Create a Drought-Tolerant Landscape in 7 Steps

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Xeriscaping is another way of saying drought-tolerant gardening. The practice reduces the amount of water you use in your landscape. But it doesn’t mean you eliminate water altogether.

Xeriscaping is sometimes misunderstood. It’s more than just a garden filled with cactus, lava rock and big boulders. It’s about creating a beautiful and waterwise landscape with different types of drought-tolerant plants.

7 Principles of Xeriscaping:

  1. Start with a plan. Note where your home sits and which areas have the most sun exposure. A southern or western exposure is harshest and most drying. Note your property’s slope. Land erosion occurs more heavily on a steep slope.
  2. Replace some of your lawn with drought-resistant grass mixes. Ask your Garden Center associate for help choosing the right varieties for your yard.
  3. Select and plant drought-resistant plants. Ask your Garden Center associate for a list of those acclimated to your area.
  4. Conduct a soil test and amend soil accordingly with organic matter like compost to existing beds and borders.
  5. Mulch traffic areas with decorative rock laid over landscaping fabric or fiber mats. Use biodegradable wood mulch in gardens.
  6. If you have an irrigation system, check it for leaks or cracks. Repair if needed. If you don’t have a professional system, try drip irrigation or soaker hoses with timers and rain sensors.
  7. Aerate and fertilize the turf in spring and fall; keep the grass height at 3” and allow the clippings to fall; prune trees, shrubs and perennials; compost dead plant material.

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