Conserve Water in Your Landscape:
Xeriscaping is the act of landscaping using plants that do not need a great
deal of water. It is also the more efficient use of water to take care of your
Xeriscaping is becoming more popular in areas that are
naturally dry and areas that are prone to drought. The West is an excellent
place for applying xeriscape principles, as much of the land west of the Rocky
Mountains is considered semi-arid, and it is especially prone to drought.
By applying the principles of landscaping for drier areas, it is
possible to enjoy a beautiful landscape without running up the water bill or
spending a great deal of time trying to keep your landscape from wilting.
Many people, when they think of landscape with xeriscape think of
cactus and rock gardens. The truth is that these types of landscape designs are
very efficient and make interesting landscapes.
Cacti come in many
varieties and can be quite beautiful. Many cactus plants bloom with lovely
flowers as well. Cactus can add an interesting look to your landscape, and add
a uniqueness and distinction to your yard. If you have young children, however,
it is a good idea to choose cacti without spines.
There are different
types of cactus plants that do not have the harp spines we think of, and there
are plenty of other plants, related to cactus, called succulents that are great
Rock gardens are also excellent for xeriscape
landscaping. They take up space that bushes and lawn would use, but require
less care. Additionally, rock gardens can look very interesting and there is no
reason that that a variety of plants cannot be planted among the rocks.
There are many flowers, ornamental grasses, and small shrubs and
groundcovers that can grow in the midst of your rock garden. Be sure to choose
hardy plants, preferably native plants, which can tolerate living in close
proximity to the rocks.
But just because xeriscape is about conserving
water does not mean that your landscape has to be all cactus and rock gardens.
It is possible to create and maintain a landscape using xeriscape
principles with more traditional flowers, and even with lawns. The key is to
carefully choose your plants and then to care for them more efficiently,
especially as it relates to water use.
Some plants that are excellent
in most xeriscapes are perennials (they store a great deal of nutrients in
their roots and bulbs, and do not need as much water), ornamental grasses,
vines, shrubs, and groundcover.
As mentioned before, the use of native
plants in your xeriscape landscape design is essential in having a landscape
that is not too high maintenance and one that conserves water. It can be very
interesting to combine these more traditional landscape plants with plants like
cacti and succulents. It adds variety and makes your yard that much more
Efficient use of water can help your plants become part of
the xeriscape. If you water intelligently, you can help your plants become
stronger, utilize the moisture in the soil better, and consequently better
withstand drought, insects, and disease.
These watering tips even work
when watering the lawn. The reason efficiency is so desired is because most
people use twice as much water as is necessary to water their lawns.
Instead of water frequently and quickly, water occasionally and deeply.
It may take more time, but the water will soak into the soil and encourage the
roots of your plants (including the grass) to reach down into the soil.
Your xeriscape can be a beautiful landscape that also conserves water.
If you keep in mind the basic principles of xeriscaping, chances are that you
will be able to save yourself money in water costs, and that you will be able
to enjoy healthier plants.
Additionally, you will find that you spend
less time on maintenance when you incorporate the principles of
Native plants that are deeply watered stand an excellent
chance of blooming again and again, giving you much pleasure over the look of