You can plant agave in your garden and live an eco-friendly lifestyle without having to sacrifice beauty. Xeriscaping is a great solution that allows you to make the most out of every drop of water that you have access to.
While you may have thought that periscope design is a style of gardening that’s purely an environmentally friendly option, it’s also stunning to look at. Many homeowners think that xeriscape is the same as zero-scape and that xeriscape gardening means simply adding a few plants to improve the landscape. That’s just not the case.
A yard that embraces a xeriscape design includes all types of garden plants. After all, the term simply means a landscape that minimizes the use of water. Here, we’ll look into where you should start with xeriscaping and much more.
Getting Started with Xeriscaping
To take a yard that’s guzzling water and give it a xeriscape design, start by assessing the areas of your landscape consuming the most water. Typically, a lawn consumes more water than the average yard. In a xeriscape design, a lawn is reduced and often replaced by grasses that can survive on rainfall.
Blue grama and buffalo grass are both native grasses requiring a minimum amount of input to look good. New turf-type buffalograss cultivars create a lawn that does a good impersonation of traditional fescue. Put in some research time to make sure you choose a cultivar that can perform well in your region. Another low-water use option is reveille, a grass developed in association with Texas A&M University.
You could also establish irrigation zones. This requires categorizing plants by their water needs and is a design principle that promotes a healthy garden. To create irrigation zones, you need to plan the landscape, and that’s another core xeriscape design principle. Whether you’re just beginning or renovating existing plants, you should plan carefully in order to achieve the most effective xeriscaped areas.
Efficiency is also important when it comes to irrigation. Watering by hand, drip irrigation systems, bubbler emitters, and soaker hoses provide efficient water delivery, ensuring that water reaches the roots. Choose sprinklers that deliver larger drops of water closer to the ground. Steer clear of overhead sprinklers, as well as those that release a fine mist.
Another important xeriscape idea is using mulch. This slows water evaporation from the soil, provides a finished look to planting areas, helps to reduce weeds, and moderates soil temperatures. Select a mulch to complement your style of garden. Stones make for a great mulch for a succulent garden design and naturally fits into zen rock gardens. A common mulch in English garden design is shredded bark.
When you match a plant to the right growing conditions, you’ll achieve positive results with minimal effort. It’s also wise to amend soil in order to provide plants with the best footing. The type of soil amendment to use depends on the type of plants and the type of soil you have. Test your soil to get the most out of your soil amendment budget.
You may wish to include rainwater recycling. Rain barrels offer a simple way to catch and reuse rain runoff from structures. Take a look at your landscape during rainfall to find other areas generating runoff. And think about how you can direct and take advantage of that runoff. A dry creek can sometimes help shuttle runoff from a driveway to a garden area.
Concepts and Materials
Research different concepts and materials for hardscape areas. Some xeriscape ideas are choosing paver patterns that enable some open earth between pavers to enable rain to percolate into the soil. For example, you might wish to replace a macadam or concrete driveway with turf stone, porous paving, gravel, or pavers with openings that enable grass to grow through them.
Not all xeriscapes resemble a scene from a southwestern desert. Mediterranean species have been used in European gardens for a long time, and they can offer a rural Tuscan vibe or a formal French style while also conserving water. Plants from Australia and Africa that are drought-resistant can act as chameleons, providing color and character to virtually any style of theme. Conservation can simply mean finding a drought-resistant alternative to a water-loving tree or shrub.
If you’re considering xeriscaping, research local native species that are used in landscaping, as well as the array of imported species from various dry climates around the world. This is the key to success with xeriscape. That’s the best way to make your home a friend to the planet and create a model water-saving landscape.