Guest writer, Clara Beaufort, founder of Gardener Gigs, shares her tips on how to have an eco-friendly water-wise landscape.
Whether you live in a drought-prone area or simply want to make sure Mother Nature doesn’t have her way with your perennials, it’s not that hard to create a water-wise landscape. In the following post, we will summarize a few of the best ways to conserve water while still enjoying a beautiful lawn and garden.
Use the Rain to Your Advantage
Rain is an eventual inevitability. You can utilize this free water by creating a rain garden. According to the EPA, “A rain garden is a depressed area in the landscape that collects rain water from a roof, driveway or street and allows it to soak into the ground.” You can plant beautiful perennials and native grasses around your rain garden, which can also help reduce pollutants and provide a refuge for songbirds and other wildlife.
Trees are one of the greatest ways to prevent the sun from parching the grass during hot weather. What’s more, many varieties don’t require gallons and gallons of water each day to survive. While it will take a few years, planting trees is a life-long investment that will pay off. Your best bet is to use native trees and shrubs that will thrive in your local environment. An ISA Certified Arborist can recommend the best native species and can help with the tree planting process. Make sure you have the right tools, which include a shovel, garden gloves, and plenty of mulch to keep the tree moist after watering.
Choose Your Flowers Wisely
While all living things need water in order to survive, there are many plants that are drought-tolerant and won’t chip away at your water bill. Depending on where you live, you can plant things such Agave or blanket flowers. Verbena and oleander are two types of flowers that feature extraordinary blooms but don’t require vast amounts of water to stay beautiful. Many herbs, such as sage, rosemary, thyme, and cilantro, make great edging plants. They have shallow roots so they won’t interfere with flowers or shrubbery. Balcony Garden Web lists many other flowering varieties that will enhance your water-conscientious landscape.
Keeping Things Green
Most gardeners look at the lawn as a beautiful green canvas upon which to build a dream home. However, if you choose the wrong kind of grass, it may become a nightmare or, at best, an alien landscape. HGTV explains that you must choose a type of grass that can survive with less water. In addition to planting the proper type of seed, you can conserve water by raising your mower blade to approximately four inches. This will allow your existing grass to develop a deeper root system. Long, thick grass will also stay cooler so you won’t need as much water during the hot summer months.
Water Conservation Matters
The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska explains that water conservation is one of the best things we can do for the earth. The university-based environmental studies center also says that your landscape is a great way to conserve water for future generations. It advocates the use of xeriscaping when planning a landscape design. This means only planting trees, flowers, and shrubs that are native to the area and balancing them against hardscape features such as pebble mulch.
It is possible to have a beautiful landscape and conserve water at the same time. Remember, plant trees for shade, leave the grass a little long, and utilize rainwater when possible to keep your lawn lush and luxurious.
Interested in getting your water-wise landscape started? Call for FREE evaluation with an ISA Certified Giroud Arborist!
Clara is a retired small business owner, who was born with two green thumbs. Clara founded GardenerGigs because of her desire to have more space to cultivate, nourish, and beautify. GardenerGigs recognizes that gardens, whether they’re growing fruits, vegetables, or flowers, bring communities together, and no space that can be cultivated should go untilled. You can read more of Clara's tips at www.gardenergigs.com.