7 Simple Steps to a Successful Xeriscape

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Making the jump from a turf-blanketed landscape to a xeric one can be intimidating. It helps to think about the process in baby steps — and also about how much time, energy and water you’ll save.

Although it seems like fall will never arrive, it is right around the corner — and so is planting season. So right now is the perfect time to rethink your landscape.

Xeriscapes are quickly becoming the norm in San Antonio, offering unique traits not found in ordinary landscapes. Contrary to popular belief, a xeriscape is not rocks and cacti. But it is a principle of landscaping that promotes water conservation.

There are seven simple steps to a successful xeriscape:

  1. Planning – Consider how will you use your landscape and what will it look like during each season of the year.
  2. Soil – Four to 6 inches of good soil is ideal, and using mostly organic material will help even more.
  3. Plant selection – Stick to native plants or ones well-suited for the surrounding area. (Don’t forget about trees).
  4. Turfgrass – Ideally no more than one-third of your landscape should be grass, preferably a drought-tolerant one that requires less water.
  5. Efficient irrigation – Minimal irrigation is needed once landscape is established. Water by plant zone and utilize shady areas by watering less if system permits.
  6. Mulch – Apply it to retain moisture, cool root zone and reduce weeds.
  7. Maintenance – Replenish mulch once or twice a year, trim and prune plants as needed, and irrigate only as necessary.

Seven simple steps to success and lower water bills.

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