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Using Xeriscaping to Save Time and Water

| Articles | July 3, 2013

While having a full fledged garden is rewarding and enjoyable, lots of

people simply don’t have the time that is required to maintain it. Whether

you have too much going on at work or too many kids to take care of, you

should never try to operate a garden if you don’t think you can handle it.

For those people who are just too busy for a normal garden, I would

suggest a somewhat recent method of gardening known as Xeriscaping. This

minimal yet stylish theory first emerged in Colorado when water levels

were at an all time low. It is a great method of having a great looking

yard or garden, without having to maintain it or water it very often at


Here in Colorado, many places are offering free Xeriscaping lessons in

order to encourage the conservation of water. If your area is undergoing a

drought, you should check with the water suppliers and see if they are

offering lessons. If you attend those, you will be able to get advice

specific to your region (IE types of plants to grow, how much to water

them, etc).

To some, the name Xeriscaping conjures the image of a yard that consists

of a giant rock bed. However, this is known as “zero scaping”, and it is a

considerably different concept. It focuses on reducing your yard to

nothing that requires any maintenance whatsoever. Unfortunately this is

usually just rocks. But this shouldn’t be your goal. While keeping

maintenance at a minimum, it is still possibly to retain a nice looking

yard that won’t attract the negative attention of everyone who passes by.

This might sound like it would be hard to implement without making your

yard into a hideous mess, but this is not so at all. The theory basically

involves choosing plants which are low maintenance to begin with, then

putting them each in environments that are ideal. It is usually applied by

figuring out what side of the house to place it on to get the best amount

of shade, and figuring out how to group it with plants with similar water


To get started in your Xeriscaping renovation, you first need to pick out

all the plants you will be using. They should for the most part require a

low amount of water. This doesn’t mean you can only grow cactuses in your

yard. Just cut back on the really thirsty plants that you have to water

every day to keep alive. You’ll want to stick with local plants for the

most part, and don’t go with anything too exotic as these generally

require larger amounts of water.

The second most important principle of xeriscaping is placing the plants

in ideal areas. If you place them all together with plants that require

essentially the same amount of water, then you will end up saving lots of

water. Also place the plants in areas where they will be protected from

wind or excessive sun, depending on the needs of the plants. Xeriscaping

is almost the same thing as microclimating, just with more of a focus on

adaptation to harsh conditions rather than avoiding them. So if it sounds

good to you and you’re looking to save time and water by renovating your

garden, you should look for xeriscaping lessons.

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