Xeriscaping is a method of landscaping that minimizes water usage by replacing existing plants with drought-tolerant vegetation. This method of landscaping has gained popularity in recent years because of drought conditions, but people are also starting to appreciate its unique cosmetic and functional benefits.
This article will help you determine whether or not you should xeriscape your lawn. For more information on the process of xeriscaping, be sure to check out our blog post about the most important xeriscaping principles.
More Water For Everyone!
The term “xeriscaping” means dry landscaping. We all know the importance of water conservation, especially in dry and arid climates, which makes xeriscaping a wonderful option for the landscaping enthusiast who still wants to be environmentally conscious. Efficient irrigation methods are the cornerstone of xeriscaping. While the location and type of vegetation used in a yard can help minimize water usage, the way you water those plants is just as important.
On average, xeriscapes use up to 60% less water than typical landscape designs with lush lawns and thirsty vegetation. This is accomplished by replacing more traditional lawns and plants with drought-tolerant alternatives. For example, raspberry ice plants have a very similar appearance to decorative flowers, and desert moss makes for a great turfgrass replacement because it grows low to the ground and resembles turfgrass. Drought-tolerant plants like these help create gorgeous xeric landscapes and require much less water to thrive.
If hand-watering all the vegetation in your yard seems tedious or boring to you, xeriscaping can also help with that! The plants used to create xeriscapes do not need to be watered nearly as often, and installing a slow-release drip or bubbler is often enough to provide adequate irrigation. Even if you do prefer using a hose or sprinkler system, xeriscape plants only need a little bit of low-pressure watering to get the job done.
Xeriscaping Fits All Climates
Water conservation is the main goal of xeriscaping, but the methods of conservation can be tailored to fit the needs of different climates or aesthetics. Drought-tolerant plants can be found in dry climates all over the world, and strategic placement of such plants can help reduce the amount of water your yard requires.
- Dry Climates – If you live in an arid climate zone, you probably already know how extremely difficult it can be to maintain a lush green lawn, and the water usage required to do so can be downright irresponsible. Dry climate zones struggle to support plants that have high water requirements, so xeriscaping as much as possible in these areas can make life easier for both you and the planet.
- Humid Climates – Not every landscape requires a complete overhaul to be considered a xeriscape. For more humid parts of the country, incorporating just a few xeric elements can make a world of difference. If you don’t want to give up your lawn but are tired of trimming overgrown bushes, plants like desert spoon or agave can be great bush/shrub replacements that require much less water. Even just replacing a few plants with xeric plants can allow you to have a green yard while still conserving water.
Native plant species are an important aspect of xeriscaping in dry climates because drought-resistant plants are typically native to dry climates. Traditional lawns and yards have a very green appearance that does not necessarily include any native plants. When natural vegetation is disturbed and replaced with non-native plants, the natural wildlife is negatively affected. Installing a xeriscape that utilizes native plant species improves biodiversity by inviting native insects, birds, and other critters back to areas from where they were once displaced.
One of the most attractive qualities of having a xeriscape is the low maintenance you can expect to see compared to a traditional lawn. Turfgrass grows rapidly and needs constant watering, mowing, fertilizing, and other time-consuming maintenance. Replacing grass with drought-resistant groundcover or artificial turf drastically reduces the amount of time you have to spend on lawn care. Grouping drought-resistant plants into zones that have similar watering and shading requirements is another way to cut down on the amount of work your yard requires, and it is also one of the major principles of xeriscaping.
Water bills are getting higher and higher as water becomes more scarce, so why not save yourself the money and the headache by installing a new xeriscape? The less water you use, the less money you will spend on a water bill, but it is not the only way xeriscaping saves you money. As maintenance needs decrease, so do the costs of expensive repairs and products. Lawn mowers, grass seed, fertilizers, and more “necessary” landscaping costs become concerns of the past with every new xeriscape element you install.
Downsides Of Xeriscaping
Everyone has preferences and priorities when it comes to the landscape of their property, and xeriscaping may not be the best choice for you. If you have a large family with kids and/or pets who love running around the lawn, replacing your regular turfgrass might not be the best idea. While many people love the unique curb appeal of a beautifully crafted xeriscape, others may find the aesthetic unappealing, especially in more humid areas where lush growth is common.
Below is a list of just a few cons some people identify when installing a xeriscape so that you can make the best decision for the needs of you and your property:
- Less turfgrass for practical usage (parties, lawn games, etc.).
- Replacing your landscape can be costly and time consuming (only at first).
- Leaf and debris removal is more difficult than simply raking.
- Large amounts of mulch are often needed to keep xeriscapes cool.
- Drought-resistant plants are not native to every ecosystem.
- Prospective home buyers may think a xeriscape devalues your property.
To Xeriscape Or Not To Xeriscape?
If you care about the entire planet as much as you care about your own little plot of land on it, xeriscaping is an obvious solution to water conservation issues. However, the particular needs of a home and family may make xeriscaping too impractical. Still, xeriscaping is proven to save water immediately and save money in the long run, and the unique beauty of a xeriscape is great for anyone who is tired of looking at green grass everywhere. No matter what you decide to do with your lawn and yard, Lush Green Services will be there to take care of all your landscaping needs in Colorado!