Water-wise gardening (Google / Clovis Independent)

Read at : Google Alert – desert gardening

http://clovisindependent.com/2011/09/24/water-wise-gardening-tips/

Water-wise gardening tips

Water-wise gardening is a hot topic. Landscape irrigation accounts for 50% of the average household’s water usage. As more communities are forced to regulate and reduce water usage, conservation efforts are directed, first and foremost, to educating homeowners about water conservation in the garden. Some of the terms used in discussions about water-wise gardening may be unfamiliar or a little confusing. Here is a brief explanation of a few of the most commonl used terms in discussing water- wise gardening.

Xeriscape: The word “xeros” comes from the Greek word for “dry.” Some earlier examples of xeriscape gardening did indeed look dry, dusty and empty with a few cacti and other desert natives scattered over barren soil. Newer methods of teaching xeriscape gardening include:

– Adding organic materials (compost, humus) to create well-draining soil that holds water well.

– Topping planting beds with a 6- to 8-inch layer of mulch to cut water needs in half.

– Reducing the size of the lawn.

– Replacing thirsty turf grass with drought-tolerant ground covers or perennials.

– Choosing native perennial plants or those that are suitable for the local climate.

Hydrozone: Refers to the practice of grouping plants with similar irrigation needs together. Gardens can be designed so that heavy water users such as roses are irrigated separately from more drought-tolerant plants.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.