Friday, April 14, 2017

What is Xeriscaping Anyway?

What is xeriscaping anyway?
Image by Whitneyfulmer
At Altitude Sprinkler & Landscape, we offer a full range of landscaping and irrigation services including xeriscaping. But what is xeriscaping anyway? We want to clear up any misconceptions you may have about this method and demonstrate how your yard may benefit from it, functionally and aesthetically.

Xeriscaping is a landscaping technique that conserves water without sacrificing the appearance of your garden. This technique makes use of native plants and was originally developed here in Colorado to deal with the arid climate. To integrate xeriscaping into a landscaping plan, follow these seven key principles:

1. Conscious Design. From the first stages of planning your garden, design with efficient irrigation in mind. Take into account the location of your water source, turf areas, planting areas and dry areas for walking or sitting. Drawing up a plan will make it easier to complete each step of the project.

2. Practical Turf Areas. A xeriscaped garden can have areas of turf, but they are usually designed to be of a manageable size, shape, and grade. Prioritize the areas where you need a lawn, don't just use it to fill empty space.

3. Hydrozone. Choose mostly low-water plants such as succulents and native desert plants. Hydrozone or group together plants with similar water needs. Identify how frequently each zone will require irrigation.

4. Use Compost. Compost or other soil amendments can be added as you plant. This will act as a natural fertilizer to improve the nitrogen and nutrient content of the soil, helping your plants to thrive even in difficult conditions.

5. Incorporate Mulch. Woodchips, cobble rock, and even rubber mulch can be used in xeriscaping. Layering mulch over the soil will minimize evaporation of moisture and will help to keep the soil cool.

6. Efficient Irrigation. Giving the right amount of water to each area of a xeriscaped garden is key. To do this efficiently, some specialized equipment including hose-end equipment can be used. Automated timers can reduce the amount of time you have to spent taking care of the garden.

7. Smart Maintenance. Like any garden, a xeriscaped area will look best if it is properly maintained. Learn how to prune, weed, fertilize and mow your specially designed garden to keep it healthy and looking great.

Following these principles will allow you to incorporate a variety of flora into your garden with limited irrigation. A mixture of native desert plants and hardy introduced plants such as iris and tulips can bring visual appeal to a xeriscaped area. You can use your resources and time efficiently to create a beautiful outdoor space, even in the desert.

Now that we’ve answered the question, what is xeriscaping anyway, nothing can stop you from jumping on board! Some homeowners think that a practical garden in an arid area means just rocks and gravel with a monoculture of spiny cactus. Altitude Sprinklers and Landscape can help you create a colorful, varied, and even lush garden with controlled water use. Call us today for information on our landscaping services including personalized xeriscaping plans.