How Does Xeriscaping Save Water?

Posted on: April 29, 2019

As a San Diego resident, you probably love the gorgeous year-round weather and minimal rain that lets you enjoy outdoor activities with little interference from Mother Nature. Of course, drought conditions aren’t so friendly to traditional grass lawns, or your water bills for that matter.

If you’re interested in conserving water and saving money, consider xeriscaping. Here’s how this desert landscaping technique works with the Southern California climate instead of fighting against it.

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What Is Xeriscaping?

Picture the natural landscape here in San Diego. Rocks, palms, succulents, cacti, and ground cover may come to mind. This is essentially what xeriscaping is—designing a landscape that mimics what naturally grows in the area to minimize the need for irrigation. People living in dry regions across the western U.S. have embraced xeriscaping as a way to maintain a beautiful yard with less water, even during prolonged droughts when water usage is restricted.

How Much Water Does Xeriscaping Conserve?

Supporters of this landscaping method report that it can reduce outdoor water use by 50 to 75%. City officials in Novato, California recently offered to reduce water rates for residents who converted from traditional lawns to xeriscaping. The city water department found that homeowners who chose to xeriscape saved an average of 120 gallons of water per day.

How Does Xeriscaping Save Water?

Here are the elements of xeriscaping that make it so effective at conserving water:

  • Native plants: The most important part of a successful xeriscape is choosing the appropriate plants for the climate. Use this San Diego native plant guide as a starting point for selecting vegetation. Drought-tolerant plants are accustomed to Southern California weather, so they’re equipped to survive dry conditions with little intervention on your part.
  • Efficient irrigation: While sprinklers are the most common landscape watering technique, they are also the least efficient. Wind and sun evaporate much of the moisture before it even lands on the ground. Then, even more water dries up before it drips down to the soil and moistens the roots. Drip systems and soaker hoses deliver water directly to the base of each plant, optimizing delivery and reducing evaporation.
  • Mulch: Once the water is efficiently delivered with a drip system or soaker hose, keep it there longer by adding mulch around the base of your plants. This shades and moistens the ground, making it take longer for the sun to dry out the soil.
  • Smart plant groupings: Even a yard full of drought-tolerant plants has different watering needs from one area to the next. If you group plants with similar requirements together, you avoid over- or under-watering certain spots, improving the efficiency of your water delivery methods even more.
  • Hardscapes: No xeriscape conversion is complete without pebbles and boulders. These fill in the gaps between plants and create a genuine desert look. Retaining walls, benches, and pavers are other hardscapes that help create places for you to enjoy your yard to the fullest.

Xeriscaping in San Diego, CA

Now that it’s obvious how much water you can save with xeriscaping, you may be interested in converting your traditional lawn into a desert oasis. Eco Minded Solutions can help make it happen! Our experienced San Diego landscapers will assess your property, offer planting recommendations, and explain the ease of caring for a xeriscape. Don’t worry—unlike grass lawns, there’s no fertilizing, pest control, or persistent watering required.

To learn more about xeriscaping, or to set up a consultation, please contact Eco Minded Solutions today.

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