Eco Tip #31 Xeriscaping
Water is arguably the most essential commodity on Earth. As important and valuable as crops, metals, and oil are – all of the world’s most expensive commodities are worth nothing in the absence of water. Despite this fact, water is extremely underappreciated and taken for granted in most areas of the world, so much so that the average person wastes up to 100 liters per day without even noticing it. With climate change on the rise and increasing populations, it’s now more important than ever to be more conscious about our water use to ensure we don’t run out any time soon. That’s doubly important when in countries with frequent droughts, like here in Cyprus for example.
The average homeowner, depending on the region, uses between 30% to 70% of their water outdoors. Of that water, statistics show that about 50% of it goes to waste due to evaporation, wind, and many other reasons. We previously discussed how you can save water outdoors while still having a killer garden, but what if we told you that you could use almost no water whatsoever and still have a sexy garden? Enter Xeriscaping, a method which essentially saves water by removing the need to water your yard – that’s a win-win.
It sounds all futuristic, but essentially Xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy that focuses on using native and drought-resistant plants and maintains them using as little water as possible. If you’re thinking about getting it done, here are our top tips for your new garden:
1: Plan carefully.
A major part of xeriscaping is planning and consideration of all factors – not just water consumption, but your budget, expected maintenance, and preferred aesthetic. As with all things in life, a great plan always makes things easier!
2: Prioritize Native plants and drought-resistant plants.
Most native plants are capable of surviving your area’s conditions, meaning they’ll do fine with minimal water. Other than those, you can also include any type of drought-resistant plants, like cacti, agave, lavender, sage, and many more!
3: Improve your soil.
To Xeriscaping, it is imperative that the soil can drain well while still retaining enough moisture to sustain your plants. Generally, this can be done by adding several inches of organic material like bark or compost to the top of your soil.
4: Reduce grass and other water-hungry plants.
While there’s nothing preventing you from including these plants in your garden, beautiful green lawns require large amounts of water. Consider replacing them with drought-tolerant grass and other plants that still match the aesthetic.
5: Water Efficiently.
Make sure to water wisely! Drought-resistant plants can die in a wet and soggy environment, so avoid wasteful watering, and try to water them deeply and infrequently to help them develop strong root systems.
And that’s it! If you keep those thoughts in mind when you’re planning your xeriscape you’ll be fine. Just remember to maintain your garden carefully and you’ll be well on your way to your very own unique oasis.