At TriMet, our goal is to apply xeriscaping principles to all of our properties.
Xeriscaping to Reduce Your Use
Nationally, communities have been faced with increased demands on existing water supplies. Consequently, there is a greater focus on water conservation, not just in times of drought, but in anticipation of future population growth. Water can no longer be considered a limitless resource. A philosophy of conservation of water through creative landscaping has engendered the new term, xeriscape.
The term xeriscape is derived from the Greek word xeros meaning dry, combined with landscaping, thus xeriscaping. The term was coined by the Front Range Xeriscape Task Force of the Denver Water Department in 1981. The goal of a xeriscape is to create a visually attractive landscape that uses plants selected for their water efficiency. Properly maintained, a xeriscape can easily use less than one-half the water of a traditional landscape.
Once established, a xeriscape should require less maintenance than turf landscape.
The Advantages of Xeriscape
Xeriscaping saves water.
Using native and other drought-tolerant plants can significantly reduce water use.
Xeriscaping saves time.
It de-emphasizes the use of thirsty plants. This common-sense approach can reduce the time spent watering, fertilizing and mowing. Xeriscaping can also reduce the amount of plant trimmings that must be disposed of or otherwise managed, thereby reducing the amount of labor needed to maintain a given landscape.
Xeriscaping saves money.
Reducing water use can lower water bills. Xeriscaping can also reduce maintenance costs and increase the beauty and value of property. Xeriscapes generally require less fertilizer and fewer pest control measures than traditional landscapes. Because pesticides and fertilizers can inadvertently harm beneficial organisms, as well as impact air and water quality, reducing their use is a good idea. And, or course, using less of these materials saves money.
Steps to Xeriscaping
Evaluate property's exposure, slope, and uses.
Reduce irrigated turf where appropriate and replace it with low-water alternatives.
Prepare the soil.