Guest Blog – Xeriscaping 101 by Tim Smith at Modernize

XeriscapingAs water conservation becomes more important than ever, many homeowners and landscapers are turning to xeriscaping to reduce the water needed to maintain their landscape designs. Xeriscaping is a great way to cut down your landscape’s impact on the environment while still improving the curb appeal of your property with a beautiful and colorful landscape design.

What is Xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping is also called drought-tolerant or water-conserving landscaping and uses plants that require minimal water for a given climate. Xeriscaping has always been popular in arid climates like southern California and Arizona but is gaining attention in many other areas as water conservation becomes more important all the time. Cultivating a drought resistant garden and yard doesn’t mean you have to stick to cacti, succulents and rock gardens; Xeriscaping utilizes a thorough understanding of the natural soil and climate of your location to help you choose which plants will thrive with as little extra attention as possible.

Xeriscaping for Your Climate

A sustainable water-conserving design requires you to get a good understanding of the climate zone, soil type, rainfall and sun patterns of your location, as well as an understanding of how buildings and other structures affect your xeriscape. The goal of xeriscaping is to create a low-maintenance garden that works together with its natural environment, and choosing the right plants is one of the most important parts. The climate zone of your location gives you a great general idea of what plants will be able to survive the highest and lowest temperatures in your area throughout the year. Understanding your soil type gives you a handle on what nutrients the soil is naturally abundant or deficient in and which plants can thrive on those nutrients. Rainfall can be concentrated during one season or scattered throughout the year and it’s important to know how many inches on average your site gets per year. Buildings and structures can also have a significant impact on your chosen plants; the further from structures your landscape is, the more arid and sun drenched it will be. Analyzing all this information will allow you to choose the plants that will thrive on the natural resources of your area with minimal watering and other maintenance.

Due to its very nature, there is no set recipe for successful xeriscaping. The success of a drought-resistant landscape depends on choosing the plants that will work naturally with the environment as it already exists. In addition to saving water, xeriscaping conserves other resources and reduces the amount of required maintenance so you can reduce your footprint while still keeping a beautiful and lushly landscaped property.

Visit Modernize for landscaping ideas as well as other home remodeling and design inspiration.