Drought Friendly Landscaping Options
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There’s never been a greater need for water conservation efforts. If you live in a state that’s suffering from severe drought conditions (we’re looking at you California), it’s important to implement water-saving features in your home. Altering your landscaping can significantly conserve water and maintain a gorgeous aesthetic—without water waste or a hefty water bill. Consider incorporating these landscaping options in your yard and do your part in conserving our most precious natural resource.
Xeriscaping is the latest trend in landscaping. Also known as zeroscaping, this technique is designed to reduce the use of energy, chemical fertilizers, and water as much as possible. You can hire professional landscaping companies that specialize in xeriscaping; they’ll most often design a yard that utilizes native plants, smart irrigation systems, and outdoor lighting to complete the effect. Experienced landscapers will generally have a team of qualified professionals that can create a one of a kind design for your yard. While it can be quite an investment, at the end you’ll be left with a beautiful yard that requires little maintenance. However, if you’re looking to conserve water on your own without hiring a professional, there are plenty of ways you can incorporate xeriscaping techniques into your plans.
One of the easiest ways to create a lush and thriving garden without wasting water is to restore your landscape to its native plant habitat. Those ornamental, exotic plants are beautiful to be sure, but have you considered what that unique flower does to your water bill and to your community’s environment? Instead of moving towards the overly manicured lawn reminiscent of Wisteria Lane, consider incorporating native plants to make your yard a standout. Native plants are those that grow naturally in a particular region. Think of native plants as an essential ecological base; wildlife depends upon them. It may take a bit more research to discover the native plants indigenous to your area, but the effort is more than worth it. Native plants mean less maintenance; they evolved to survive on their own in your climate, meaning they can be left alone and thrive. Native plants also offer their fair share of beauty. You can find many that produce beautiful blossoms, delicious fruit, and seasonal changes in color. If you simply must have exotic flowers in your yard, stick to perennials. Why? These blossoms tend to be a little sturdier, withstanding inclement weather and needing less water.
Adding compost to your garden can help reinvigorate your soil, and after determining which compost bin to use, you’ll find that this investment is completely free. Simply purchase a silo, then combine lawn clippings, leaves, and vegetable waste products. Whether you mix it in with the soil in garden beds or with new plantings or shrubbery and lawn, you’ll find composting is more than worth the effort. You can even use compost as a top layer dressing on your existing lawn. It helps plants retain water by increasing the water holding power of their root systems. Learn to make your own compost at EarthEasy.com.
Why not make use of Mother Nature’s gifts? Instead of letting that winter rain wash out into the street, save it. You can collect rainwater from downspouts with a rain catchment system or barrel. These systems don’t come cheap, but there are ways to afford this one-time investment. The San Diego PACE Program from Renovate America actually helps homeowners finance important upgrades like these in Southern California communities, making it easy to afford energy efficient upgrades. Harvesting rainwater for garden maintenance and water features can provide a fantastic return on investment, and allow you to keep the plants you love looking their best. One thing to keep in mind: some cities and communities have passed ordinances against collecting rainwater, so it’s important to check the legalities of a system before purchasing.
Making a difference in your community can start in your own yard. Consider the ways you can help cut down on water waste and save money and precious resources in one fell swoop.