The Importance of Drought Resistant Landscaping
People living in Santa Clara County are not strangers to drought. Whether it is due to climate change or other reasons, the fact is that the situation continues to get worse. Yes, there are years when the rainfall is good and perhaps even excessive. But overall, water for landscapes is a problem. Many people install systems to keep their gardens looking their best, but with irrigation, the water usage remains high and that is not something a responsible citizen wants to encourage. Santa Clara is not a desert and will not become one, but water conservation is what all homeowners should become involved in. The best way of doing that, without sacrificing the beauty and utility of the garden, is to go in for drought-resistant landscaping. This does not mean filling the garden with cacti. It means using native plants, that have adapted to low water conditions without losing their utility and beauty. Drought-resistant landscaping will reduce a home’s environmental impact, cut down on landscape maintenance, and bring down the water bill.
Many people think that drought-resistant landscaping means installing rock gardens, decks, pergolas, and other structures so that the plants that need watering are minimized, if not eliminated. That is a misconception. Zero water landscaping is very different from drought-resistant landscaping or xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is a word coined by the Denver Water Department and refers to landscaping that reduces water usage while not sacrificing the appeal and functionality of a landscape.
How to Xeriscape
- Analyze the layout of the open area so you know where the sunlight falls during different seasons. The amount of shade can be controlled by either planting more tall plants or trees to create more shade or by reducing them to allow the entry of sunlight into more places.
- Group plants that need similar amounts of sunlight together.
- Plan out the irrigation system to prevent water wastage.
- Analyze the soil to see if it needs to be modified to support healthy plant life.
- Consider the drainage pattern and water flow so that the plants that need the most water can be grouped in the right spots.
- Use native plants that have adapted to the environment, need minimum water, grow well in the local soil, and are resistant to local pests.
- About 60% of outdoor water use is directed to lawn maintenance. Cutting down on this does not mean installing artificial grass. Planting native grasses will reduce water use and maintenance.
Much of this requires specialized knowledge and DIY efforts may not produce the right results.
Do It the Right Way
Whether you are looking at installing a new landscape in San Jose or want to upgrade your landscape maintenance, the right way to do it and get the yard you want with minimal hassle, as well as expenditure, would be to consult a professional landscaping company.