Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CONSERVATION: Tips For Landscaping In a Desert‏

by Jack Landry

Water is one of the most valuable resources in desert locations. By implementing xeriscaping in your yard you can use the problem of lack of water to your advantage, rather than fight against it.

Using xeriscaping in dry climates requires attention to various techniques such as proper plant selection, soil types, composts, mulch, and plant placement in an area. Below are some of the various aspects that need to be considered when deciding to use xeriscape landscaping.

We are all attracted to beautiful yards and gardens. But often grass, plants, and trees require vast amounts of water, a substance that is in short supply in desert locations.

To combine our love for nice yards and gardens with the need for water conservation we can turn to the technique of xeriscaping. The term xeriscaping, refers to an ecologically sound way to reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental irrigation.

The term xeriscape can be dissected down to a combination of two words. Xeros is Greek for dry.

Then it is combined with a portion of the word landscape. When you put these two parts of the word together you can identify that the word means "dry landscape."

Xeriscaping involves planning gardens that conserve water, or in other words, dry landscapes. Conserving water has become increasingly important as many desert areas are becoming more arid.

The first and most obvious way to conserve water in planned gardens is to select plants that do not require more water than the environment can naturally provide. Often the best choices are native plants.

The most practical method of landscaping in a desert is through use of native plants. Pick plants that are native to the place in which you are landscaping and they will easily take to the soil and grow in the dry climate.

The next important consideration involves soil type. In the past, landscaping in the desert meant replacement of a vast majority of natural soil and plants.

This was done so the selection of non-native plants and soil could survive in the arid climate that they might not be used to. When planning a garden using the xeriscaping method, it is important to choose soils or soil additives that can retain water.

On top of choosing a soil that can retain water, soil can be further improved by adding compost. The natural bacteria and fungi in compost will help to conserve water and give nutrients to the plants.

Composted soil becomes aerated when compost is mixed into the soil. Compost benefits soil by creating better water absorption and retention, increasing soil nutrients, and conserving water, which is the ultimate goal of xeriscape.

To help the soil conserve water and adhere to the purpose of xeriscaping it is also important to cover the areas near plants with mulch.

The purpose of mulch is to provide a barrier to the burning desert sun that can dry the soil and cause it to lose water through evaporation. In other words, the mulch holds the moisture into the soil that is below it.

In a desert setting, xeriscaping can save as much as fifty percent of water that could have been used in their garden. This can be accomplished when the right soil is combined with the right native plants.

After choosing native plants, you need to set out a plan. The new plants have to be divided according to their own level of water use and placed together. This is so that you can water just one area, which will save you time and money.

When using xeriscaping for landscaping in desert locations it is important to group plants together according to their water needs and place the plants with the greatest water consumption nearest the water sources. Xeriscaping requires careful selection of watering methods.

There are different ways to think of watering methods when planning landscaping in desert locations. The watering methods center on how to avoid water loss due to the burning sun.

The first method that is highly recommended is a drip system. This drip system allows water to be placed nearest the plant without having to travel through the air.

This method decreases evaporation, which decreases water consumption. On the contrary, sprinkler methods that shoot water through the air waste a considerable amount of water due to evaporation.

Water waste can be minimized by regulating the time of day when plants are watered. During midday when the sun is highest and the temperature is hottest the greatest water loss occurs.

In order to conserve water, it is best to avoid this time of day for watering. Xeriscaping is a great way to landscape your yard and will most likely save you time, money, and water.

Jack R. Landry is a former landscaping architect and has authored hundreds of articles relating to landscaping. He recommends (http://GreenGuruLandscaping.com) as a landscaper in Las Vegas.

No comments:

Post a Comment