Florida Water Restrictions
According to Nichelle Demorest, Horticulture Agent at the University of Florida IFAS Extension office, St. Augustine and bahia grass require a lot of water, but Centipede lawns require less water. Native species such as love grass, mimosa, cast iron plant and mondo grass also require less water and are more resistant to pests than non-native species.
A recent Suwannee River Water Management District's order for water regulation now limits outdoor water usage to once a week for citizens residing within district limits. Even with recent rains, the groundwater levels in 92 percent of Suwannee River District's upper Floridan aquifer monitor wells were recorded in the bottom 10 percent of all recorded measurements.
As a result, John Dinges, SRWMD's Director of Water Supply and Resource Management, said the organization encourages Florida-friendly landscaping – water-conserving native plants. ''We are really emphasizing the water saving nature of Florida-friendly landscaping,'' he said.
''It is a trend for those who are exploring alternatives,'' said Nichelle Demorest, Horticulture Agent at the University of Florida IFAS Extension office. ''I think people are becoming more and more aware of Florida-friendly landscaping.''
Demorest said it is important for landscape contractors and homeowners to become educated on the needs of the grass planted.