Xeriscape Design

xeriscape, xeriscape design, landscape design, organic garden

Xeriscape Design

Xeriscapes are perfect for those difficult areas of your yard. They also bring color and contrast to your garden.

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Xeriscape comes from the Greek word Xeros, which means dry. While it does mean dry, it does not mean a desert nor is it a gardening technique that is costly to implement.

Xeriscape Design

Xeriscape Design Plants

Xeriscapes are becoming more popular with homeowners as the xeriscapes consume much less water, fertilizer and maintenance.

Xeriscapes typically utilize many indigenous plant species along with plants that have low water demands. Many people have the misconception that a xeriscape consists of cacti.

This is not the case and you can certainly have a much more varied pallet of plants including succulents, bromeliads and other drought-tolerant plants.

While it is true that all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.

Cacti differentiate themselves from other succulents in that they all have some sort of spine on their leaves.

Also cacti do not do well in soil that retains moisture and they do prefer hot, dry growing conditions.

Xeriscape Design

Xeriscape Design - Utilize in Hard To Landscape Areas of Your Yard

Xeriscape Design Points of Consideration:

    Begin with proper planning
    Limit High Use Landscape Elements
    Consider the slope of the property
    Prepare your soil properly
    The Succulent Plants
Xeriscape Design - Proper Planning is Essential:

If you have an existing yard or are planning a new yard, it is essential that you sit down with a piece of graph paper and sketch out your design goals.

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Xeriscape Design - Proper Planning is Essential for a Successful Garden

You do not have to be elaborate at this point, but you should lay out areas with broad brush strokes.

Limit High Use Landscape Elements:

First of all, you should survey your yard to determine which areas are most difficult to irrigate.

These areas can include:

Narrow strips of lawn, such as those between a walk and the house or garage

Corners where the sprinklers either overlap or don't sprinkle at all Steep slopes where you get high runoff.

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Xeriscape Design - You Can Bring A Lot Of Color and Texture Into Your Garden

Check Your Existing Irrigation System:

Are you already wasting water with your existing irrigation system? This is often the case, as we see areas that are getting too much water or not enough.

To test you system, place small containers, or cups around the lawn to measure water distribution. Turn on the irrigation system for about 10 to 15 minutes and measure the water in each tub.

If you find that there is a variation in water distribution, you should have your system maintained. Common problems include:

Missing or broken heads Sprinklers are positioned to spray hard surfaces Improper head usage for a particular zone Check water pressure to your system - too high water pressure can cause leaks within the system

Xeriscape Design

Xeriscape Design - Agave Bring Lots Of Color and Texture To Your Garden

Xeriscape Design - Consider the Slope of Your Property:

Steep slopes, especially those on southern and western exposures waste water through water runoff and high water evaporation rate.

These make challenging landscaping areas as many plants will stress easily and you cannot keep them hydrated properly.

The survivability is often very low in these areas, making them ideal spots for xeriscapes.

Prepare Your Soil Properly:

Succulents require different soils preparations and conditions than we are used to giving other plants in our landscapes.

Be sure to throughly research the requirements for each species you introduce into your Xeriscape.

Xeriscape Design

Xeriscape Design - Limitless Possibilities

Xeriscape Design - The Succulents:

Succulent plants are plants that survive drought by storing water in their leaf structure, stems or roots.

Many gardeners incorporate succulents into their perennial garden layouts for their dramatic leaf structure and foliage color and shape.

You can compose several eye-catching species in your garden such as agaves, with their undulating leaves and smooth texture to the colorful kalanchoes, which abounds with color from their flower brackets.

While most succulents prefer USDA zones 8, 9 and 10, there are several species that will survive in the colder climatic zones.

Here are some choices to consider:

Agave parryi: zones 9 - 11
Agave americana: zones 9 - 11
Aloe cameroni: zones 9 - 11
Yucca filamentora: zones 5-10
Yucca gloriosa: zones 7-10
Yucca helsonii: zones 7-10
Nolina helsonii: zones 7-10
Sedum Ruby Glow: zones 5-9
Sedum sieboldii: zones 6-9
Sedum autumn joy: zones 3-
Sempervivum: zones 3-8
Lewisia rediviva: 4-8
Lewisia cotyledon: 4-8
There are, many others as well.