Building Supply posted in homeownership, landscaping


There is an old business adage which says, “In business you can offer two of the three following strategies without going bankrupt—lowest price, highest quality, or best service.”

For most Americans, this same two-out-of-three strategy applies to their yard. Do you have manicured grass, nice bushes and trees, or beautiful flowers? The homeowner must decide which is more important to them and their lifestyle without busting the family budget. Other issues to consider are the soil, environmental issues, and upkeep.

The first question is simple but hard to answer by many homeowners. Of the three— grass, bushes and trees, or flowers—what is most important to you? Men tend to lean toward grass because they normally operate more of the power equipment keeping it tidy. Women are usually more visual, and they enjoy the flowers along with the privacy and shade from bushes and trees. After looking at your resources, soil, environment as well as your wants, wishes, and vision—make a plan for your yard. Once again, most Americans cannot afford everything. Do not try and do too much, causing you to skimp on areas.

When it comes to investing in your lawn you should consider three important aspects—watering, upkeep, and neighbors. If you pay for water, having a lawn that requires a lot of watering can be expensive. Plus, keeping the lawn mowed, fertilized, and treated for weeds and pests can be costly. You should take your neighbor’s yard into consideration, because a neighbor who doesn’t care for their yard will constantly contaminate your grass with insects, weeds, and fungus. A lot of money can be wasted on St. Augustine grass because of neighbors who do not care for their lawn.

Some people are flower killers. They buy beautiful flowers online or at their local garden center with no regard to climate, sunlight, or soil conditions. After a short time, they die. If you have sandy soil and your flowers will be in full sun, make sure the flowers you purchase can handle those conditions. Plus, every year or so there are freezes and frost in Central Florida. That is when all the beautiful tropical plants and flowers are destroyed. Unless you like throwing away money, be sure your plants and flowers can handle the freezes and frost that occur in Central Florida.

As for bushes and trees, the problem goes back to the homeowner making bad choices without understanding the soil and sunlight conditions. There are reasons why trees in New York do not do well in Florida and many of our northern winter residents do not understand the effects of Mother Nature. If you want to see which shrubs and trees perform the best in Central Florida, go for a drive. Most experienced homeowners and landscapers have figured out what works.

When considering bushes and trees for your yard, size and maintenance are very important. It is not uncommon for homeowners to purchase regular species when they really want dwarf varieties. This is especially true with crape myrtles. It is also important to understand the hardiness of shrubs and trees, because some of them are more susceptible to fungus and mites. If you are a set it and forget it homeowner, you want to buy a very hardy and more bland species.

As you plan your home’s landscape for spring and summer, choose which aspects of the landscaping that are most important to you. Then create a budget and decide how much effort you want to put into the upkeep. By taking time to consider these factors, you will reduce stress, enjoy your home, and have more time for what you like to do.

Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply, and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Television Show which is hosted weekly on Lake Sumter Television.

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