Know all about xeriscaping and how to green your landscape

Xeriscaping is a type of dry landscaping or desert landscaping. Although xeriscaping is dry landscaping, the actual idea of xeriscaping is not necessarily just for desert climates. Due to rising environmental consciousness, more innovative ideas to live green are being generated. This also applies to the landscaping industry.

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The engineering behind xeriscaping

There are different ways to employ xeriscaping in your landscaping. One of the major parts of xeriscaping is to group different plants which have the same watering requirements together in one place thus conserving water usage. Other things that are required for a xeriscape landscape are as follows:

1. Healthy and fertile soil is key to healthy plants. Many fertilizers that are used in general landscaping are nitrate-based. These nitrates can then go into the water table and leach out into the rivers and streams and eventually into ponds and lakes. This in turn can hurt the entire eco-system.

If plants grow in healthy fertile soil, that eliminates the need for fertilizer. The question is how to keep the soil fertile. There are many ways to keep the soil fertile using natural means, the most common being compost. If you live near a stable, manure from the horses can also be good fertilizer for your garden.

2. Grouping plants by water requirements is a very efficient method of water conservation. If you place plants that require the most water in one place and the plants that require less water in other places, you can conserve water. This will also insure the health of your plants, because the plants that require less water will do better in the drier conditions.

3. Lawns and the xeriscape can be an interesting relationship. If you live in America, you are quite aware that having a nice green carpet-like lawn that is quite often watered three hours every day during the peak of the summer is as American as apple pie.

The typical retiree in America enjoys sitting on his rider mowing the lawn and then fertilizing it on a hot summer day. You get the picture. Xeriscapers are trying to free America from this addiction. For one thing, the lawn can consume a huge amount of water, which in drought conditions can cause shortages of water for drinking and other things required for daily living.

Furthermore, the traditional turf lawn also requires a lot of fertilizer to keep its lush green look throughout the growing season. Fertilizer means more nitrates going into the water table. A xeriscaped landscape would eliminate the lawn entirely or just restrict the lawn to be an accent piece to the landscape. In the Desert Southwest, for example, lawns are not the natural thing, so a xeriscaper might eliminate the lawn there all together.

4. Cacti are an excellent choice for the desert landscape. First, one great benefit of cacti is that they require very little watering. Second, there is a wide variety of cacti that can give a unique look to your desert garden.

5. Seedums are another good plant specimen for the xeriscaped landscape. The seedum is a perennial that is cold hardy and can grow in almost any climate within the continental United States. Seedums usually bloom in the fall with a red flower.

Xeriscaping and regions

Xeriscaping does not necessarily have to apply to the Desert Southwest. You can live in the Midwest or in Florida and still apply xeriscaping using the local environment. For example, in the Midwest, the lawn can be replaced by pea gravel and stone to simulate the desert scene and for those who like to have the flowers that do well in those areas, mulch can be used.

Mulch is a great water saver. Mulch is great because it traps moisture in the soil and keeps the plants moist for several days. As the mulch decays, it also fertilizes the soil, which also eliminates the need for fertilizer.

Xeriscaping will probably become the future of the landscaping industry, so homeowners should research about it.