Xeriscape: Earth-Friendly Yards
Xeriscape has been around since 1978, but it’s gaining popularity. The official definition is “an attractive, sustainable landscape that conserves water and is based on sound horticultural practices.” If you’re interested in conserving water, helping the environment, decreasing maintenance time and saving money, read on.
There are seven principles of Xeriscape:
1. Plan and design comprehensively
2. Evaluate and improve soil
3. Create practical turf areas
4. Use appropriate plants and group according to their water needs
5. Water efficiently with properly designed irrigation systems
6. Use organic mulches
7. Practice appropriate maintenance
Much of the hundreds of thousands of gallons of water used in yards is never absorbed. Some water is lost to runoff by being applied too rapidly, and some water evaporates from unmulched soil; but the greatest waste is applying too much too often.
Xeriscape can decrease maintenance by as much as 50 percent thanks to less mowing, reduced weed growth and more efficient watering techniques.