Arid Landscapes and Xeriscaping


Do you live in an arid climate? By that I mean – is the amount of natural rainfall in your area low enough that you have to irrigate to keep your landscape from turning into dust? Do you have to spend a ton of money during the warmer months to keep that grassy carpet in from of your house green? Do you sometimes feel like you’re engaged in a losing battle against the “dry” heat?

This article is sponsored by Landscaping Services in London.

Lots of places have climates that make it difficult to support huge, thirsty lawns as part of your landscape. Many homeowners have learned (the hard way!) that it’s easier (and more affordable!) to make a change to minimized water usage instead of fighting a losing battle to keep grass alive.

Less Thristy Ground Covers

The common term for minimize water usage in the landscape is “Xeriscaping”. You don’t have to eliminate all type of greenery and plant life, buy you can successfully adjust to plants that are less thirsty. Depending on your region, there are quite a few alternatives to standard “bluegrass” that are attractive and water-efficient substitutes.

A homeowner can easily maintain a green mini-lawn using just far less water than is required by a traditional lawn. Alternatives for this type of ground cover include vines, various herbs, and native grasses like buffalo grass.

Thirsty Plants Should be Avoided

Xeriscape can include lot of green plants if you do it right. Xeriscaping is not “zero-scaping” (which involves minimal planting), and it’s not entirely “natural” gardening (which concentrates exclusively on native plants). The chief concern of xeriscaping is water usage.

Select plants based on their water requirements in the specific area you are planting, and not just their average water requirements. In other words, the plant doesn’t have to be a water-miser, it just has to be able to survive with the minimal amount of water it gets in that location. Shade, wind breaks, and slopes all have a bearing on how much water the plant will need and use.

Using Rocks and Gravel

English: PEARL HARBOR (Aug. 5, 2010) An elabor...

Even though xeriscaping and zero-scaping are actually different philosophies, you, as a homeowner shouldn’t ignore the possibility of using non-living landscape techniques. It just makes sense to minimize the total amount of required watering area in a xeriscape.

Reducing the total area devoted to greenery can reduce total water consumption, even when low moisture plants are selected. Gravel and bark beds and cool rock formations add visual interest and aesthetic appeal to a landscape while at the same time reducing water requirements.

Low Maintenance – The Ideal?

Even though a reductions in water usage is the goal of xeriscaping, this does not mean you’re getting a maintenance-free landscape. Xeriscape plants still need care and upkeep. Even though it takes less water to keep a xeriscape healthy, it often requires stricter attention to a regular watering schedule.

Furthermore, you have to understand that xeriscaped landscapes and lawns often have unusual requirements for soil nutrition and composition. Quite often this may require the homeowner to maintain an unusual soil pH, use uncommon fertilizers, perform regular aeration, and other maintenance tasks not generally associated with a traditional landscape.

Although this may be a pain, it often pays off with a distinctive, eco-friendly garden that catches the eye and keeps watering expenses down.

Consider Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping may not be for everybody. If it appeals to you, be sure to investigate thoroughly. You may find it a more rational, reasonable approach to cultivating the residential environment. Embracing the xeriscaping philosophy is often the first step to a lifestyle that’s more ecologically conscious and sustainable.

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