A Growing Program for Water Conservation is Xeriscape which is a successful way for property owners to reduce water needs by up to 60 %.
How to Begin Your Xeriscape
Whether new or old, your landscape can be made more water efficient. Xeriscape’s seven steps are briefly mentioned here. With a little effort, you can be on your way to a beautiful Xeriscape. Not only will your yard look appealing, but also good Xeriscape improvements will increase the value and selling potential of your home.
1. Design. Many people do their own designs with excellent results. You may want to have a professional check your plans, or do the whole design. Begin with a sketch (1/4″ = 1′) showing your home and property. Consider slopes, soils, aspect (direction of slope), drainage, limited areas of turf, privacy areas, play areas, etc. Plants need to complement the site and structure, as well as look great and save water.
2. Soil Improvement. For best results, add 3-5cubic yards of organic material per 1,000 square feet to be planted, and rototill to 8″ deep.
3. Reduce Turf Areas. Turf is important to the landscape. However, it requires the most water and should be limited to what is really necessary. Consider using turf only in small plots of high use and high visibility areas.
4. Mulch Areas. Mulch covers soils, saves moisture, reduces weed growth, and adds interest. It should be 3″ deep, over soil or breathable fabric. Avoid using solid sheet plastic. Mulch areas cost about the same as turf, and look best when plants are used to cover a major part of the mulch area. Nursery people can tell you more about mulch.
5. Irrigation. Plan to irrigate turf areas separately from other pants. Use a zone irrigation system which groups plants according to their water requirements. Drip irrigation can help save water and reduce weed growth.
6. Low Water Demand Plants. Scores of species are available. Colorful flowers, trees and shrubs, and attractive ground covers will complement your Xeriscape. Turf that requires less water is available, too!
7. Maintenance. Attentive maintenance preserves the intended beauty of the landscape, and it saves water. Proper mowing, fertilizing, pruning, and weeding all help and fine-tune your irrigation system.
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