As massive forest fires continue to roar in places all over the world, water protection is becoming increasingly necessary, especially in areas of prolonged drought. Many people choose to tear up watered lawns for plants and other landscapes that require much less H2O. Here are some tips on how to design and implement drought-resistant landscapes around your home.
Dry Tolerant vs. Resistant
While these two terms sound very similar, and are sometimes used interchangeably when talking about xeriscapes, a drought tolerant plant will bloom with a small amount of water or minimal rainfall, but dry resistant plants will thrive without water for extended periods.
It is important to know the difference when planning your garden or landscape according to your region. If you experience long periods without rain, drought-resistant plants are the best option, while drought-tolerant plants will need extra watering.
Cactus and most succulents such as aloe, agave and yucca are drought resistant, while plants such as thyme, lavender, aster, lupine, lamb ear, and bougainvillea shrubs are just a few examples of drought-tolerant plants. Drought resistant plants are also double as fire resistant plants and make smart additions to regional landscapes threatened by forest fires.
Plant Native Species
Dry-tolerant plants will do best if they are native to the country you are planting in. Reasonable, right? These are the plants that naturally grew before humans began to bring in exotic species to the area. There is some vegetation that will be drought tolerant no matter where it is planted, but most plants will thrive with less water when grown in their natural habitat.
The temperature, rainfall and other flora and fauna will all provide the best environment for healthy growth, making plants stronger and able to withstand drought and other difficulties. If you are not sure where to find native plants, ask your local garden center, call your local government or search for native plant groups and research sites online.
Implementation of grass environment alternatives is almost essential for drought-resistant landscape architecture because turf grass needs a lot of extra water. Ground covers are wonderful alternatives to lawns, as well as grasses that are not peat like fescues and ornamental varieties because they require a little watering and maintenance and will spread over large spaces.
However, they are not recommended for southern states and desert regions. , as they would need supplemental watering and would be considered drought tolerant. Many sedum and rock body types are excellent drought-resistant ground covers, perfect for decorating stone gardens instead of lawns.
Balancing Hardscapes and Softscapes
Good landscape design uses a balance between soft and hard landscapes. This means that you include plants, shrubs and trees together with stones, stones, wood and other physical materials and structures. This takes the strain of filling large spaces with only plants, which often look immobile or do not allow space for areas to sit, sit or talk. Hardscapes include patio areas using paving, cement, mulch and / or gravel.
Adding these elements to your garden space is wonderful way to reduce the total water demand and give an organized sense of calm in a drought-resistant garden. Often, this will also enhance your home's curb.
Respect Bi-Laws / Look for discounts  Many municipalities, especially those experiencing forest fires and long droughts, will implement water conservation interventions by imposing fines for outdoor use of water. Get to know the by-laws that are in place and what type of water restrictions are required in your region.
On the flip side, there are many discounts for homeowners who want to implement drought-resistant landscape architecture. Look for incentives to replace your lawn with water-wise designs and xeriscapes, and other reimbursements for water conservation methods.
It can be difficult to get a completely drought-resistant garden up and running and many homeowners continue to have at least some plant life that requires extra watering. One way to get around fines for using water and environmental indolence is to start using water-smart systems. Installing a rain barrel and other catches is a fairly simple and inexpensive way to collect enough rain to supplement a drought-tolerant garden.
If you have to water, remember that watering deep less often is better than a little every day. Other ways to maintain natural moisture are to keep the soil healthy with organic matter, use mulch extensively and use shade or make more of them available. Get to know your space and be creative!
Many gardeners become frustrated when they see burnt plants and peat grass due to drought and high temperatures. Dry-resistant landscaping can exacerbate these frustrations, not to mention the cost of water on both your wallet and the environment. Since many areas in the United States are experiencing record-breaking dry spells, ask yourself if you can make changes to reduce the need for additional water and whether or not native plants are doing better in your garden. By choosing dry-resistant landscaping you will soon see a beautiful, healthy and thriving xeriscape come to life!