Greenscaping is the creation of a garden that uses less water than traditional landscaping. You can do this by choosing plants that are drought tolerant and by using techniques that use water efficiently. Taking these steps will reduce your outdoor water use by creating a colorful, natural yard or garden that is easier and cheaper to maintain.
Seven Steps to a Water-Saving Garden
- Planning and Design - Consider soil and light conditions, drainage, which existing plants you plan to keep, maintenance level desired, plant and color preferences, and your budget.
- Soil Improvements - Mix compost or peat moss into the soil before planting to help the soil retain water. If your yard is sloped, reduce water run-off with terraces and retaining walls.
- Minimize Lawn Areas - Limit the amount of area devoted to grass. Plant ground covers or add hard surface areas like patios, decks, or walkways. When replanting lawn areas, use drought tolerant grass seed mixes.
- Plant Selection - Choose from among the many types of low water using trees, shrubs, flowers, and ground covers. Many need watering only in the first year after planting.
- Efficient Irrigation - Install drip or trickle irrigation systems for those areas that need watering. These systems use water efficiently and are available from garden centers.
- Effective Use of Mulches - Use mulches like pine needles, shredded bark, or leaves in a layer 3 inches deep. This keeps soil moist, smothers weeds, and prevents erosion.
- Regular Maintenance - Properly timed pruning, fertilizing, pest control, and weeding will preserve your landscape's beauty and water efficiency.