Wondering what Xeriscaping in your garden means? Xeriscaping is a landscaping method that is becoming ever more popular in the current climatic state. This style of gardening helps to reduce or entirely remove the need for irrigation. It is particularly useful for areas that do not have a good water supply and as our climate changes and access to water may in years come to be limited, Xeriscaping is something we may all need to consider on projects going forward. But where to start? These four main principles will help you on your way:
The number one consideration for Xeriscaping your garden is to ensure you conserve water. As you are planning your garden, look at as many ways possible to use rainwater and reduce the need for water. Irrigation should be at a minimum so the right plants are necessary and drip irrigation can be really useful where needed because it distributes the water slowly, only at the base of a plant, reducing the need for any more than is necessary.
The biggest key to Xeriscaping your garden is in your soil quality. A balance between good drainage and also retaining water at the same time! You’ll be paid dividends if you focus greatly on your soil before planting. Use lots of well-rotted organic matter and keep the soil well aerated, ideally use your own compost in the right places, depending on your plant choice. To retain moisture, mulch the soil with wood chip or bark, perhaps pine needles or even gravel. This will greatly help to retain much-needed moisture. Not only that but helps to control weed growth.
It is really important to choose plants that are drought resistant and to limit pruning needs, remember to think about their overall size when fully grown. Often drought resistant plants have thick leaves, sometimes glossy or even ‘fuzzy’ as this all helps them to save water. Xeriscaping doesn't only mean planting Cacti and Succulents, there are loads of plants very capable of thriving in drier conditions. Try Agave, Lavenders and herbs such as Sage and Oregano.
Something else to consider is the maintenance of Xeriscape gardens. They should be low maintenance which also means few weeds, something all gardeners will be happy about! Less mowing, not much pruning and generally easy to maintain. By applying a thick mulch, this will help a great deal with weeds and moisture retention and also keeping turfed area to a minimum will help. If you do have turf, do not cut it too short as taller grass retains moisture better plus encourages a great number of beneficial insects to enjoy your garden.