The Impatient Gardener: Xeriscaping in Central Texas

12191534_1222190104461573_2142600566728630340_nXeriscaping in Central Texas means, what? What is xeriscaping for our neighborhood? Taking a look around at yards that are using plants/turf/hardscape materials to alleviate overworking the water system in Central Texas is a good place to start with. The advantages to xeriscaping include:

  • Substantial cost savings in water bills.
  • Conservation of diminishing water resources.
  • Prevention of pollution from environmentally harmful run-off.
  • Reduced yard maintenance requirements.
  • Pride in knowing that you are protecting our fragile environment and limited resources.
  • Aesthetic beauty and increased homeowners options for plant material.

Xeriscaping takes thoughtful planning but in the end it will be much more carefree so that we can spend our time doing other things we enjoy. Soil preparation, plant selection, and maintenance need to be considered.

One garden tip to have at our fingertips is the PDF file called “Native and Adaptive Plants”, a plant guide for homeowners who want to be involved and aware of conservation xeriscaping. I use this one regularly. (https://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Watershed/growgreen/plantguide.pdf)

Here are few tips to begin with for Water Conservation:

Buy a garden hose and use it more than the sprinkler system. Sprinkler systems do cover a yard well but the run off can be notice in any neighborhood.

Talk to a neighbor or a friend about how those who have made the obvious shift towards xeriscaping made it work. Find out what they did, how it harmonizes with keeping the neighborhood looking nice.

Our local water utility service offers rebates for installation of rain barrels as well as drought tolerant trees and plants. Let your effort make money for you.

Keeping lawns mowed at about 3” is a good rule of thumb for Central Texas. Mowing regularly also prevents weeds from blooming and spreading as well as keeping snakes, mice and other unwanted critters in the green belt where they should stay!

Mulch. Mulch. Did I say MULCH!!!! Best source you have to protect the plants you spent so much money on.

TIP: Water plants BEFORE a night of freezing temperatures. The water protects the roots from freeze damages. Dry freeze damages or kills root/plants.

Be patient! It takes a good three seasons to get the quality of plant you desire. The rule of thumb experienced gardeners know is, first year they sleep, second year they creep, and third year they leap into action with a well-established root system!

 

 

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