Xeriscaping has gotten quite a lot of recognition in the world of horticulture lately. This method of landscaping and agriculture aims to optimize a landscape and reduce the need for irrigation. That being said, it’s not all cactuses and rock gardens. By using plants that are native to a landscape’s natural environment, the need for irrigation is reduced. Other terms for xeriscaping include “water-conserving landscapes”, “drought-tolerant landscapes”, and “smart scaping”.
Understanding the Premise of Xeriscaping
A garden that optimizes water consumption doesn’t necessarily need to be boring and dry. Xeriscaped gardens are still lush! Xeriscaping became popular in regions that have a low supply of fresh water available, particularly in the hot summer months. This is because in these regions many people felt that they were unable to sustain a traditional garden. Not only did this result in dry and abandoned-looking backyards, but it also was costly when most plants were unable to sustain a single season.
The seven principles of xeriscaping are:
- Plan and design: Plan the layout of your garden to optimize irrigation
- Soil amendment: Use organic matter to improve fertility and water retention
- Efficient irrigation: Water a maximum of once per week and only 5 cm of water at a time
- Appropriate plant and zone selection: Choose native plants or varieties that don’t require consistent irrigation
- Mulch: Use 5-10 cm of mulch to prevent moisture evaporation
- Limited turf areas: Convert traditional lawn areas to plant beds with pathways in between
- Maintenance: Practicing regular maintenance to ensure water retention is upheld
How to Implement Xeriscaping
A large component of xeriscaping is taking the time to carefully plan and design your garden. In doing so, you are able to choose plants that will thrive in your yard’s environment and place them in a way that optimizes water conservation. One way of doing this is by placing plants that require more water towards the bottom of a slope. This way, they are able to catch the natural water runoff from rainfall and maximize water retention. Many xeriscape gardens also use the idea of irrigation zones. These irrigation zones group together plants that have similar irrigation requirements, reducing the number of plants that get too much moisture due to close proximity.
There are also various techniques used in maintenance and planting that help plants absorb moisture around them. Some people open the root system of the plant before replanting it to its permanent home. This is done by opening up a plant’s ball of roots before planting it in the ground. Plants that thrive in low moisture conditions include lavender, rosemary, and thyme, in addition to Mediterranean plants and geraniums.
Ways to Make Your Xeriscape Garden Stand Out
To make your xeriscape garden visually appealing, consider developing a diverse layout to your garden. By avoiding rigid lines, your garden looks more natural and lush. You can also use garden accessories to add some colour and eye-catching elements to your garden. Common ways to incorporate this include pots, stepping stones, benches, and lattices.
At Canada’s Gardenland, we’re dedicated to bringing your garden vision to life. We offer landscaping, flagstone, interlocking, fencing, and more! Call 647-449-9512 to get your free quote!
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