Water, once a stable and plentiful part of most Americans' home planning, is making the news for its scarcity more and more often. With mandatory conservation measures in some states and the likelihood of more joining the call for up to 25% cuts in water usage, now is the time to start planning a drought-resistant yard.
If ripping up and redesigning an entire yard may be outside your budget or too much to take on at once, there are ways to reduce water waste and start creating a beautiful and drought-friendly space on a much smaller scale. Here are a few tips.
Add Stone to the Landscape
Stone designs can provide personality to your yard while saving time, energy, and water. Add an inviting footpath that meanders through the yard to greet visitors. Or remove a few feet of grass in a lazy river design and install a dry riverbed stone feature with a small, fanciful faux footbridge and ornamental grasses along the edge. Or liven up a shady yard with boulders that feature deep green mosses, strategically-placed succulents or hardy grasses.
Whether you already have a water fountain built into your landscape design or are looking for a good focal point, you can use a fountain to promote water savings. How? Turn off the tap and let it rain plants instead. Colorful and varied succulents or hardy vines and small blooms can be planted in the fountain to give it a beautiful, overflowing look with little water. Most fountains can also serve to trap rainwater for natural irrigation.
Beds near Walkways
Much of the leakage and runoff that occurs with lawns happens on the edges where grass meets concrete. To prevent this, trim your lawn back two or three feet along sidewalks and driveways, then fill the space with stone or bark and colorful drought-resistant plants. Reduce the amount of water spread by the sprinklers and use a simple drip system to provide any further water needed to the beds.
Saving water doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up the green. A number of ground covers can give your yard a nice green glow without a lot of water. One of the most popular is Green Carpet Rupturewort with tiny leaves that grow together and flat to create an illusion of carpet. Moss also gives shaded areas an easy color. Or, instead of fighting clover in your lawn, seed microclovers into it in instead. Clover blends into the grass, helps fertilize it, and is much less thirsty.
No matter what type of yard or climate you enjoy, you can find many ways to reduce water use and waste. Most require less effort than you think and will save money and maintenance as well as being better for the environment. And today is a great day to start your yard's new life. For assistance, contact a landscaper like Hickory Lane Farm's Nursery & Landscape LLC.