What is Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping involves choosing low-maintenance plants, trees, and shrubs that require minimal water to survive. It promotes the use of a drought-resistant landscape design to conserve water.
Maybe you've spent a lot of money on plants from the nursery and invested the time and effort to nurture them. But their leaves are turning brown. They aren't thriving, or worse, they are barely surviving. Why is Xeriscaping the solution?
- Austin gardeners have the odds stacked against them from the get-go. The soil in the Austin area is somewhat alkaline and has challenging clay issues with little to no soil nutrients.
- Water is also a precious and costly resource. Your plants probably need more water than is practical from a monetary standpoint, and that isn't taking into consideration droughts and water restrictions.
Before you throw your hands up in the air and decide you can't possibly enjoy the benefits of a beautiful yard, consider Xeriscaping. It's the perfect choice for water-conscious homeowners who don't have the time, desire, or skill to care for a higher maintenance landscape.
I don't want cacti in my yard. Are there other options?
Over 100 species of cacti grow in Texas, the widest assortment found in any state in the United States. You're probably familiar with some non-scientific names such as Eagle Claws, Hedgehog, Prickly Pear, Ladyfinger, Barrel, and Cholla cactus varieties.
However, cacti are not the only water-efficient, drought-tolerant plant choices available.
You can landscape with plants such as Acacia (there are a few varieties to choose from), Russian Sage, Juniper, Butterfly Bush, Lantana, and more. There are even varieties of Texas wildflowers that can provide a splash of color to your yard during certain times of the year.
Can I still have a lawn if I Xeriscape?
Yes, but remember, grass is a water-hungry beast, and there are a limited number of grass selections that grow well in Texas. It also attracts pests and requires a lot of maintenance to keep it green and healthy.
Consider artificial grass as a serious option. It never needs to be weeded or watered and always stays green.
Does Xeriscape landscaping help conserve water in other ways besides plant selection?
Create contours as you design your landscape to help collect rainwater. Also consider installing a seamless gutter system with a rain barrel to prevent soil erosion and recycle water.
Group plants with similar water needs together. That way, your irrigation system won't over-water plants that don't need as much. It may sound strange when talking about Xeriscaping, but over-watering can kill off plants just as easily as under-watering. This is because excess water rots and kills the root system.
It's also important to water at the right time, adjust for the seasons, and keep your irrigation system in good repair.
Mulches are an excellent addition to any yard, but they really come into their own with a Xeriscape landscape. The material retains water and helps slow down evaporation from the sun. It helps keep water at the plant's roots longer, which means you can adjust your irrigation system to use less water, thus saving you even more money.
Mulches also block sunlight, which helps to minimize the growth of all types of weeds. Your plants will benefit from organic mulching such as wood chips and compost that break down over time to release nutrients into the soil.
I've heard planting drought-tolerant trees saves me energy. Is this true?
Yes! Use trees to shade your house and save up to 25% of the running costs of your A/C. Be sure to choose tree species sized appropriately for your space. For example, trees that grow up to 25 feet aren't right for a small space.
The YardDoc team can advise you on the best types of trees for your water conservation and energy-saving goals. We also offer tree trimming, tree care, and yard drainage services as requested.
How Do I Begin My Xeriscape Landscaping Project?
It all starts with an excellent design. You don't need to have a vast understanding of plants and their requirements. Our extensive knowledge of drought-hardy plants coupled with our expertise in landscaping design and installation means you get the perfect yard for your home and lifestyle.
We transform your yard into an outdoor oasis with immediate curb appeal. Don't waste a minute more of your valuable time and money on a yard that is struggling.
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Our landscape design services include:
- 3D Design
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- Landscape Lighting Installation
- Outdoor Kitchens and BBQ Islands
- Patio Pavers, Pathways, and Borders
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