Xeriscaping is landscaping in such a way to avoid the use of unnecessary amounts of water. Xeriscaping is also known as “zero scraping”, “water-conserving landscaping”, and in some places “smart scaping”.
Xeriscaping is a great way to save water and energy. With xeriscaping there is little to no use of water, there isn’t a lot of grass to mow so there is no extra fuel or energy consumption, and it is generally easy on the environment as you would just be using natural materials that are common in your area and these materials don’t require any sort of fertilizers or harmful pesticides.
When we started here with our new house we only planned out our front yard. Our back yard will take more work, but it will be xeriscaped as well. In the front we brought in common drain rock found at our local rock quarries – it is a form of river rock, only the smaller version. We laid the rock down around a few shrubs that fit naturally into the environment for the area directly in front of our house and then for the rest of the area we have the rock spread out with a few boulders mixed in. The result is a very simple yet beautiful yard with very little maintenance needed. The few shrubs in front are on a drip system that only runs for 20 minutes a day, three days a week – that’s it!
If you are looking for ways to reduce water consumption and save some energy as well there are some tips you should know before xeriscaping.
- Choose plants wisely. You should only choose plants that are drought-resistant and that can survive where you live. If you live in a desert region like me you don’t want to pick tropical plants, this will defeat the purpose. Choose plants that are more native to your area to insure their survival.
- Set up a drip system for plants. Drip systems only water when needed and it really allows the plants time to absorb what they need rather than get overloaded.
- Make sure to weed on a regular basis. Weeds consume more water than your plants so you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
- Cover your soil. You can leave the ground bare, but covering with rock or mulch will keep it cooler and help your plants to need less water.
- Aerate the soil before you cover it. Keeping the soil in good condition will help your plants thrive without the need for more water.
- If you use rock, keep it natural. Don’t worry about bringing in the fancy rock that has been chemically processed to create a neat color – natural rock will look better, be better on the environment as a whole, and it will save you money.