Xeriscaping

What the heck is xeriscaping?

Simply put, xeriscaping is a system of landscaping with water conservation as the priority. In areas that receive little rainfall in the summer, some thoughtful xeriscaping will allow flowering plants to thrive, adding visual appeal – as well as important forage for pollinators.

Xeriscaping

There are five principles that are key to xeriscaping success:

Plant selection is fundamental to xeriscaping because different plants have different needs when it comes to moisture, light, and soil. Drought tolerant plants are the most useful for this system, and there are masses to choose from.

Plant grouping keeps plants with similar needs together. If your property has a high, exposed point, as well as a low area where water gathers, you would select drought tolerant plants for the high area, and plants that require more moisture for the lower area. Prepare the soil in your xeriscaped area with this in mind, adding more moisture-retaining organic matter where necessary.

Grading takes advantage of the natural tendency of water to move downhill, even over low grades. This is an important concept in xeriscaping design. Xeriscaped areas are rarely flat like lawns might be.

Mulching prevents weeds from growing, and it conserves what little moisture there is in the soil below. Mulching with finished compost or well-rotted manure helps to build soil’s structure and fertility over time.

Irrigating efficiently is perhaps the most important concept to achieve a really robust and healthy xeriscape landscape. A carefully designed xeriscape might survive well simply using the naturally occurring rainfall. But in times of extended summer drought, some additional irrigation may be necessary. The trick is to irrigate efficiently. Watering deeply and infrequently encourages deeper root growth. Irrigate in the morning, before the heat of the afternoon. Drip irrigation is more efficient than overhead sprinklers.

Xeriscaping simplified

Even if you don’t have the resources to convert a whole yard or landscape, maybe it’s time to focus on gardening with drought-sensitive plants. The list below is not exhaustive, but it shows how diverse the selection of flowers might be. All of these plants will perform well with minimal extra irrigation.

Alyssum
Asclepias
Calendula
California Poppy
Centaurea
Chamomile
Chives
Cosmos
Gaillardia
Gypsophila
Hollyhocks
Iberis
Lavender
Marigold
Nasturtium
Poppies
Sage
Scabiosa
Sunflower
Thyme
Yarrow
Zinnia

Do you need to plant a larger area? Try our super-economical Easy Care Ground Cover. For a really beautiful xeriscape, use our Xeriscape Mix Wildflower Seeds.

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