Many Southern Californians have heard the term “xeriscaping” over the course of the last couple of decades or so as the continued drought continues to dry up our sources of water and drive up the cost of our water bills. However, not everyone seems to understand exactly what this term means with regard to cutting back on water consumption. The term is a compilation of two words, the first “xeros” is Greek for dry, the second half comes from landscaping. When combined you have “dry landscaping” or creating lush beautiful gardens and lawns that require very little water to stay looking lush.
The goal of xeriscaping your yard is to create a garden using plants designed to live in arid climates, while at the same time creating a design the minimizes the effect of water runoff and evaporation. Recent studies show that approximately 50 percent of the fresh water used in the U.S. each year is used to water lawns and gardens. By xeriscaping your yard, you can significantly reduce the amount of water needed to keep it looking great, leaving more for other uses, and reducing your water bill.
Use Available Rain
While it doesn’t rain much in Southern California, a properly xeriscaped yard can thrive on the small amounts of rain that do fall and the occasional watering. So even for those of us who live in areas where water usage for irrigation is heavily limited, it is possible to still have a beautiful yard filled with colorful plants.
Limited Maintenance Required
One of best parts of taking the time to xeriscape your yard is that by removing or reducing the amount of grass and replacing it with ground cover plants and beds of mulch, you can significantly reduce the amount of work it takes to keep it looking good. Not having to mow large areas of grass also helps to reduce the amount of yard waste that typically ends up in local landfills.
Cut Back on Pests
Grass tends to become a safe haven for a number of unwanted pests such as insects and rodents. Most plants used in xeriscaping are very pest tolerant. Not only does this reduce the number of pests your yard is likely to be invaded by, it can also reduce the amount of pest control chemicals needed to keep them under control. This saves you money and helps to protect the environment by keeping these toxic chemicals out of our water supply.
Local Plants Require Very Little Fertilization
Most homeowners use tons of fertilizer and weed control chemicals each year. A large percentage of these chemicals end up in the water supply. Plants used in xeriscaping are typically local in nature and by virtue of this can thrive simply by using the nutrients found in the soil rather than needed to use additional chemical supplements.
Xeriscaping is a great way to make your yard look amazing while saving yourself money and helping to protect the environment and conserve water. All things that should be of the utmost concern to everyone living in the Pasadena, CA area.