Xeriscaping: Ecofriendly and Beautiful Gardens
Water supply need not be an issue when it comes to beautifying your garden. With Salt Lake City landscaping innovations, you can actually remain eco-friendly yet retain a certain brand of charm for your outside space. This can be done with the use of xeriscaping. With this method of landscaping, you not only literally go green with your garden, but also green in terms of your love and care for the environment.
Basically, xeriscaping is a landscaping method that requires minimal water consumption, low maintenance and the minimal use of chemicals and fertilizers. With the right irrigation method, use of plants and design, you can actually have a thriving garden that takes full advantage of the levels of rainfall in your area even as you lower your water consumption. As a result, your garden is more earth-friendly, making it all the more beautiful for its contribution to the environment.
The Art of Water Conservation
You can do this by carefully designing the whole garden as well as the use of rain barrels and other irrigation methods that ensure that rainfall is properly utilized.
You can also cover the garden with natural mulch so that the ground takes longer to dry. This is because the presence of mulch keeps the temperature of the surface constant and water evaporation is reduced. You can use compost, shredded wood or granite.
Xeriscaping also eschews the traditional lush lawns (there are some varieties of grass that are known for being water guzzlers). Instead, you should make use of ground cover like creeping thymes instead. The advantage of these is that they not only use minimal water but also don’t require mowing.
Soil Preparation and Conditioning
Before you even plant, you should prepare and condition the soil. Heavy clay will absorb the water slowly and result into runoff. Meanwhile, sandy soil will cause the leaching of water and nutrients. But good soil will enable plants to thrive since it is able to conserve and retain moisture and nutrients.
One way to prepare and condition the soil is to use organics such as compost, manure or leaf mold. This should be ploughed into the soil for a minimum depth of 6 inches. This prepares the soil for better absorption and retention of nutrients and water.
Another way to condition the soil is with the use of mulch. This not only minimizes water evaporation by keeping the ground and the plant roots cool, it also minimizes weed growth and the crusting of the soil.
Choice and Placement of Plants
Once the soil is prepared, it is important to remember to group together plants that have similar water and nutrient requirements. You are not necessarily limited to only desert plants such as cacti. You can also make use of plants that are drought tolerant as well as plants that are indigenous to your particular region. This includes the use of coniferous or deciduous shrubs and herbaceous perennials that are naturally found in your area. “Native plants” are usually able to thrive in local soil with very little maintenance work required.
You also need to carefully plan where the plants will be placed. The plants that have higher water requirements should be placed near the water source. Plants that are not as water-efficient are also placed strategically to minimize the water they will need. These are placed in the shade and sheltered from the sun and the wind.
Turf areas are kept to a minimum and use drought-tolerant grasses or ground cover. To further beautify the Utah landscape, the borders of these turf areas are lined with plants that are not only decorative but also water-efficient.
When setting up your irrigation system, the objective is to limit water run-off and maximize water saturation. You should consider the needs of the plants used, the slope of the land, the type of soil and saturation (how quickly or slowly it absorbs water). You want to ensure that water saturates deeply into the soil so that your plants will have deep root systems (which, in turn, will require less water).
An automated irrigation system works best, as you can control just the length and the volume of water used to irrigate the plants. You can also control the time the sprinklers turn off. The irrigation system should also make use of either bubbler or drip irrigation, and not use sprinklers where water shoots in the air (where more water evaporates with the heat of the sun).
There should not be any hard surfaces which only allow water to run off. Areas without plants such as pathways and play areas should be designed in such a way that they do not draw moisture away from the plants. Pathways are usually lined with mulch or gravel.
The timing of irrigation is also important. Water the plants early in the morning or late in the evening, where you will have less evaporation caused by the heat of the sun.
Another way of making your irrigation system more efficient is to deal with steep slopes. You can convert these slopes into terraces to slow down runoff.
Cost of Xeriscaping
The initial cost may be higher than the “usual” garden, but since this requires less resources and low maintenance efforts, the cost will be well worth it. For one, your water bill will significantly be decreased. Since you usually don’t need to mow the lawn, you don’t have to worry about the cost of disposing grass clippings.
Professional Help from a Best Landscaping Utah
Enjoy water consumption savings of as much as 30 to 80%! Achieve this through the advice of one of Utah’s best landscaping companies – All States Landscaping. All States has been in the business of beautifying landscapes in Salt Lake City and the rest of the Utah area for years now.
All States Landscaping specializes not just in Xeriscaping, but also in other Salt Lake City landscaping services such as putting up retaining walls, putting greens, paving, decorative concrete and landscaping maintenance services.