7 Xeriscaping Ideas for Your Home – Save Money While Saving the Planet was written by Olu Ojo and originally appeared on Hello Sensible. Olu is a passionate entrepreneur who loves to blog on his site- frenzhub about life-saving lifestyle habits, hacks, and travel. He lives in the Western part of Canada. Olu has two bachelor’s degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. It has been republished with permission. Please note that contributing opinions are that of the author. They are not always in strict alignment with my own opinions. –Joe.
Since the pandemic, many homeowners globally and in America have grappled with the increasing cost of maintaining their homes. The pandemic affected the global economy; inflation went to an unprecedented forty-one-year high at some point.
This affected many families, and ultimately a sizeable population of homeowners has had to seek cost-effective options for keeping or maintaining their homes. The ones who couldn't keep up with the increased mortgage cost had to sell their homes and settle for low-cost rentals or small apartments.
But what if I told you that you could save money and help the planet by changing up the landscaping of your backyard or front lawn? You could well be on your way to creating an eco-friendly home upgrade that’s easy on the eyes – and your bank balance.
The goal of this post is to introduce the idea of Xeriscaping, explain its basics, xeriscaping home improvement ideas, Xeriscape gardening, and how it can help you to reduce the cost of maintaining your abode or dwelling for all categories of living, whether you are a homeowner, renter, apartment dweller.
What is Xeriscaping?
“Xeriscape” originated from the Greek term xeros, meaning “dry.” Xeriscape landscaping is an eco-friendly gardening technique that uses minimal water and native drought-resistant plants to survive. It's an easy way for gardeners to create beautiful outdoor spaces without relying on excessive amounts of water.
The EPA says the average American uses over 100,000 gallons of water per year; 30% of that goes to outdoor usage, which is on landscaping. Depending on which state you reside in the U.S., there are different costs/gallons quoted on the internet. This source says an average of $4.87/gallon.
The above definition of xeriscaping sounds pretty much like asking a college professor what xeriscaping means. But, to put it into real-world context for you, Xeriscaping is a fantastic way to give your garden a colorful, modern look without using too much water, less lawn grass square footage, and less gardening time.
Xeriscaping has evolved so much that you don't need the outdoors to practice it. Even small apartment dwellers in dense cities are becoming champions of Xeriscaping! This landscaping method can now be used worldwide in any climate! You don't just have to stick with conventional irrigation practices – Having said that, let's get creative and bring our gardens into the 21st century: it's time to xeriscape!
7 Basics of Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping is a great way to save on water usage outdoors, and it doesn't have to sacrifice beauty for sustainability! With the basic guidelines of xeriscaping mentioned below in mind, anyone can create an attractive landscape that requires less water.
Planning and design
Maximize the efficiency of your lawn with hydrozoning. Group like-minded plants together and give them their favorite combination of sun and water – no more wasted H2O or withering flowers! It's a win for you; it's a win for Mother Nature!
Before you dive into planting your xeriscape, don't forget to give the soil some extra TLC. Testing the nutrient levels is key — if needed, pamper it with compost or organic fertilizer and ensure each plant in your landscape gets just what they need!
Rather than wasting precious water with traditional sprinklers, xeriscapes use cleverly efficient drip irrigation or soaker hoses to get the hydration right where it matters – directly into plant roots!
Limiting turf use
Choosing to xeriscape doesn't mean giving up on having green spaces. Why not use turfgrass responsibly where it's needed? Kids and pets need a place to run around, so why not keep an area of Kentucky bluegrass in your yard while opting for lower-water grasses or native plants in other sections? Or get creative with rocks!
Get your lawn summer-ready and winterproofed with the miraculous power of mulch! Its superior moisture retention, weed protection, insulation against cold temperatures, and erosion prevention make it essential to keep xeriscaped gardens healthy all year.
Choosing drought-tolerant and drought-resistant plants
Get ready to say goodbye to your lawn-care woes! Xeriscaping is the eco-friendly answer, with native plants that require minimal water and no expensive fertilizer or harmful pesticides. Grow a garden paradise without all the fuss of traditional landscaping – now that's smart gardening for good times!
Xeriscapes are an excellent option for those looking to add low-maintenance beauty and elegance to their homes. But don't let their simplicity fool you; these landscapes still require attention – from weeding and pruning to mulching and aerating the soil every year or so (depending on your climate!). Plus, it's a good idea to get a professional checkup with a soil test every 3-5 years, just like any other garden; that way, you can keep your xeriscape in peak condition!
11 Xeriscaping Money-Saving Home Improvement Benefits!
So I saved the best for the last; if you happen to skip any part of this piece, please do not skip this spot! Homeowners or renters looking to save money on landscaping or gardening expenses should dwell here!
Using native plants tailored to the local climate can save up to 50% or more water usage than turfgrass. In addition, hydrozoning these plants by their hydration needs helps reduce over or underwatering.
In the coming half-century, nearly a third of America's freshwater supply will be in jeopardy if we do nothing. Fortunately, xeriscaping offers an answer to this plan; less water allocated to lawns and yards allows the chance to channel more towards drinking water reserves instead. Unfortunately, unless we all take decisive action today, water shortages could become all too common tomorrow – but by adopting this form of landscaping now, we can mitigate the issue before it becomes critical.
The outcome? Homeowners in California are able to conserve up to 120 gallons of water each day. At the same time, those who xeriscape in Flagstaff, AZ, can routinely save a striking 8,000 gallons annually – an impressive feat that leads to $275 more remaining in their pocket.
Money in your Wallet!
By choosing Xeriscaping, you can experience a drastic reduction in your water bill – up to 80%! You won't only save money on the cost of water but also get rid of other expenses that come with traditional lawn maintenance, such as gasoline and fertilizer. Your yearly savings will total an astonishing 87%.
Creating a water-wise xeriscape design is an easy and affordable way to reduce yard expenses. Rather than spending money on pricey sod or artificial grass, use native plants in combination with rocks for stunning landscaping that requires little extra upkeep!
Local governments in the dry regions of the U.S., such as Aurora, CO; Las Vegas, NV; and Los Angeles, CA, offer money-saving incentives like rebates (cash for grass programs – currently closed for new submissions) to persuade homeowners to xeriscape their yards instead of having traditional lawns with sod. Not only are these cash rewards beneficial financially, but they also reduce water waste by decreasing the demand for local resources.
Are you living outside the Southwest? Don't worry; your local government may offer financial rewards if you switch out your grass lawn for a xeriscaped landscape. See if you qualify by checking the website of your city or township. It's time to take advantage and make some extra cash!
Ever Heard of “Container Gardening”?
Container gardening is a great way for apartment dwellers to bring a bit of nature into the home. Whether living in a studio or a small one-bedroom, space can be limited – making it difficult to create outdoor gardens and pathways. But with container gardening, even the smallest of spaces can be transformed into beautiful outdoor oases. This involves using pots and other containers to grow drought-tolerant plants on balconies, patios, or other outdoor areas. Not only does this require minimal maintenance, but it also gives city dwellers a chance to appreciate local flora and fauna without needing acres of land!
Attracts Future Buyers
Up your property game with xeriscaping! It's a sustainable alternative to traditional landscaping that will boost your property's curb appeal; The EPA says it can increase your property value by 14 percent. So if you're looking for an easy way to ensure your house stands out in the neighborhood, get on board and go xeric!
By designing your garden with drought-tolerant plants such as ground covers, perennials, succulents, shrubs, and trees that only need to be watered every two to three weeks (or even not at all!), you can take the stress out of gardening – allowing you more free time on the weekends for those activities that you love or time to work more job shifts.
Xeriscaping is a perfect way to make this dream come true! But please note this doesn't excuse maintaining your lawn!
Who needs a TV when you have your very own wildlife show? Create a xeriscape and give native animals, insects, butterflies, bees, and birds at the risk of habitat loss the home they deserve. Not only will it be beneficial to them, but soon enough, you’ll get an up-close look at nature's beauty with colorful pollinators dancing in your backyard!
This National Wildlife Federation list reveals the finest blooms to draw stunning butterflies into your garden.
Save Taxpayer Funds
Conserving water not only aids in protecting the quality of our reservoirs, treatment plants, and aquifers but also saves taxpayers money. By decreasing your water use, you help avoid unnecessary costs associated with damages, repairs, and restructuring.
Reduces or eliminates chemical needs
By incorporating native plants in your xeriscape, you don't need to worry about harmful fertilizers or pesticides. These resilient florae have evolved over time to specifically thrive in the environment of your region – from soil composition and weather conditions all the way down to local pests and diseases. Native plant species are true experts at thriving with minimal effort on behalf of their caretakers!
You can also use rock covers to reduce your dependence on chemical treatments, saving you money and eliminating any chance of looking comical while attempting to spray herbicide on your boulders or gravel.
Reduce Energy Use and Pollution
Let's face it—tasks like treating water, mowing a lawn, and fertilizer production consume lots of energy which has an impact on our environment and potential pollution of watersheds! But with xeriscaping, you can conserve water and reduce energy consumption while still achieving stunning landscaped results.
With a xeriscape garden, you don't just reap the benefits of smart environmentalism – it's also an opportunity to create something beautiful, like transforming your outdoor space into an awe-inspiring rock garden, crafting a tranquil patio with beautifully cut edges or creating a haven of wildflowers that you can relax in while reading – the possibilities are endless!
Homeowners get more than they bargain for when choosing this option; their gorgeous gardens give them joy every time, and it might inspire your neighbors to follow your example.
From ground covers to shrubs to rock gardens and even wildflower havens, many creative options exist for creating a beautiful xeriscape. I hope this post has encouraged you to switch from traditional lawns and try out some of the xeriscaping home improvement ideas that can save you money and the planet!
Your wallet and Mother Nature will thank you.