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A water-wise landscape is one that is functional, attractive, and easily maintained in its natural surroundings. A water-wise landscape also helps to conserve water, improves water quality by slowing rain as it falls to the Earth, and helping it soak into the soil. Plants prevent soil from eroding into our waterways, reduce storm water runoff, and lessen flood damage and serves as a natural filter to protect our streams, rivers and lakes.
Water-wise landscaping is designed using regionally appropriate plants with growing conditions that match the site conditions and grouping them based on soil and water requirements. Follow these strategies to save water, save money and see better results:
- Plant the right plant in the right place
- Invest in a well-designed, efficient irrigation system
- Water wisely
- Maintain and upgrade your system
- Work with an irrigation professional.
Plant selection is a fun part of the design process for most people and selecting the right plant for the right place is essential for creating a water-efficient landscape. Your local cooperative extension service can guide you to appropriate plant selections for your location.
Lawns have many benefits including cooling effects, erosion control, water filtration and water infiltration.. There are many low-water turf types available. With careful selection and efficient watering, lawns can be an important part of a water-wise landscape.
Mulch provides many benefits in water-wise landscapes. Mulch covers the soil and prevents compaction, water evaporation and weed control, while also providing an important visual design aspect. Choosing the right mulch for the situation is dependent on plant selection, watering regime and site use.
Scheduling irrigation according to landscape plant water needs can reduce excess water use. In addition to conserving water, proper irrigation can encourage deeper root growth and healthier, more drought tolerant landscapes.
A benefit of established water-wise landscapes is they require less time and money to maintain than a traditional landscape. Spend less time trying to manipulate plants to fit your conditions, and more time enjoying their beauty!