We’re experiencing the last few chilly bursts of what has seemed like an unusually drawn-out winter, but we’ve also felt the first few warm days that indicate the arrival of spring (and shortly thereafter, a scorching summer)! Now is the perfect time to start planning out your garden. While choosing the right colors and textures for your space is probably your primary objective, choosing plants that can help you conserve more water in the long run is becoming an increasingly important part of the process.
Water is a precious and finite resource, and it’s up to all of us to do our parts to preserve it as much as we can. That’s where Xeriscaping comes in. This technique, which roughly translates to “dry landscaping,” offers guidelines for people to conserve as much water as possible in their gardens. Here are a few of the basic rules:
Opt for native plants as much as possible. Native plants are important not just to preserve the heirloom species in our unique ecosystems, but also to make the most of our available resources. Native plant species are already used to our climate conditions, so they won’t suck up extra water and plant food like nonnative species will. What’s more, they play well with other native species to create beautiful, thriving ecosystems.
Reassess what you’re really using your lawn for. If you have a vast grassy space that you hardly ever use for recreation or entertaining, consider setting aside a patch of that space for a vegetable garden or a native flower garden. Take into account the areas of your grass that may have trouble growing and staying green; those areas may be better suited to other species of plants, as well.
Pay close attention to your soil quality. If you amend your soil with nutrient-rich adjuncts like compost, you’re naturally feeding your plants and helping them thrive without any extra effort.
Pay attention to HOW you water, not just how much you water. Set up your sprinkler system with different zones that are grouped based on water needs. Generally, the shady areas of your lawn need less water than the sunny ones, so they should be on different zones, too. When you do water, make sure you give each area a deep soak. When you do frequent, shallow watering sessions, most of that water evaporates before it goes to benefit the plants.
If you Googled xeriscaping when you saw this blog title, you probably saw a handful of pictures of cactuses, dry rock beds, and desert landscapes. While these plants do serve the purpose of conserving water, you don’t have to make a totally desert landscape when you’re xeriscaping. Head to one of the amazing native plant nurseries we have around Central Florida to see all the colors and textures you can achieve with native species. For more information on building a beautiful, water-efficient garden, or to get the replacement parts and service you need in Orlando, call Gator Mower Parts at 407-260-1292 today.