Xeriscaping: How your landscape can survive drought

And other drought busting ideas!


The best way to describe xerscaping is if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  The idea of xerscpaing is using plant life that is indigenous to the area.  We at YLS, Inc. have always promoted this idea, but now it is becoming even more critical.  Plants will thrive in the conditions they were meant to be in.  When plants are in stress one way they cope is to take in more water.  Yes you can plant tropical plants in Hampton Roads but they will require large amounts of water.  And what happens when we have a wetter than normal year?  Well maybe that plant will be happy but what about the dessert plants that are at the front of the house?  It creates a very complex environment that is hard to maintain.

Although water seems relatively inexpensive it can add up when you are trying to save a garden in a drought year.  Take the word of the experts, plant local.  Our Master Gardener has the knowledge of plants to give you the look you want without the harm you are putting on the water supply and your finances.xerscape


Another great way to survive a drought year is through proper irrigation.  It does cost a bit up front but the benefits are outstanding.  Hand watering is very wasteful and fairly inaccurate.  The next best practice is a sprinkler but that can be wasteful also is not properly positioned.  Untold gallons of water are wasted every year as water rains down on sidewalks and driveways.  And again it is not just wasted water but also the money you pay for it.

The best way to water is either through drip irrigation or an installed sprinkler system with well positioned sprinkler heads.  With all systems you need to measure how long it takes for a certain amount of water to be delivered.  This will vary on where you live, your soil, and what plant life, lawn, etc you have.  But let say you want an inch of water to be delivered each time you water.  Then the first time you need to have a rain gauge and watch the clock until you get one inch of water.  This holds true no matter what method you use, even hand held.  You may realize that is takes 20 minutes to get a “good” watering and maybe you don’t want to stand there several times a week and that is another reason to have an automatic system.

For the truly dedicated:

Stay tuned as we will look at other drought busting ideas including Rain Barrels and Grey Water!


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