Spring is in the air, and yards and gardens already bloom with a wide variety of flowers, plants, and herbs. From the pleasant scents to the splashes of color, fresh plants offer a wonderful way to celebrate the season, but they can sometimes pose problems when it comes to water consumption.
Everyone knows that some plants require more water than others, but not all home gardeners think about which plants are best suited for their region. This is changing, however; as persistent droughts in some regions have made water conservation critical, more and more gardeners are applying the principles of xeriscaping to their gardens.
Xeriscaping is an approach to landscaping emphasizing plants that require little or no additional irrigation to thrive. Successful xeriscaping takes into consideration local rainfall averages, soil types, and native plant species, so a xeriscaped garden in Seattle will look quite different from one you’d find in Phoenix.
Good for the Earth, Good for the Wallet
One of the most appealing aspects of xeriscaping is that the benefits are twofold:
- Conserving water protects the environment by minimizing the volume of water we divert, treat, pump, and heat; and
- It also minimizes our monthly water bills.
According to EarthEasy.com, households in most of North America use more than half of their treated water to irrigate landscaping and lawns. But with thoughtful xeriscaping, that consumption can be reduced by up to 75 percent!
Xeriscaping can bring other financial benefits, such as improved property values and a reduced need for landscape maintenance, fertilizers, and pesticides.
Start Xeriscaping This Spring
If you’re ready to put away the watering can and start populating your lawn and garden with xeriscaped greenery, the first step is identifying the right plants for your area. WaterSense, a partnership program with the Environmental Protection Agency, has created a “What to Plant” tool that you can use to find the perfect plants for your xeriscaping plan.
As you proceed with your landscaping, keep these smart tips in mind:
- Plan your planting around the layout of your landscape. Consider where there’s shade, sunshine, hills and valleys, and plant what is appropriate for each area.
- Spread mulch around your plants to lock in moisture, prevent erosion and reduce weed growth.
- When choosing locations for plants that will require some watering, group them into “hydrozones” by their water needs. That way, you won’t under- or over-water.
- If you must water some plants, use a soaker hose or drip-irrigation and monitor the plants frequently during watering times to minimize excess water consumption.
Good luck with your xeriscaping! If you find you need assistance with any water-conscious irrigation solutions, reach out to your local plumbing professionals for expert advice and service.