Florida is a land of extremes, and 2018 has been no different. Just 5 months ago, many of us were begging for the rains to stop so that floodwaters would recede. Now, entering the second quarter of the year, 11.093 million people, or 60 percent of the population, are suffering from abnormally dry conditions.
Wildfires can run out of control in these conditions, and just this time last year massive fires in Collier County burned large plots of land and homes. Until the summer rains finally begin to fall, we need to keep our yards prepared in order to protect our homes.
Maintain Your Yard.
When you’re living in drought conditions, you need to consider doing a simple cleaning of your yard. Underbrush, weeds, and dead plant life help fires start and spread quickly. This is a nightmare for firefighters and first responders. It is recommended that if you have a large yard or if you have a lot of plant life in your yard, you maintain it. This not only keeps your yard looking neat, but it can also greatly assist in the control of wildfires in extreme drought conditions.
Mulch Your Yard.
Mulch is not only decorative, but it can also create a protective barrier for your plants and home similar to moss. Mulch stays wetter longer, so your plants do the same. If it is used close to your home or is packed near the foundation of the home, then it can help prevent the drying of the ground around your home so air pockets don’t form. Without these air pockets, your foundation will stay strong.
Early mornings and twilight are the best times of day to water your plants. It’s also important to remember which plants are in need of water and which are heartier. Saving rain water throughout the year in rain barrels is a practical and helpful way to preserve water. You can buy rain barrels at home improvement stores and online.
Keep Native Plants.
Native plants are generally heartier and can last longer in particularly wet or dry times of the year. Floridians can easily care for plants like orchids, succulents, vines, and herbs.