Xeriscaping: 6 Steps to a Natural, Low Maintenance Lawn

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Xeriscaping, or waterless landscaping (or smart-scaping or native-plant landscaping — whew!), is a great way to save time and money on maintenance for your lawn. By using native plant species and paying close attention to sun exposure, you will rarely have to water your lawn yourself. A well-made xeriscape does the work for you.

Creating a habitat using native plants can be livable and enjoyable. Grasses, trees and bushes alien to your natural climate tend to be your landscape’s biggest water-suckers. By planting a native habitat in your yard, you will conserve water, create an eco-friendly space and perhaps find yourself living side-by-side with the beauty inherent to the land on which you live.

Here are six steps to get you started on creating a native, easy-to-maintain and beautiful lawn with xeriscaping.

1. Seek out plant species native to the area. Local nurseries and landscape architects are great resources when deciding what to plant in your yard.

2. Look for natural drainage patterns. This will help you to avoid erosion as well as help you highlight visually interesting valleys, crests and plateaus in your landscape.

3. Pay attention to sun patterns. Take note of which areas get the most sun and will subsequently require more water or more drought-resistant species of plants.

4. Use well-aerated soil. It’s high in organic materials through added compost and conserves water. Many plant species (other than most cacti) will appreciate a wet, dense soil.

5. Consider alternatives to grass and turf. Use stones, brick, mulch, sand or native grasses in place of turf. You will find that it needs far less water and maintenance.

6. Learn how to properly irrigate. By replacing crude hoses and sprinkler systems with modern irrigation methods, such as drip irrigation (which limits waste by dripping small amounts of water directly to each plant), a yard can thrive with limited or zero water-waste.

See also:
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