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Xeriscaping
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lantana



Try Xeriscaping to Save Time and Water

Having a large full fledged garden is rewarding and enjoyable, but it also takes a lot of time, energy and yes - financial resources to maintain it.

For those of you who are just too busy to keep up normal garden, think about the alternative of xeriscaping which will allow you to have a great lookingyard or garden, without having to constantly maintain it or water it very often at all.<

To some, the term xeriscaping brings to mind the image of a yard that looks like a giant rock bed. This is known as “zero scaping”, which is a considerably different concept. It focuses on reducing your yard to nothing that requires any maintenance whatsoever. Unfortunately this is usually just rocks or old brick and stone that looks more like a moonscape than a landscape. This is not what xeriscaping is all about.<

The theory behind xeriscaping basically involves choosing plants which are low maintenance to begin with, then putting them each in environments that are ideal for them. It is applied by selecting the most suitable spot available for the plant, keeping in mind and trying for the ideal amount of shade, and determining how to group it with plants with similar water and growing needs.

To get started, you first need to select all the plants you will be using. They should for the most part be drought resistant or require low amounts of water. This does not mean you can only grow grass or cactus in your yard. Just don't use the really thirsty plants that need to have to water every day to keep alive. Your best bet is to stick with local plants or wildflowers, native to your area, and stay away from anything too exotic as these generally require larger amounts of water.

If you don't have natural shade such as trees or existing shrubs, get some large rocks or boulders which will provide shade during the hottest part of the day. They can be placed strategically around the area and will provide a perfect backdrop for your plantings. In addition, rain and dew will run off the rocks for additional welcome moisture.

The second most important principle of xeriscaping is placing the plantsin ideal areas. If you place them together with plants that require the same growing conditions and about the same amount of water, you will end up saving lots of water plus the time it takes to apply it. Also, depending on the needs of the plants try to put them in areas where they will be protected from drying winds or excessive sun.

Xeriscaping can almost be compared to microclimating, just with more of a focus onadaptation to harsh conditions rather than avoiding them. So if your yard appears neglected because you don't have enough time to devote to it, xeriscaping may be your answer to save time and water and still have an attractive yard that hardly needs any maintenance once established.


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