Xeriscaping Lawn Design Tips

Is it hot in here or is it just Texas? Last year was a real scorcher and many areas of the US experienced record droughts. Tight watering restrictions left homeowners to watch their lawns go brown and die off. It’s really time to start thinking about water conservation for home landscaping no matter where you live. Xeriscaping is the practice of using plants and landscaping methods that reduce the need for supplemental watering. The exact details look different depending on your local climate and soil conditions. But the underlying principles still apply. Here are just a few:

  • Keep existing trees. They help stabilize the soil and provide shade that reduces the need for watering. Plus, they have deep roots and rarely need watering even in the most severe drought.
  • You don’t have to do away with turf completely or make your yard into a rock garden. Use native grasses that are used to surviving on local rainfall. In Texas, buffalo grass is a favorite.
  • Allocate part of the yard to ground covers and garden beds planted with drought resistant vegetation. This doesn’t necessarily mean cactus! There are plenty of succulents, wildflowers, and ornamental grasses that don’t need much water.
  • Mulch liberally (a 3-4” layer is good). This is one of the most effective ways to keep moisture in the soil. Organic mulch decomposes, so remember to top it off every so often.

Check out sustainablesources.com for more in-depth xeriscape planning information.

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