Xeriscaping: landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation.

In short, xeriscaping means using creative landscaping to conserve water. The technique uses native plants which are best suited to the area. While this landscaping technique started in high drought areas, it is broadening in its appeal in all geographic areas.

What are the Benefits?

• Saving water is the key benefit of this technique. We apply 50% of our residential water to plants and lawns. This technique can reduce this water usage by 50-75%.

• Minimal maintenance which consists of occasional pruning and weeding.

• Save on fertilizers and pesticides which are usually unnecessary because sufficient nutrients are provided by healthy, organic soil.

• Reduce pollution because the more of your yard you xeriscape, the less turf areas you have to mow, potentially allowing you to change to a reel mower.

• Raise your property value with xeriscaping which can also offset the cost of the installation.

• Provide a natural wildlife habitat through the use of native plants. You can start designing your xeriscape yourself, but we suggest you draw out plans before you begin, or hire a professional designer. Plan your property from an aerial view if possible.

While we can’t tell you everything about xeriscaping in this article, here are a few more basic principles and suggestions:

• Study the natural drainage patterns, hills, and valleys of your property. You may want to add interest through terraces, rocks, timber and other natural elements.

• Think about areas for seating, walkways, outdoor dining and any other activities.

• There are more great ideas for xeriscaping from improving your soil to mulching, irrigation, ground cover and maintenance.

Use Web sources to learn more and also contact your local nursery who may know designers and can acquaint you with native plants.

What does this mean? “The yard’s landscaping uses native plants, which require less water to remain healthy and will withstand periods of drought without wilting and turning brown like conventional lawns.”