Fred Jaicks  Written and compiled by Fred Jaicks


Xeriscaping is a trademarked, water conserving program for gardening that was started in the United States. It was invented because of a drought in the early portion of the 1980s. 40 different states have adopted this process, and it is being widely used and highly regarded because of the way it conserves water. It becomes more and more popular with people as years go by because of its ability to save money on water, and its ability to save time and effort in gardening.

Step 1: You should make sure you have a design and that you plan ahead. This is the foundation that you’re going to be building upon. Use a simple scale drawing of the area and mark the orientation of the sun on the picture, and add all of the plants, shrubs, trees, and structures that are on the property. You can then use a sheet of tracing paper to marking the areas that should be kept without water, and the areas that might have a problem with draining water. You should also mark any structures or features that should not be removed or altered.

Step 2: Analyze and prepare the soil that is going to be used. You want to know the type of soil that is on the area, and which plants will be able to prosper in this type of soil. You should not add any type of organic matter into the holes while planting. Of course, if the soil is structurally unstable or problematic improvements can be made to help the plants prosper. Adding sand to clay or creating drainage pipes can improve those areas that have little to no drainage.

Step 3: One of the most important parts of the process is choosing the right plants. You want to create interest and appeal with these plants. Creating this type of garden using a water wise system does not mean you have to include common or dull plants and flowers. You should choose flowers that will grow in the area, and within the soil, but that are still visually pleasing. Natural shapes that are appealing to the owner and providing enough room for the flower or plant to grow is essential. The natural shapes of these plants being pleasing on their own will mean that there is no need for shaping or pruning them later. Reduce plant upkeep by spacing them an appropriate distance from each other.

Step 4: Adding grassy turf areas can be immensely beneficial when xeriscaping. Grassy areas reduce erosion and can also recharge the ground water to help out the plants. One drawback to using turf however is the brown color that results during a drought. However once the rain returns home owners and gardeners will have green grass.

Step 5: Irrigation is definitely still necessary when using the xeriscaping process although in much smaller amounts. Regular watering is required in the beginning when the system is first installed. This is to help establish the plants. The requirements for frequent watering decrease a lot after this initial process. There should be more than one sprinkler system used. You want to alternate between the drip irrigation of the system and hand watering every once in a while.

Step 6: When it comes to giving back to your soil, mulching is one of the most beneficial things that can be done to achieve a beautiful and healthy garden. A thick layer of mulch is a great way to keep the levels of moisture within the soil at a constant level. Not only this, but it is also able to keep crust from forming around the plants so water can move to the roots easier. Weeds will also not be much of a problem since mulch keeps them at bay.

A properly created landscape utilizing xeriscaping required minimal maintenance compared to traditional landscaping. Xeriscaping is the type of landscaping you want to use when you want to cut down on the amount of water that is needed to keep the landscape beautiful. Fertilizer is also reduced in this type of landscaping.

There are a few more key points to keep in mind when you choose to utilize xeriscaping for your garden or lawn:

  • Always make sure to use a slow release fertilizer.
  • Aerating the turf is helpful to improving the irrigation system.
  • Thin the shrubs instead of shearing them down.