5 Low Water Landscaping Ideas

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Low-water landscaping trends have become increasingly popular over the last few years, with growing concerns for global warming and climate change. Homeowners and yard owners have discovered it’s easier, cheaper, and more eco-friendly to create outdoor spaces that sustain the environment. These beautiful yards save on water and utility costs while preserving natural resources. 

If you want to create a gorgeous, water-saving yard, keep reading this article. We discuss low-water landscaping ideas and provide tips for choosing and watering your low-water plants.

1. Choosing Low-Water Plants

Choosing the right low-water plants is key to creating a water-wise landscape. These plants thrive with minimal water and can easily bloom in dry conditions. They include:

  • Natives
  • Drought-resistant plants
  • Succulents
  • Turf grass
  • Sedums 

Although all plants require water to survive, low-water plants do well without frequent irrigation, making them the perfect choice for your water-saving garden. 

Benefits of Choosing Native Plants

The most popular and go-to choice for low-water plants are natives. These plants naturally grow in a particular region and are well adapted to its growing conditions. Therefore, they are low maintenance and don’t require as much water to survive. Native plants are also more resistant to diseases, drought, and other environmental risks. They easily attract local pollinators and birds to your yard, ensuring your plants bloom and flourish.

Alternatively, you can opt for turf grass, another eco-friendly choice for creating a beautiful yard. Turf grass is relatively low maintenance and doesn’t require excessive water, ensuring you save water. Turf grass also stays green all year round, improving your garden appeal.

Examples of Drought Resistant Plants

Some of the drought-resistant crops you can plant in your garden include:

  • Catmint
  • Lavender
  • Coneflower
  • Salvia
  • Artemisia
  • Abelia Grandiflora
  • Yarrow
  • Blanket Flower
  • Sedum
  • Agastache

Tips For Selecting Plants That Require Less Water

Different plants have different water requirements, and it’s important to select those that are well-suited to your region’s conditions, such as natives. Be sure to consider other factors such as soil, temperature, light, and humidity. For example, some low-water plants may thrive in clay soil and not sandy soil. Others may survive in warm climates, while others require shade. Similarly, go for plants with gray or silver foliage, as these require less water.

2. Efficient Watering Techniques

There are many irrigation systems to choose from when watering your low-water plants, but drip irrigation is the most efficient. 

Benefits Of Using Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation saves you water, money, and time. The system emits water directly to the root zone of your plants. This places water where it’s needed most, ensuring it’s not wasted on other parts that won’t benefit the plant. Drip irrigation can be automated and eliminates the need for hand-watering, saving time. It uses 30 to 50% less water, which saves you money on utility bills. 

Steps To Install A Drip Irrigation System

Here’s how to install a functional drip irrigation system once you’ve purchased all the necessary equipment:

  1. Mount the Y strainer to an outdoor faucet and attach the backflow preventer, optional timer, pressure regulator, filter, and adapter.
  2. Connect the tubing to the faucet and lay it out to create a pipe network around the area to be irrigated. Cut the tubing perpendicularly and install the fittings.
  3. Punch holes in the tubing where you want to install the watering devices (drippers). 
  4. Finally, connect the drippers in these holes.
  5. Test the irrigation system for any leaking joints.

Best Practices For Watering Plants

Before watering your garden, check the condition of the soil. If the surface is dry and cracked, it’s time to water. If not, wait a few days to avoid overwatering. Similarly, always focus on watering the roots rather than the leaves, as that’s where water is most needed. It’s also wise to water your crops early in the morning or late in the evening to ensure the plants have enough time to fully absorb the water. 

3. Mulching and Soil Health

Mulching your plants is a great way to save water in your water-wise garden. It helps retain soil moisture, reducing watering and irrigation needs. When mulch breaks down, it releases nutrients to the soil, which help improves soil structure and health. This ensures your plants receive the nutrients they require to grow and survive. 

You can use two main types of mulch in your garden – biodegradable and non-biodegradable. Experts recommend using biodegradable as it gradually breaks down to release nutrients. Examples of biodegradable mulch include garden compost, leaf mold, wood chippings, and rotten manure. 

Tips for maintaining healthy soil

To maintain healthy soil in your garden, minimize the use of pesticides and chemicals as they kill soil microbes. Add organic matter, such as fresh animal residue, to your soil to improve its structure and health. Additionally, keep your soil covered to prevent erosion and rotate crops each growing season.

4. Landscape Design

A good landscape design organizes the man-made and natural features in your garden into a functional, aesthetic, and eco-friendly system. All elements coexist and work together to help you save water and preserve natural resources. When designing your low-water landscape, group plants with similar water needs together to make irrigation more efficient.

You can also create microclimates in different garden areas to suit various plants. For example, you can plant cool-season crops near tall trees and shrubs to provide shade during the day. Alternatively, plant crops that require warmth and sunlight near thermal walls. 

Instead of planting crops throughout your garden, add man-made features such as a patio or walkway with your vegetation. These hardscape features reduce water usage by minimizing the areas that require irrigation.

5. Maintenance and Care

Maintaining and caring for your low-water garden is important to ensure it thrives even in extreme weather conditions. Start by monitoring plant health to ensure they’re rot and pest free. Diseased plants can infect the rest of your garden, making it crucial to eliminate them using the right extraction methods, such as pruning. Pruning removes or reduces damaged or infected plant parts to help improve yield and growth. 

Fertilization is another method for maintaining a healthy garden. Fertilizers supply garden soil with the right amount of nutrients, supporting plant growth. Other tips that can help you save water while maintaining a healthy garden:

  • Use grey water, such as water from the shower and sink, to irrigate plants
  • Collect rainwater and use it to water plants
  • Mulch your plants to retain water moisture
  • Only water when the soil is completely dry

Bottom Line

Low-water landscaping tips like choosing drought-resistant plants and natives, using drip irrigation, planting turf grass, and mulching your garden go a long way in helping you save water and preserve natural resources. 

What are you waiting for? Transform your landscape into a water-saving garden today to experience the benefits of low-water landscaping.

Feel free to share this article with friends or family interested in low-water landscaping.

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