Water-Wise Plants Water Savings

Replacing turf grass with Xeriscape by itself creates a tremendous opportunity for saving water. However, once you have created a Xeriscape there are things you can do to maximize water efficiency.

The number one water efficiency strategy is to avoid over-watering your Xeriscape. Over-watering is most prevalent in the cooler fall months when summer irrigation schedules have not been revised to meet the current weather conditions. Over-irrigation causes three basic problems.

  • Over-irrigation pushes water beyond the root zone and is wasted. This occurs most notably in the case of turf grass, but can also occur on Xeriscape.
  • Over-irrigation causes excessive run-off, which contributes to non-point source environmental pollution.
  • Over-irrigation, in general, degrades plant health.

There are a number of ways to reduce irrigation and all of these recommendations are explored in great detail in this web site. Reducing water use on Xeriscapes (and standard landscapes) depends on a number of factors including the type of plants, the soil, landscaping practices, climate, irrigation system efficiency, etc. It can all be a bit overwhelming. Many water utilities offer free landscape audits. An audit is a great opportunity to meet with a local expert and discuss ways to improve efficiency on your specific landscape. Contact your utility for information on these programs.

Ways to Save Water on Your Xeriscape

  • Group plants with similar water demands together. This makes it easier to apply the proper amount of water to a larger percentage of your landscape.
  • Improve the quality of your soil through proper fertilization and aeration practices
  • Apply a thick layer of mulch around your plants to reduce evaporation. It looks great too!
  • Improve your irrigation efficiency. A drip system is often the best option for applying water to Xeriscape.
  • Upgrade your sprinkler clock
  • Use hose timers for manual irrigation
  • Install a rain shutoff device on your automatic sprinkler system
  • Harvest rainwater

Improving irrigation efficiency is a win-win situation all around. You save money on your water bill and your landscape gets the water it needs without waste. What could be better?