Consumers and Their Florida Yard: Perceptions, Practices, and Closing the Gap

L Felter, P F Monaghan


When it comes to caring for their landscapes, the gap between what homeowners “think” they’re doing and what they actually do can be wide. The results from the 2012 Your Florida Yard and You survey indicated that there are many factors for residents to consider when watering their landscape. Such factors included knowing how to operate their irrigation system controller, comprehending what made an irrigation system more efficient, understanding the different water needs of the different plants in the yard, watering the yard while working within water management district restrictions, and maintaining the yard within the required HOA guidelines. The data also support that the participants’ behavior did not match with their knowledge. For instance, the responses to what month(s) it is recommended to fertilize the lawn did not match with their responses to the question what months do you fertilize the lawn. There are differences between their knowledge level and their behavior practices. The results from the survey have advanced the research project to the next level. Focus group sessions were conducted to probe more deeply into consumer landscape maintenance knowledge and practices. The participants were recruited from a list of over 10,000 names, all considered to be high water users by Orange County Utilities. The goal is to learn what the barriers are for
homeowners to properly care for their yards and ultimately increase their water conservation practices. Information gathered from the focus groups will be discussed.


water conservation, barriers, focus groups, automated irrigation

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283