Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Xeriscape Your Yard

If you live in a high precipitation area, perhaps you’ve installed a lovely rain garden. But what’s a good landscaping choice for no rain at all?

Several regions of the U.S. are experiencing record droughts, from the shrinking Colorado River basin to megadroughts in California

While we have no choice but to wait for rainfall whenever it comes, how we respond to this crisis is up to us—for example, investments in water efficiency. What is a sound option for our lawns and yards?

A lush garden that conserves water? Photo credit: Planet Natural

Enter xeriscaping.

Xeriscaping is a landscaping technique that conserves water. The word is a combination of xeros, the Greek word for dry, and scape, meaning scene. While dry landscaping may sound unappealing to some, xeriscapes are not just dusty rocks and thorny cacti, but a combination of elements in a landscape that are locally appropriate and water conserving. Watch this video from GreenCO to see why it’s not a garden but a system—and one that can be colorful and lush.

Xeriscapes exist in nearly all states and can reduce water used for landscaping by 60 percent.

To visualize how much water can be saved, check out this graphic presented by the city of Albuquerue, NM.

 The landscaping system is based on the following 7 principles:

  • Planning and design

  • Soil improvements

  • Efficient irrigation

  • Plant zones

  • Mulches

  • Turf alternatives

  • Landscape maintenance

When designing your landscape for water-efficiency, be sure to choose plants that are defined as low water use or drought tolerant for your area. To search for native plants for your xeriscaping needs, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense database, searchable by state, to find lists for your area.

Once you have selected your natives, follow these 10 steps for a healthy xeric plant:

  •  Select the right plant for the right spot

  • Dig the right size hole

  • Amend the soil

  • Carefully remove plant from container

  • Separate matted roots

  • Place plant and backfill the hole

  • Give the plant a good soaking

  • Mulch it

  • Use efficient irrigation

  • Maintain your xeriscape

 Have you tried xeriscaping in your yard?

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less