Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Hina Rubab
Irrigation needs and landscaping have always gone hand in hand. Depending on where you live, ensuring that your yard, plants, trees, and flowers have sufficient water can be challenging. This, in part, is why so many homeowners and landscapers are learning how to xeriscape to improve their outdoor living.
But what does xeriscaping really mean? Does it necessarily mean that my landscape will have to become a desert? Here, we answer those in addition to other questions about this innovative set of landscaping principles that can help you reduce your irrigation needs, develop a sustainable landscape, and even help save the environment.
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WHAT IS XERISCAPING?
Many of us have probably heard of the term before, but what does xeriscaping really mean? According to National Geographic, xeriscaping, at its core, refers to the “practice of designing landscapes to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation.” Essentially, this means designing your landscape to use as little excess water as possible. For arid regions, such as the American Southwest, xeriscaping can help conserve valuable water resources. Additionally, xeriscaping can help you design a more sustainable landscape that works with—not against—the local climate and environment.
BENEFITS OF XERISCAPING
There are many benefits to incorporating xeriscaping practicing as part of your landscape and backyard. Here are just a few of the reasons why more and more homeowners and landscapers are turning to xeriscaping:
· Reduce water usage: some proponents say you can cut down your water usage by up to 75 percent by xeriscaping. Especially in arid regions, reducing your water usage is incredibly important and can help your local environment.
· Save on your water bill: especially in arid regions, water bills can quickly add up. Save water and money by implementing xeriscaping practices.
· Lower maintenance: a healthy, sustainable landscape requires far less work than one that you’re trying to make survive in the wrong environment. Xeriscaping will allow you to cut back on watering, replacing dead plants, and other yard maintenance. What’s not to love about a little more free time?
· Save money: in addition to saving on your water bill, xeriscaping can cut down on your overall landscaping costs. Native plants survive much better and require fewer replacement purchases. Additionally, using rocks, gravel, and sand is often a cheaper alternative to grasses or turf.
· Conserve valuable resources: in the era of climate change and several other environmental threats, it’s more important than ever to conserve and protect our natural resources. You can do your part by cutting down on your water usage and preserving our natural resources. Additionally, a landscape that uses xeriscaping often requires fewer pesticides and less fertilizer.
· Natural beauty: xeriscaping can help you design a beautiful landscape that’s not only appealing to the eye, but also fits in naturally with its surrounding environment. By using native plants and accentuating your yard with rock formations and colorful sands for ground cover, xeriscaping can enable you to create a beautiful outdoor space.
WILL XERISCAPING TURN MY LANDSCAPE DESIGN INTO A DESERT?
No, not at all. While certain features of xeriscape (like using sand and rocks) may recall images of a desert landscape, you can still create a landscape design to fit your needs and taste. Xeriscaping doesn’t mean zero water, but rather, finding methods and strategies for using less water. This will help you save on both water and money, but xeriscaping also situates your yard into a more sustainable relationship with the natural environment.
HOW TO USE XERISCAPING ON YOUR LANDSCAPE
Xeriscaping isn’t just simply littering your landscape with rocks and sands. Xeriscaping is so much more. This sustainable approach to landscaping can be adapted to serve almost any yard and budget.
If you’re interested in ways that you can incorporate xeriscaping into your landscape, take a look at some of these surprisingly simple xeriscaping tips:
1. Native vegetation.
A key to xeriscaping lies in selecting the right kind of vegetation for your yard. Choose native plants that will not only survive—but thrive—in your local environment. Since native vegetation has evolved to live in your climate, they tend to require less watering. Regardless of where you live, there are many low-water plants to choose from.
Here are some popular low-water annuals:
· Dusty Miller.
2. Replacing groundcover.
Ornamental lawn grasses may look lush and beautiful, but they can be a major drain on your water bill. Additionally, in more arid climates, many ornamental lawns simply don’t do well in such conditions. Replacing your lawn and groundcover with sands, gravel, or rocks can improve the durability of your yard.
3. Effective irrigation.
One of the most common misconceptions about xeriscaping is that you have to completely eliminate irrigation. This is wrong. Xeriscaping aims to reduce your use of excess water through smarter irrigation methods. Instead of using a sprinkler to water your lawn, consider running a soaker hose throughout the yard and mulch. Additionally, drip irrigation can be an effective way to water potted plants and flowers. Make sure to repair and maintain your irrigation system so that you aren’t losing valuable water to leaks or disrepair.
CONCLUSION – WILL XERISCAPING TURN MY LANDSCAPE DESIGN INTO A DESERT?
No matter where you live, introducing xeriscaping practices to your landscape can help you save both water and money. Not only that, but xeriscaping can transform your landscape into a beautiful setting that looks like it actually belongs with the surrounding environment. Xeriscaping is a fundamental component of developing a sustainable landscape.
Xeriscaping, of course, doesn’t mean that you’ll turn your yard into a desert. The focus of xeriscaping is cutting down on your use of excess water, which can be done in several creative and simple ways. Using native plants, improving your irrigation system, and replacing ground cover with rocks, sand, or gravel are all effective methods to save on water and help save the environment. In crafting the perfect Colorado landscape, consider unleashing the power of xeriscaping and its many benefits for your outdoor space.