Water is a limited resource in Utah, so designing your landscape to efficiently use water is a very important aspect of your Utah landscaping design. Conserving water in your Utah landscape can be accomplished by selecting low water use plants, designing and scheduling irrigation systems efficiently, grouping plants according to their water requirements, and using hardscaping materials (patios, stone paths, landscaping rocks, decks, etc.) appropriately to reduce the area requiring irrigation.
Develop a Plan
You will want to develop a plot plan of the area you want to landscape. This is simply a map of the building and lawn area along with the location of existing structures, trees and shrubs, property lines, driveways, gardens, utility lines, contours of the land, or other possible limitations to the design. You can use graph paper to prepare a scale map of the property, and let each square represent a certain distance.
Conduct a Site Analysis
When looking at the site you want to landscape, look for the environmental assets and constraints that will influence the design. Take notes on seasonal effects of sun and shade, soil conditions, slopes, direction of winds, and views from various points on the site.
Plan the Design
Based on the notes you took and your observations of the environmental considerations found in the site analysis, decide where the plants should be placed for optimum aesthetic value, plus screening of any undesirable views, shade or windbreaks, and separation of areas of the yard. Consider using hardscaping materials like patios, walks, screens, and lighting. These materials can enhance the design while reducing the amount of area that needs to be irrigated and maintained.
Deciduous trees should be placed on the south, east and west sides of the building to take advantage of the potential benefits of summer shade and winter sun to heat or cool the building. Evergreen trees are good insulators but limit sunlight, so try to plant them on the north side of the building. In order to protect a home from cold and snow, use trees and shrubs as insulators or windbreaks along the building.
When choosing plants, identity their water requirements, and group those with similar irrigation requirements in the same area or irrigation zone. This will help to more accurately meet plant water needs while conserving water. Plants that are adapted to the dry conditions of Utah will survive with little or no water after they are established. It is important to know the water requirements of the plants at the site to most efficiently meet these needs without wasting water.
Choose plants that will most effectively achieve your design goals. When possible, use native plants and plant species that are adapted to the landscape environment, the soil, water, temperature, light, and pest conditions of your area, to help minimize maintenance and water requirements.
Since Utah receives a limited amount of annual rainfall, use plants that reflect this water situation. Select low water use plants and native plants that have adapted to the region to increase their chances of survival and help conserve water. Consult your local nursery/greenhouse business professionals, like All States Landscaping for information on low water use plants for your area and help with your low water use Utah landscaping design.