Water-Wise Gardening - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  1. Water-Wise Gardening Xeriscape Principles For Western Gardens

  2. What is “Xeriscape”? • Term coined by Denver Water Board in 1981 • “Dry” + “scape” • Water conservation through creative landscaping

  3. Does it have to look like this??

  4. It can just as easily look like this!!

  5. What is “Xeriscape”? • A concept of garden design that conserves water and honors the native Western landscape without sacrificing beauty • High water using plants are not banned, but are used in limited areas • Plants are grouped according to their needs

  6. Why xeriscape? • Conserve water • Fewer weed problems • “Sense of Place”: creating landscapes that reflect/blend with the native environment

  7. Xeriscape Gardening Excellent choice for difficult spots

  8. Seven Principles of Xeriscape • Plan and design • Reduce turf • Use appropriate plants • Improve the soil • Mulch • Efficient irrigation • Proper maintenance

  9. Plan and Design • Group plants by their needs • water • sun • salt tolerance (test soil) • Create water zones • Highest use nearest the house

  10. Reduce Turf Areas • Assess current turf use • Pets? Children? • Assess ease of maintenance • Irrigation patterns • Mowing • Plan small, accessible areas near the house

  11. Improve the Soil • Get the soil tested • Assess drainage • Coarse organic amendments • Wood chips, bark mulch • 3 - 6 yards/1000 square feet • Work in as deeply as possible • Do it right, do it once

  12. Use of Mulch • Organic vs. Inorganic • Attractive • Conserves moisture • Organic improves soil • Dryland plants don’t need as much

  13. Mulch • Adds contrast: texture and color Keeps soil cool

  14. Efficient Irrigation • Plan the system to fit, or: • Plan the site around the system • Most systems are only 65% efficient • Use drip or soaker systems where appropriate • Time of day is important

  15. Efficient Irrigation • Get an irrigation audit • Check heads regularly • Use manual setting • Check soil and plants to determine water needs

  16. Regular Maintenance • Xeriscape does NOT mean no maintenance! • Water is needed for establishment • Flowering plants: deadhead • Perennials: divide, replace • Shrubs: prune as needed • Plan for winter interest Refresh mulch

  17. Using Native Plants • Selection is limited • “Natural” doesn’t require just natives • Many other plants are well adapted to our soil and climate conditions • High desert natives have a limited color palette

  18. Using Bulbs • Often overlooked as xeric plants • Earliest spring color • Very easy to grow • Like full sun, well-drained soil • Dormant in summer • Iris also like hot, dry summer conditions

  19. Spring Flowering Bulbs • Utilize winter moisture • Beautiful early color

  20. Cacti • Specialized plants, not for everyone • Easy to grow • Cannot tolerate excess moisture • Do not mulch • Handle carefully!

  21. Cacti Add striking color when in bloom

  22. Cacti Many varieties are hardy in Colorado

  23. Succulents • Good ground cover plants • Ice plant • Stone crop • Can become invasive • Useful for difficult areas • Cannot tolerate excess moisture

  24. Ornamental Grasses • Many varieties tolerate dry conditions • Add texture, movement, height • Winter interest • May become invasive

  25. Ornamental Grasses • Subtle color • Winter interest • Sound

  26. Wildflower Meadows • Mixes available for dryland conditions • Require water to establish • Require work to maintain • Excellent as transition zone to a native landscape

  27. Xeriscape Gardening Utilizes subtle contrasts: • COLOR • TEXTURE • SHAPE

  28. Plant Lists • Ground covers: www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07230.html • Flowering plants: www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07231.html • Trees and shrubs: www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07229.html