Xeriscaping is a way to garden using a minimum of water and energy. The following techniques are a must in dry-weather climes, but also provide useful guidelines for environmentally conscious gardeners everywhere.
- Group plants by their water needs. When possible, put high-need plants in naturally wetter areas of your property.
- Test your soil. Add organic matter when necessary - maybe from your own compost pile - to increase your soil's water-holding capacity.
- Mulch. Cover plant beds with composted leaves or grass to help retain moisture.
- Plant native species. Plants that have evolved in your area's climate are more naturally adapted to its water conditions.
The City of Boulder Colorado offers these tips, as well as answers to misconceptions about xeriscaping.
- Seek out turf alternatives like patios, decks, and mulches.
- Locate grass or turf only were it provides functional use.
- Add compost and use native plants.
- Water less often but thoroughly to encourage deep root growth.
- Terrace slopes to prevent water runoff.