One of the great challenges most homeowner associations experience is how to reduce landscape maintenance and water costs. Xeriscaping is a method of combining attractive, pest resistant and low maintenance native plants in a way that conserves water.
It is based on seven basic horticultural principles:
- Plan & Design: Group like water need plants. Consider existing vegetation, topography and the intended use. Use native species to reduce adaption problems. Eliminate run-off conditions. Decide plants placement based on visual impact and sun/shade needs.
- Evaluate & Improve Soil: Soil analysis provides information for plant selection and soil amendments which help soil absorb and store water. Soil amendments such as peat moss or compost improve root development, water penetration and retention.
- Reduce Turf: Turf should be considered a design element rather than the whole landscape. Reduce or eliminate turf areas, and locating them so that they may be watered more efficiently.
- Use Appropriate Plants: While most plants have a place in Xeriscape, using low water need plants that maximizes water conservation.
- Install Efficient Irrigation: Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation. Adjust according to seasonal needs and the weather. Irrigate for plant condition, not for schedule. New plants require additional irrigation for up to three years.
- Use Organic Mulch: Mulch reduces evaporation, weed growth, erosion and soil temperature fluctuations. Proper mulch application is a key to a successful Xeriscape. Organic mulches like wood chips or bark are best.
- Maintain Appropriately & Consistently: Properly pruned, weeded and fertilized plants require less water and also look nicer. A landscape adapted to the environment will require less maintenance, less fertilizer and reduce the use of pesticides.
So, how low can your H20 go?
Consult with a professional landscape design architect to discover the wonderful options for beautifying your landscape and reducing costs at the same time. You grow girl!