Watering Wisely: 7 Xeriscape Principles to Help Save Water

March 18, 2011 | By Carrie Dubberley | Reply More

Most of Texas once again is suffering from a severe drought, making water conservation principles more important than ever.

You can save water, time and money by following the seven time tested principles of Xeriscaping — coined by the Denver Water Utilities in 1981 and more recently adopted by Earth-Kind Landscaping from Texas AgriLife.

The 7 Principle of Xeriscaping

sprinkler

A well planned landscape needs less water than you may think

  1. Planning and design
  2. Soil analysis
  3. Practical turf areas
  4. Appropriate plant selection
  5. Efficient irrigation
  6. Use of mulches
  7. Appropriate maintenance

These principles will help you in the long run by teaching you to choose the right plant for the right place and then watering correctly. Also, rainwater harvesting and rain gardens will allow you to capture rainwater from your roofs. This means free water for your garden — without the chemicals.

Water and Soil

Of all these subjects, understanding your soil and irrigation can save you the most money and gallons of water.

Know this: most people over water. It is bad for your landscape, a drain on our water supply, and detrimental to the environment. Watering correctly once a week during a drought will not be a problem for your landscape if you follow these principles.

Do you know whether you have heavy clay soil or light sandy loam?  Each has individual needs, and knowing the difference often leads to success or failure. By using a moisture meter or a soil probe when in doubt, you will know whether to turn on your irrigation system or not.

By following these basic principles of xeriscaping, we can help our municipalities conserve our precious and scarce water resources.

Includes excerpts from March 2011 column in neighborsgo | Plano | Murphy 13-week series on North Texas landscaping and gardening.

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Category: Gardening

Carrie Dubberley is a horticulturist, garden coach, teacher, writer and speaker. Carrie's passion is sustainable landscaping, specializing in North Texas native and well-adapted plants and water conserving rain gardens. Learn more about Carrie.

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