Xeriscaping is a landscape design technique that is all about the conservation of water through the use of drought-tolerant native and adapted plants. With brutal summers and crazy winter storms becoming more common, we must learn to live with Mother Nature rather than fight it. It’s important to select the right plant material for the right locations. Utilizing xeriscaping practices will result in hardier landscapes that will be less maintenance in the long run.
The most important practices of xeriscaping are utilizing the correct plant material, removing non-native turf grasses, and the conservation of water.
Success in the landscape begins with the soil. Improving our native soil with organic material will keep plants happier and healthier in the long term. If our plants have stronger and healthier root systems, they will be much more self-sufficient.
But, we want to avoid creating a “bathtub” effect when we are installing our new plants. If we fill the hole with high-quality soil that is too rich, the roots will want to stay in that pocket and not penetrate the native soil. Rather, we want to amend our native soil with organic compost to add much-needed nutrients without being overwhelming.
Drainage is also an important component, especially when considering cacti and succulents. These plants still like water, but we need the water to move away from the roots quickly. Our favorite amendments are decomposed granite and expanded shale.
Using these practices, our plants will be set up for success from the get-go and will be much more self-sufficient, so that there is less maintenance for us throughout the year!
There are a wide range of plants that we can choose from, much more than just cacti and succulents! Many broadleaf plants are very drought tolerant and can handle our poor soils and harsh climates. Below is a list of a few of our favorites:
Planning to convert your yard to a xeric design can be a daunting task, but it’s a huge benefit to think things through from the beginning. Tackling your project in stages is also something to consider. Pick one area of your yard that needs the most attention work on that one for this season, and save the other areas for later seasons. But keep in mind your overall plan! You want to achieve a cohesive look by repeating certain plant material in several areas of your yard.
Keep in mind whether your chosen plant will be evergreen or not. What time of the year is it going to be in bloom? Choose a good mix of plants so that there is always something pretty to look at all year round. Use evergreens so that the landscape isn’t bare during winter!
Hardscapes can add a lot to your landscape! Large boulders, statuary, benches, wind chimes, and arbors can all be impactful pieces to build around. Start with installing these first, and build around them.
Need help designing your yard? Let us handle it for you!
A few tips to keep that can elevate your new landscape. Rainwater collection can be a huge resource! Collecting natural rain water will save big on the water bill every month, and your plants will love it more than water from the tap! Stronger plants are naturally better at fighting off pests and diseases, meaning less worry and work and the season moves on. Mulch is your best friend! It will help regulate temperature, retain moisture, prevent weeds from popping up, and break down to add nutrients to the soil.