Xeriscapes are the sustainable answer to the growing problem of climate change. The planet is getting hotter, droughts are lasting longer, and more and more communities are implementing restrictions to conserve water usage. It can sometimes feel overwhelming just to maintain the front yard properly, not to mention the backyard. Xeriscaping can help homeowners everywhere combat these scary changes. But what is it and how can it help save your money, your front lawn, your plants, and the planet? Let’s dig into it (see what we did there?)!
What Are Xeriscapes?
Xeriscapes are yards and gardens that have been cleverly designed to use water as little as possible. This technique is typically used in drought-prone environments to maintain a yard or landscape without sacrificing aesthetics. A xeriscaped yard has little to no lawn grass, and it often utilizes native plants that can rely on rainfall for water. Rocks and mulch are used to replace the grass, while plants are grouped by their water, soil, and sunlight needs for maximum efficiency. Before getting into the best plants to start your own xeriscaped yard, let’s look at the benefits of xeriscaping first.
Benefit 1: Saves Your Money
The concept of xeriscaping (i.e. saving water) naturally leads to saving money. Some have found their water usage reduced by 50 to 75 percent! That equals a lot of savings when the monthly water bill comes due. Some counties and cities even have an incentive program to help encourage water reduction. You could receive a credit or money back on your water bill just by implementing and practicing xeriscaping. Plus, you’ll be saving more time (and time is money) by not having to manually water your whole yard.
Benefit 2: Saves Your Plants & the Planet
There is much less risk of overwatering plants that are strategically grouped by their needs because any extra runoff will only nourish the plants that can handle it. For hands-free watering, soaker hoses that reduce evaporation can be installed near the plants that need the most water. The drought-resistant plants that don’t need watering will have their own area, so they won’t be damaged by accident. By reducing water usage and eliminating as much evaporation as possible, you’re helping save the planet!
Benefit 3: Saves Your Yard
As the planet continues to heat up, more areas are seeing droughts and long periods of hot weather they haven’t experienced before. You may be looking at a dead yard for half the year if it isn’t designed to handle it. By filling your yard with “xeric” plants, you’ll no longer have to watch your grass lawn and flowers die every time it’s too hot for too long. But xeriscaping doesn’t mean sacrificing beauty. There are many drought-tolerant and -resistant plants that grow beautiful flowers and have colorful foliage. Let’s look at some of these next!
Examples of Xeric Plants
The xeriscaping technique isn’t just for locations that experience frequent drought. You can apply this strategy anywhere in the world to reduce your water usage and your monthly bill! Consider the soil condition, amount of sunshine and rainfall received in the area, and local watering limits to determine which xeric plants will work best.
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