Xeriscape is water conservation
through creative appropriate landscaping and water management. The key
words here are creative and appropriate. You can still have almost any
garden you like, and still save water. Your garden can be a beautiful
oasis, and significantly increase the value of your home, while still
The fundamentals of Xeriscaping can be
broken down into seven simple steps. More detailed explanations will
follow, but for now, the basics are:
Planning is the most important step to
a successful Xeriscape. A throughtful design, can allow you to install
you landscape in phases, and avoid costsly mistakes. Many people create
their own designs with excellent results. Landscape professionals can
be valuable resource, with services ranging from making simple planting
suggestions to full-scale design, and construction.
While lawns are great for play areas,
picnics, and pets, often turf can be replaced with other less thirsty
materials such as groundcovers, low water use plants, mulches, or hardscape.
A combination of a sound irrigation design
and installation with careful water management will conserve water.
Irrigation technology has boomed in the last few years with improved
product quality and increased water saving efficiency.
Turf areas are best watered with sprinklers.
Trees, shrubs, flower beds, and groundcovers can be watered efficiently
with low volume sprinklers, drip or bubbler emitters. Monitoring and
maintaining your irrigation system is the key to saving water and money.
Soil Improvement allows for better water
penetration, and improved water holding capacity of the soil. Organic
matter and other amendments also provide beneficial nutrients to plants.
It is best to test soil to determine the correct amendments and amounts
needed. Improve the soil prior to planting and installation of an irrigation
system. Contact the University Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor or
your local nursery proffessional for more information about soil testing
Mulches cover and colol the soil, reduce
weed growth, slow erosion and most importantly, minimize evaporation.
The textures and materials also provide landscape interest. Organic
mulches include shrredded bark or chips, wood grinding, or combost.
Inorganic mulches are usually rock or gravel products.
There is a large selection of water efficient
plants available in San Diego County. Many popular landscape plants
are a lot more drought loerant than you;d imagine. Nearly ever landscape
function can be served with a low water use plant..Year Round greenery,
bright flowers, borders or accents - all can be achieved efficiently
and attractively. Some nurseries tag their low water use plants for
Regular maintenance preserves the intended
beauty of your landscape and saves water. Pruning, weeding, prper fertilization,
pest control and water scheule adjustments contribute to water savings.
Because of their design, xeriscapes result in reduced maintenance cost
Following just one or
two of these principles can result in improved plant health and a noticeable
reduction in water use. Follow all the steps and your savings will be
truly substantial. Read on to learn more of the basics, and refer to the
resource list on page to obtain more information on specific details.