Monday, December 21, 2015

On the Pathway to Landscaping Success with Miami’s DJ Khaled

By Michael Gutierrez (Miami-Dade U.C.U. partner)

If you’re attuned to pop culture and on social media you know about DJ Khaled – Miami radio personality turned music mogul turned Snapchat phenomena. Every day on his Snapchat account Mr. Khaled offers motivational insights and positive messages like only he can – in the elevator, over breakfast, in the shower, on a jet ski and in the garden.

DJ Khaled: a snap sampling
Just Know
The garden gleanings are what I’m going to focus on here. Averaging two million views per snap, DJ Khaled is easily South Florida’s most prominent landscaping advocate! Mr. Khaled keeps flowers, bamboo, and bromeliads in the backyard - all under the watchful eye of a now famous lion statue. Amidst the bamboo vibes and lion order, there are additional lessons to be learned about good landscape management from DJ Khaled. Here are the top five I’ve gathered this fall.

The Keys
  • "A good sprinkler system is important."
Even in tropical South Florida, supplementing rainfall with irrigation is sometimes necessary. The keys to success: hydrozone your system so turf zones are watered separate from ornamental zones, and if you don’t have a smart irrigation controller, be sure to have a functional rain sensor installed so there is no watering during rain events.
  • "Every day I water my plants. It's a vibe."
The truth is that manually watering your plants is as water efficient as you can get. Why? Because you only water when it's necessary. Further, if you love colorful flowers that require plenty of water, watering these manually while the automated irrigation takes care of the grass will also save water. Conservation is a vibe.

  • "Some days the grass is going to be brown. Don't panic."
Your turf will sometimes develop hot spots (brown areas). This can be indicative of poor irrigation system design, a break or leak somewhere in the zone affecting coverage, or pests/disease. But as DJ Khaled says, don’t panic. Resist the urge to increase the irrigation run time or add chemicals to your turf until you know the cause. Why? Over-watering can promote fungus and over-treating can result in chemicals leaching or running off. The key to success: wet-check your system regularly to stay on top of bad coverage and breaks before hot spots develop.
  • "It rained yesterday so I'm not watering today."
Only irrigate when it's necessary. Smart irrigation controllers, soil moisture sensors and rain sensors can help you eliminate unnecessary watering.
  • "Fruit trees are a vibe."
Recently DJ Khaled planted an orange tree and a star fruit tree in his garden, and there are plans to add a lemon tree and mango tree as well. Why are fruit trees a key to success? They offer shade, attract wildlife to your yard, and will eventually provide delicious edible fruit.

Coming soon: a lemon and mango tree (via Snapchat)
Cloth Talk
Landscaping and landscape maintenance are important industries in South Florida. Miami-Dade's Urban Conservation Unit exists to help promote sustainable landscape practices and facilitate efficient outdoor water use for both residential and commercial properties. In this Herculean undertaking, we’re happy to count DJ Khaled as an ally.

Add DJ Khaled on Snapchat: djkhaled305 


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