Keeping lawns, trees, bushes and flowers healthy and attractive is a big goal for nearly all condos and HOAs—and meeting this goal means that effective landscaping management is essential. Aside from the sun, soil rich in nutrients, and a capable, qualified landscaping staff, the key to remaining “green” is water access. Depending on the location of an association, H20 can be a sporadic resource, requiring the implementation of irrigation technologies that themselves require maintenance and oversight.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2013 South Florida’s population exceeds 5.8 million residents. And while other regions of the nation have higher numbers of residents per capita, South Florida is unique in that its average temperature is 82 degrees. Between population density and climate, the area's lush, tropical environment requires more water than most areas of the country.
“Golf courses, nurseries, cemeteries, public parks and large communities with common systems use the most water per source,” says Jack Baldwin, a licensed irrigation contractor with the Pompano Beach-based Ted Conner Landscaping Inc. “Single family homes account for a large portion of irrigation as a whole, but with more single source water connections.”
Baldwin adds that topographical and climate-related issues also determine which areas will require more water than others. “Open areas without shade and more exposure to sun will dry faster and need more water. And some plant species require more water than others,” he continues. “Soil conditions can cause water to not get to root zones for the plant to survive. Sandy soil allows water penetration quickly, while loam and clay causes water to run off and sometimes be wasted.”
A Changing Industry
The irrigation industry has changed significantly over the last two decades, say the pros. For homeowners associations, these changes matter.