While xeriscaping is a phrase that many people associate with the desert southwest, it is a term that everyone should be familiar with due to the increasing number of droughts across the country each year. In fact, over half the United States is under drought conditions.
What is xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping is a method of landscaping that uses a combination of native plants and drought-tolerant plants to create a beautiful yard. Water-hungry green lawns are often replaced with gravel, rocks, and low-water plants.
Xeriscaping is important because water is a finite resource. While over 70 percent of the world is covered in water, only a small portion of that water is freshwater and much of that is frozen at the north and south poles. Everyone needs to be careful of their water usage to make sure that it lasts for many centuries to come.
Where did the term xeriscaping come from?
Xeriscaping (pronounced like a z) was invented by the city of Denver's water department back in 1981. They used the Greek word for dry (xero) to encourage people to make smarter landscaping choices and help battle a drought. Zeroscaping is another term that is sometimes used interchangeably.
What are the benefits of xeriscaping
There are many benefits to xeriscaping, including:
- Save money. Whether you have a well or are on city water, it costs money to keep a turf lawn green during the hot summer months.
- Save water. It is estimated that it takes 45 gallons of water per year to keep just one square foot of the average grass lawn green. That's a lot of water, especially when the area you live in is under drought conditions.
- Save time. Watering your lawn takes time. Xeriscaping, on the other hand, doesn't require input from you. A xeriscaped yard functions well on its own, taking in water when it rains.
Another benefit to xeriscaping is the lack of stress. Many homeowners worry about how to keep their lawns green and lush as the thermostat rises each summer and the threat of a water ban increases in their community.
Changing your yard's landscaping to xeriscaping can be something you do by yourself, little by little over time, or you can employ local landscaping services to help in the project. Reducing your water usage by eliminating your grass lawn and replacing it with drought-loving, native plants is not only a good look but it is good for the planet, too.