Friday, October 17, 2008

Why xeriscape landscaping

Are you looking to save on your water bills? Start outside in the garden. Xeriscaping is a great alternative to our traditional methods.
What is xeriscaping? It's creating a low water garden and landscape. Using native plants and trees that are adapted to your climate and weather patterns.
It doesn't matter what part of the country you live in, you can implement this in your landscaping. If you live in the desert southwest, you may want to plant cactus, yuccas, penstemons and other plants that thrive in dry areas. Check with your local nurseries for suggestions. This also includes trees, bushes and grasses, plant water wise trees and lawns.
If you have a traditional garden and are deciding to shift to xeriscape, consider the trees you already have. Many people will tend to forget that changing over can put a strain on your existing trees. They may have had a lawn that used a fair amount of water before that the trees loved and needed, but now they have changed to a lawn with very little water needs, or no lawn at all. Perhaps to a rock landscape. You can still give your tree the water it needs by drip irrigation or just giving it a good soak once or twice amonth depending on your climate. Again check with your nurseryman.
Before you start, plan your garden and do some research. Organize your plants according to their water needs. Group plants with a higher water needs close to your home and water source. then plants with less water needs you will plant farther away. This way you don't have plants that are drought tolerent mixed in with plants that will suffer in the heat. this is called hydrozoning.
Don't forget the all important mulch. Mulch locks in moisture in the soil and helps to cool the plants depending on the mulch you use. It also helps to deter the dreaded weeds. So you can save time, and your back, by controling the weeding you need to do.
After you have planned, planted and mulched don't forget that just because these are water wise plants, you will still need to water them the first season to let them get established.
Have fun and enjoy the color and beauty of your new garden

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