Xeriscaping or zerogardening refers to landscaping or gardening methods that use plants that thrive in the local climate or are drought resistant, requiring little or no supplemental water from irrigation systems. The word xeriscaping is derived from two words – the Greek word “xeros” which means “dry” and the term “landscaping”. Originally, xeriscaping was promoted for drought prone regions or areas that have limited access to abundant supplies of fresh water. With only 1% of the earth’s fresh water available for human consumption, water is increasingly becoming an expensive resource. For reasons of conserving water, saving money and personal preference, xeriscaping has been gaining popularity in many different areas as an alternative way of landscaping.
Xeriscaping as part of a Sustainable Lifestyle has many advantages
Xeriscaping has many positive effects on our precious natural resources, your carbon footprint and many other buzzwords associated to going green. Let’s explore the advantages that xeriscaping can have…
Conservation of water: The main goal of xeriscaping is to design a garden with plants that thrive in the local climate and care is taken to avoid water loss due to evaporation and runoff. With nearly 50% of all water usage in American households being used for watering lawns, homeowners using xeriscaping can reduce their water bill by the same margin. This also leaves more water available for other uses, reduces the load on the local water supply.
Maximize natural rainfall: In xeriscaped gardens, after the plants are established with appropriate soil grading and mulching, the garden can thrive on natural rainfall alone. Therefore when water restrictions are applied by local government entities, xeriscaped gardens will survive and look gorgeous while traditional gardens may not be able to adapt.
Low maintenance requirements: In xeriscaping, grass is reduced or replaced with ground covering such as slow growth plants or mulch beds, therefore it requires little or no mowing and less time for maintenance efforts. By reducing the amount of trimming & mowing required, garden waste will not pile up in our landfills.
Minimal pest and disease problems: Xeriscaping uses pest tolerant plants as well; therefore fewer pest control measures are required as compared with traditional gardens. This reduces the exposure of pesticides to the fresh water resources through wastewater runoff. This in turn will help you save money on pesticides, limit chemical exposure while helping control diseases that can spring up after use of certain pesticides.
Little or no fertilization: In xeriscaping, local plants are used allowing proper nutrients to be provided with the local soil. This eliminates the need for using supplemental fertilization which will save you money and reduce contamination.
Xeriscaping can provide a lot of attractive planting options through the use of native plants, trees and shrubs. This does not require additional effort, but may require careful planning to reduce grassy areas that need more water. To avoid soil erosion, choose natural plants that can thrive with natural rainfall, planting them in areas matching light and shade requirements. Lastly utilize mulching to avoid water evaporation and further soil erosion. Considering all benefits xeriscaping provides, it can help you improve your property value and is a great choice for nearly any landscape design.