Welcome back to another insightful post on the Parker & Sons Blog. Recently we discussed irrigation systems and how they work for someone living in the Valley. While it is a solid and assured method for maintaining a green yard, there are other thoughts on how desert homes should be maintained. Some feel that living in Arizona, you should fill your yard or gardens with local plants that have a role in the native ecosystem, don’t require too much water or what have you. That’s where xeriscape comes in.
A xeriscape is a style of landscape design that requires little or no maintenance or irrigation. Often this means plants that are native to the climate, as they have already adjusted to the level of water, and run-off and evaporation prevention. There are several principles to follow to make a xeriscape.
- Plan and design. Your yard can’t be happenstance, the planning of what plants and features will go where allows for the runoff and evaporation to be accounted for.
- Amend the soil. Either select plants that fit the soil, or enrich the soil until the plants fit
- Efficient irrigation. While there are setups that require no formal irrigation, you will still need to water the plants even if slightly. Ensure that you’re only doing so at night to avoid water loss to evaporation.
- Plan your plant zones accordingly. Put plants in the space they will thrive the best.
- Mulch it up.
- Limit the amount of turf covered area.
- Even if the xeriscape is made for no maintenance, there will still need to be some care throughout the year, even if it is just removing dead plant material.
On one hand,the style of plant life and options are limited as they have to meet the requirements and some homeowners feel them ugly. On the other, it costs less to maintain in both water and energy and many feel that the practice of water conservation is worthwhile.
Ultimately it is up to you, the homeowner, to decide what to do with your land and there are plenty of options and even more reasons to support them.