XERISCAPING- THE BASICS

Xeriscaping, commonly mispronounced as “zeroscaping,” is a water-smart way of gardening that has almost become the norm in Colorado Springs.  Although it is very common here, there are still many misconceptions about what xeriscaping is and what it looks like.

The primary goal of xeriscaping is to be environmentally conscious by using less water.  One way to achieve this is to place appropriate, drought-tolerant plants in a suitable location. It is often thought that xeriscapes don’t need any supplemental irrigation, however newly-planted trees, shrubs, and perennials will need irrigation for the first few years, and it’s a good idea to water established plants during periods of little or no precipitation.  When watering it is important to use efficient irrigation such as a drip-irrigation system, which puts the right amount of water directly to the root system for a deep watering.  Xeriscaping encourages other water-saving techniques like installing a rain sensor so the irrigation won’t run while it’s raining and the use of mulch, which retains moisture.

Xeriscapes also tend to need less maintenance than high-water usage gardens.   That is not to say that xeriscapes don’t need any maintenance because they do; just not as much as other types of gardens.  High-water plants generally require more maintenance.  The practice of mulching helps keep weeds in check.

A common image of xeriscaping a desolate garden made of rocks.  However, xeriscapes can be lush and colorful.  Many of the plants that are appropriate for this region are colorful, interesting, and flourish in our gardens.  Even the use of turf is acceptable as long as size and the use of space are considered.

Xeriscaping is a water-friendly approach to creating a beautiful garden that thrives in its region.  Not only does it encourage environmentally friendly practices, it also can help a homeowner save money on water bills.

Xeriscaping is a water-friendly approach to creating a beautiful garden that thrives in its region

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