In the late 1970s, Colorado was affected by a drought so severe that some residents held parades of “snow dances,” hoping to entice the clouds to emit precipitation. The drought prompted academics and landscaping contractors to collaborate on water conservation best practices, and the result was xeriscaping. Also known as dryscaping, xeriscaping is a set of ideal practices intended to conserve water in desert climates and regions with drought conditions.
The Role of Sloping
One of the elements of proper xeriscaping involves slope. A professional landscaper can assess the slope of your outdoor space and make appropriate recommendations. If your ground slopes too much, you may need to have it leveled out. Otherwise, water will be wasted as it runs down the surface, away from your plants. If your outdoor space features a dramatically sloped area, you might consider having a retaining wall built. This will add visual interest and reduce water run-off.
The Importance of Quality Soil
Soil improvement is another necessary component of xeriscaping. Good quality soil should drain well, but also store water for later use by plants and trees. If your soil is particularly sandy or it has too much clay, you may need a soil amendment. Keeping the soil well-aerated will also improve its quality.
The Selection of Trees, Shrubs, and Plants
A third essential element of xeriscaping is the thoughtful selection of trees and plants that are naturally drought-resistant. For instance, if you have a large area of turf, you could remove some or all of the sod and replace it with native decorative grasses and ground covers that require little water. Creeping phlox, sedum, maiden grass, and switch grass are a few examples. After your landscaper plants drought-hardy trees and plants, the ground should be covered with mulch to discourage weeds (which will take water away from desirable plants) and slow water evaporation.
Put your xeriscaping plan into action with help from the pros at Complete Landscaping. We specialize in designing and maintaining desert-friendly landscapes. Homeowners and business owners can reach our office in Tucson at (520) 323-8918.