January 7, 2022

Xeriscaping: A Great Way to Save Water

Driveway Paving installation in Long Island

Table of Contents

While xeriscaping is a term commonly used in arid and semi-arid regions, it can become an effective way to save water and transform your yard while maintaining the same level of beauty. A xeric landscape uses native plants that require less water and manage moisture better than other types of landscaping.

It saves you money on water bills by reducing evaporation, runoff, or unnecessary drainage. Using xeriscape techniques saves you both time and effort. You are not trying to maintain a lawn nor are you adding chemicals to it. Planting xeric landscapes eliminate the need for pesticides which harm animals living in the area including pollinators like bees that are dying.

Do People in Long Island Care About Xeriscaping?

People in Long Island are not xeriscaping as much as they are in the Southwest, but it is becoming more common. The estimate is that xeric landscaping can save homeowners 60 to 70% of their water bill. This is a substantial amount after considering the average monthly water bill of $56.59 for people living on Long Island.

It may become difficult to convince your neighbors to xeriscape when you are the first one doing so. But once another sees how beautiful xeric plants look and how little water they require, others will follow suit. It can become easy to find xeriscape plants locally. You do not need many types to create interest or contrast throughout your yard. Purchase them from a xeriscape store or xeric nursery.

Plant xeric trees and shrubs including:

– ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)

– creeping blue wooden aster (Eurybia divaricata)

– New Mexico privet (Forestiera neomexicana)

Xeriscaping Method

Gain insights on seven steps involved in xeriscaping. Follow them one step at a time:

Plan and Design

Xeriscaping is a design-based project so you should know what plants to put and how it will all look, compare designs, and select the best one for your landscape.

Pick plants that require little water including grasses, trees and shrubs, vines, and ground covers.

Select low-maintenance plants instead of fussy ones.  

Remove your lawn and consider alternatives such as:

– California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera)

– desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata) x 3

– Texas prickly poppy (Argemone Texana) x 2

– xeric garden with Mexican primrose (Oenothera speciosa) x 3

Water your xeriscape plants less often. But when you do, it is best to use drip irrigation. The water goes deep into the soil.

It is important to map out how you want your landscape to look, which plants will grow where, and compete with other plant life. The less competition or conflict each plant has for water or light resources, the better chance they have at survival in this tough world you live in today.

Choose and Zone Plants

You will only need one tree, two shrubs, three vines, and six ground covers to create interest.

Put xeriscape plants in sunny spots for the best results.

Plants with identical light and water needs go together. Place them in an area that matches these needs. Put high-use fixtures like tall trees or heavy emitters near downspouts to help moderate their impact on your landscape. When you have low-lying areas, fill those spaces with shorter varieties of vegetation. They do not take up all the drainage resources there.

Xeriscapers should use native plants and grasses for the space to become successful. You can talk with your local garden center about what type might work well in this environment. But when you are not sure, using drought-resistant varieties like Bermuda or Buffalo will help tremendously!

When starting from scratch, remove some existing turf first. These vegetation-based landscapes do not require maintenance once established except trimming.

Limit The Turf Areas

The xeric landscape is not for areas where you will place furniture or other objects on the ground.

Use large enough containers to allow xeriscape plants to grow well. You can plant more than one of these types in a container when your space permits. But xeric landscaping needs at least six inches of soil.

Existing walkways, decks, and pathways can cover space. You must identify how to use your turf as well, what its purpose is for doing so to use the appropriate variety with these items.

The thick mat of blades and roots makes it difficult for water to penetrate the soil. Therefore, most lawns require about 1/3 inch or 8 mm or more per hour to absorb all their applied rainfall without excess runoff onto walkway surfaces where children play and entertain friends. 

Xeriscapes allow you limited space between fences around backyards. But still want an expansive front yard with flowers thrown throughout.

Improve The Soil

The xeric landscape does not need soil that drains well.

Use xeriscape soils for planting landscapes to keep costs low and save time.

Drought-resistant and xeric plants will work best in the soil without adding too many organic or nitrogen-based material types. You can hurt your xeric landscaping when you work with this type of mixture due to its reduced permeability. It retains what it absorbs like nutrients and water for the plant life therein. These are important because it needs these resources over time and drought periods are inevitable.

Digging a hole and observing how hard it is to dig through soil can help you identify what type of dirt your prospective home’s foundation will become built on. Once mastering the correct shoveling technique, take an impression with one hand as if copying another person’s signature.

Use Mulches

Mulches prevent landscaping from becoming too much of a xeriscape. The xeric landscape needs mulch-type materials to cover the soil surfaces to reduce evaporation and weed growth.

Use mulches for xeriscape plants with limited amounts of water available, especially during dry weather. Always choose organic types to provide xeriscape plants with the most longevity possible in their surroundings.

Rocks are an elegant landscaping material for mulches when you cannot use plastic or rubber materials due to their toxicity when your pets and kids ingest them. Where xeriscaping does not prefer these natural products, whether or not you build xeriscapes in your front yard, they are beneficial to these types of landscapes with limited amounts of water.

Mulches go a long way when xeriscaping because they pave the way for plants to become healthy and gorgeous in time after applying them.

Irrigate Efficiently

Xeriscape plants thrive over time with methods to water them, and you can do it efficiently by following these tips:

In xeric landscaping, plants do not need a lot of water. They only need about one inch or 25 mm of water per week.

Xeriscape plantings use sustainable amounts of water for irrigation over time. For example, when you receive four inches or 100 mm in rainfall, xeric plants absorb it all over the week. Therefore, you can limit water in xeriscape irrigation to maximize landscaping with limited resources in your area.

Xeriscaping is an incredible way to take advantage of nature’s gifts while creating a marvelous landscape that will withstand tough weather conditions. One important element in xeriscape design involves using drip irrigation. It minimizes evaporation by delivering water right down into the root zone where it needs to become the most effective.

Maintain The Landscape

Xeric landscapes need maintenance as well. You must take care of xeric plants that you created, and it does not always mean xeriscaping with a huge budget. The xeric landscape needs upkeep for healthy and water-efficient plants to live long and prosper.

You can take care of your landscape plants with your garden hose. Remember to take xeric landscaping seriously when you handle xeric plants in the spring and summer months especially when there is no rainfall or irrigation available.

Xeric landscapes do not need soil mixes because they can thrive without them. But you can xeriscape with soil mixes for plants as you desire during colder months.

It works best when xeric landscaping considers the plant types, how to build them, how to xeriscape the garden, design using plants, and landscaping.

Cost of Xeriscaping and Water Conservation

Do xeriscaping at varied price ranges. You have xeric landscapes that require the least amount of effort. Take xeric landscaping seriously to high levels of expertise. Either way, xeriscaping will save water, increase the aesthetics in your neighborhood, and help conserve water over time.

Fish and xeric landscaping go hand in hand. Add ponds to your xeric landscape for a natural look.

Water features add personality and flair to xeric landscapes or any landscape in general. Kits do well for xeric landscapes, gardens, designs, and plans.

Proper irrigation can save up to 50% in water usage. When xeric landscaping uses rocks for mulches in the landscape, you must consider how they aid in proper irrigation by using less water.

Xeric landscaping saves a ton of money by efficient water usage and proper irrigation. Plants save water, time, and money when xeriscaping your yard with front ideas.

Creative Ways to Save Water with “Xeriscaping”

Below are nine ways to enlighten you on how to minimize xeriscape water usage. Consider the following:

Native Plants (Drought Tolerant Plants)

Use the very short category of ground covers, fairy gardens, and more in many ways. Put these at the front or on lawns for visual effect.

In order from the smallest height down:

Ground Covers – These tiny plants provide cover for animals such as mice who might want some peace during their day

Fairy Garden – A small ecosystem that includes insects but no larger creatures except bugs that do not care about your garden

Low Growing Shrubs – Xeriscape a whole shrub or pick a few of the same type of shrubs

The African Iris has the exotic appeal of an orchid! It shows large white flowers with purple and yellow markings. Divide irises after every number of years to keep them vigorous, in contrast with bearded irises. This species is not tough enough for USDA zones 8 through 11 which makes it perfect in a xeriscape rock garden where too much wood-based mulch can cause crown rot.

Relying on Nature

Xeriscape can save your landscape. It is easy to do it. Bring xeriscaping ideas indoors for eye-catching and exotic plants like the African Iris.

Learn how xeriscaping makes a difference by saving water and xeriscaping with succulents which are drought-tolerant plants that require little water.

Xeriscaping is a marvelous way to have an outdoor space without sacrificing beauty and function. Best of all, you can create it in any shape or size! Xerography involves using plants for dry land conditions like xerophytes. Their roots breathe better than most other types because they are not soaking up water from beneath the ground as often. It helps them withstand periods without rain much more easily.

You will also want pest-resistant plants, so these critters do not ruin your surroundings. But when there is one thing about Long Island landscapers, it is how important aesthetics should become when designing your front yard.

Minimize Turf

Xeriscaping strives to reduce the size of turf areas as much as possible, retaining some for open space or visual appeal. When planting new lawns with reduced maintenance needs, determine grasses and shrubs specifically according to your climate zone. Consider using less water than traditional rain-dependent species.

The Kentucky bluegrass that you love to play on and watch in perfect fields is lush and hardy but with high water consumption. One way of reducing this demand for your scarce resource while still enjoying the beauty it provides. Try out some native low or no water use plants on patios, decks, and mulches.

These will beautify your yard without requiring as much irrigation. You could also go down another route by planting more buffalo grasses, tall fescues, fine fiberscent Agricultural Ministerial Zone 5 staples.

Smart Irrigation

When xeriscaping your yard, consider the irrigation systems. These use less water for a smaller area of landscaping. You can maintain xeric landscaping with much less trouble. Do not let xeriscaping intimidate you because it does not have to become costly or time-consuming. The xeriscapes you create might even become beautiful!

Integrated systems that provide easy programmability and real-time moisture sensing are becoming more common in the irrigation industry. These “Smart” schemes allow for implementing goal-based watering algorithms. It means to put only enough water when needed. That is instead of an overabundance at all times or shortages during dry spells. 

Many half projects incorporate these types of smart technologies into their design. This xeriscaping method is a fabulous way to save water and still have an attractive landscape! Xeriscaping is the smartest way for you to have what you want without becoming wasteful.

Install an automatic-rain-shutoff device

Put this on your xeriscape that only allows the controller to activate it during rain. This technique can save water and lessen the work for you as well.

Rain shutoff sensors are an easy way to save your sprinkler system from the damage of heavy rains. These devices will automatically turn off the water when they detect moisture. Prevent flooding lodge reviews, which can happen easily when you are not careful about maintaining proper chlorine levels during wet weather conditions. 

Install sensors near any point where there are potential accumulations like gutters and downspouts. Otherwise, these types of rain events may cause major problems with drainage as well.

The rain shut-off sensor is a simple and economical tool for preventing irrigation during periods where it becomes wasteful. For extended off times or when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius, an accurate sprinkler timer should replace this method of control. They are more reliable and will work in either situation.

Eliminate Leaks

You may also want to check for xeric landscaping leaks. These are due to broken pipes, cracked hoses, or other problems that can cause your xeriscaped areas to lose moisture.

Small drips and rustic water run-offs are not necessary for xeric landscaping. This means you should repair any visible problems, so xeriscaping is more efficient and therefore, lose less water.

Leaky xeriscaping irrigation systems can result in significant monetary losses for water bills. Elevate much xeric landscaping above ground level to create an awesome xeriscape that uses less water. This increases the likelihood of leaks developing beneath them. The best way to xeriscape is to use plants.

Many xeriscaping professionals choose shrubs, drought-tolerant flowering perennials, and trees for their beauty and knack of thriving without much irrigation.

Install a Rain Barrel

A rain barrel is an essential xeric landscaping product when you want to save water even more. This irrigation item catches rainfall from roofs and uses it for watering xeric plants or lawns down the line. Using a rain barrel may also cut your xeric landscaping costs.

When nothing else, consider making use of xeric landscaping investments to save money on supplies. They will make your xeriscape more attractive while saving water and time.

Mow High

You can xeriscape with grass even more efficiently by maintaining it at a higher cut. Mowing xeric landscaping lawns regularly will not waste time or water to keep greens lush and healthy all the time. Xeric landscaping reduces labor costs, so you need less time to maintain xeriscapes over time.

Don’t Over Water

You should xeriscape by knowing when and how much landscaping needs watering. Maintaining it properly will require attention to the weather and soil conditions as well as plantings.

Xeriscaping is a great way to maintain your landscape without the need for regular watering. These landscapes are looking better than ever before, and there is no shortage of beauty in these dry regions!


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