The idea of xeriscaping your front or backyard can be both challenging and exciting. The fact of the matter is, lavish lawns that require high maintenance and large amounts of water are not only bad for the environment, they’re also costly to your pocket. In this article, we break down what xeriscaping is, its benefits, and most importantly the steps to get started.
What is Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping is a sustainable landscaping method often used in dry-tolerant regions, which incorporates native plants and rocks in its design and materials. While this process may appear a bit cumbersome to execute, with the proper planning and persistence, it can be accomplished efficiently and effectively.
Though xeriscaping was initially intended for outdoor spaces with predominantly dry weather, its fundamental aspects can be adapted to suit any climate. From expanding deserts to habitats facing coastal erosion, as an environmentally sustainable method, it can be done just about any outdoor space.
Benefits of xeriscaping
The positive aspects of xeriscaping encompass everything from benefiting the environment, a reduction in financial expenses, and the overall health and wellbeing of you and your household. Whether this is something you are hearing of for the first time, or are unsure of what the benefits are, read below for a list of the most widely reported reasons why this might be the right opportunity for you to revamp your front or backyard.
- Planning your lawn’s design and features based on the natural geography and climate can save you anywhere from 10% to 30% on bills at the end of the month.
- Investing in your home’s landscape can increase your property value between 5% and 13% on average.
- Xeriscaping, in conjunction with other firescaping methods, can help to prevent fires.
- The process itself may involve the help of any friends or family members, making it a great option for having your kids participate, while also being great for the mental health of everyone participating.
- Similar to switching to solar, xeriscaping is a way to help reduce unnecessary energy consumption and have an overall smaller carbon footprint.
4 steps to xeriscaping
While xeriscaping may seem like a physically intensive project to take on, once you understand the basic and necessary steps, it’s really quite straightforward. Read below for the standard list of what to do from start to finish.
Design the layout
First, you want to make sure that your lawn’s design is not only fitting to your personal preferences, but also functional. In this initial step, take time to really consider every aspect of the space. This includes hashing out a sketch that is both a birds eye view and as many other angles as possible. This will ensure that you have a decent amount of space covered in the planning phase so that you can avoid spending too much additional time here in the future.
Take inventory of costs and supplies needed
One of the main queries about xeriscaping is how to make sure that it is affordable. Taking inventory of expenses is the best way to accomplish this. Be sure to take your time doing so, as this is one of the most important components of the planning process.
See below for a list of supplies you may need:
- Chemical stump remover
- Shovels and gloves
- Non-toxic weed remover
- Protective gear
- Any necessary yard signs
- Paver stones
- Sand, rocks or gravel
- Lawn bags
- Metal edging
Reduce and remove any unwanted plants
One of the main characteristics of xeriscaping is the utilization of native plants. So in this step, the main focus is to eliminate the plants that are not growing naturally in your habitat, or that require considerable amounts of irrigation. This includes everything from weeds to overgrown or dead foliage.
Add in xeriscaping materials and native plants
The fourth and final step is to execute your design by adding on any native plants and rocks into your yard. This last part of the process can be done by you and your family, or you can hire professionals to help out. While this may take some time, the upside to working on your own is that you can ensure that everything is done exactly the way you like it. On the other hand, working with a professional can cost you a pretty penny, but it will also take away from any added stress you may encounter along the way.
So whether you are considering xeriscaping your lawn solely for the environmental benefits or because you see it as a long term investment, there are multiple reasons why this is a good alternative to regular high maintenance front or backyards. If you’re unsure of how this may affect your insurance premium, contact your homeowner’s insurance and see what they have to say.
GUEST AUTHOR: Rebeca Camacho
Rebeca is a content creator who is “passionate about sustainable economic development, environmental conservation and community outreach.”
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