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A flower sitting with a group of dark rocks, bamboo, grass and the LawnZenGarden logo. A flower sitting with a group of dark rocks, bamboo, grass and the LawnZenGarden logo.

HOMELawn Care Articles

by Carole Schwalm Two fully bloomed flowers with many flowers still budded in the background.

The time to think about xeriscaping is before you visit your local garden center. Do your research and create your plan. In my part of the country (New Mexico) there are approximately 575 beautiful low water plants available – and this means I have a lot from which to choose, as will you in your local area.

To find plants that call for low and medium water, check sites like the “Find the perfect plant” through the Royal Horticulture Society, for example. I started by selecting ‘perennials.’ I entered drought-resistant and among plants the anemone. I would plant it in the part of my yard has full-sun to partial shade. I now know the type of soil it requires, how tall it gets and how long it takes to reach the height. And yes, it tolerates drier conditions.

There are many plant guides available online where you can be very specific about each microclimate in your yard. Varieties of plants include trees, ground covers, flowers, grasses and shrubs.

Did you know that improved soil uses less water and that mulch minimizes evaporation, keeps the soil cool and also slows erosion, all key parts of xeriscaping.

A field of undisturbed natural grass. In many cities, like Albuquerque, homeowners are eligible for a $500 to $700 rebate on their yearly water bill. Before landscaping, you may want to check locally. The rebate allowance gives you extra money to use to buy plants and compost, soil, mulch, raised beds, etc.

During a hot summer, 70 percent of water use goes to landscaping: A sprinkler adds 1½” of water an hour to the area. The lawn can only handle ½” per hour. This equals a lot of runoff, evaporation and water waste.

For more information on water conservation and good watering practices, see our articles on Water Conservation, Green Lawn Care and Green Landscaping

Share your xeriscaping experience or if you'd like more information.