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San Diego

The 7 Rules of Xeriscaping

Posted by San Diego Landscaper on Tuesday, 19 September , 2023

Xeriscaping is a new way of landscaping that is taking southern California and other areas by storm, thanks to its combination of water conservation and beautiful aesthetics.  Xeriscaping refers to creating landscapes that conserve water without sacrificing lovely and enjoyable outdoor spaces.  Best of all, the principles of xeriscaping allow home and business owners to combine good landscaping with solid environmental conservation techniques that will benefit not only their own outdoor spaces but also those of their communities.

The Seven Rules of Xeriscaping

The ideas behind xeriscaping can be summarized into seven convenient and easy-to-remember rules:

?       Water conservation is the goal.  The entire goal of xeriscaping is to conserve water.  To that end, every element and design of a xeriscape landscape is geared toward reducing, eliminating, or recycling water.  The use of natural precipitation alone is the gold standard of a xeriscape landscape, but if that is not possible, the most minimal amount of irrigation possible should be used.

?       Improve the soil.  Even if you limit water use, without good soil you will not have healthy plants.  Good soil is literally the bedrock from which a strong xeriscape landscape can grow.  Ideally, you want soil that both drains well and stores water.  In order to do this, your soil must have large quantities of organic material and good aeration.  The aeration will allow for quick drainage, while the organic material will store the water until it is needed.

  • Reduce grass. Grassy areas may be nice to look at, and a limited amount of grass may be necessary for play areas, but reducing their reach or changing them out with water-saving species should be your goal.  Grass remains one of the thirstiest parts of any outdoor setting, so limiting areas of turf and substituting other items can help you quickly reduce your water usage.
  • Choose the right plants. Native plants that thrive with very little natural moisture will work well in your xeriscape.  Drought-resistant varieties are already hardy and tolerant of long periods without water; try to choose these over plants that want more irrigation.  By choosing native plants, you are already winning the battle against insects and disease, as well, since these varieties are probably already resistant to these pests.
  • Mulch your beds. Mulch can save you so much watering when applied properly that it should never be optional.  Not only does mulch hold in water, but it also controls the temperature of the plant, making it less likely to need more water in higher temperature conditions.  Be sure that there are no bare soil areas, and aim for two to three inches of mulch throughout your beds.
  • Irrigate properly. Low water does not mean “no water.”  When you must irrigate, try to do so wisely.  Drip irrigation is a great option because it avoids wasting water with directional spray and losing moisture to evaporation.  The slow rate of drip irrigation also encourages proper absorption and discourages erosion.
  • Practice good landscape maintenance. One of the great benefits of xeriscaping is the low maintenance of your landscape.  This does not mean, however, that you can “set it and forget it.”  You must still be mindful of the yearly cycle of your plants and the tasks that should be performed each season:  mulching, fertilizing, pruning, and other jobs that should always be done in a timely manner.

If you are interested in learning more about xeriscaping or want to design a beautiful xeriscaped yard, give Juniper Landscape Company a call.  We are ready to work with you to help you design and build the perfect xeriscape for your outdoor areas!

Juniper Landscape Company is a provider of professional landscaping services in San Diego, we strive to make San Diego a beautiful place by doing business with integrity and creativity.


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