Landscaping in dry climates can be a challenge due to lack of water and excessive heat from the sun. Restricting the size of your lawn and choosing plants that are tolerant to drought are a few ways to have a nice-looking yard. Additionally, incorporating more hardscaping elements can add extra style. Lastly, making sure your landscaping takes advantage of runoff and incorporates water conservation practices will help ensure a successful yard in dry climates.
Because grass requires a lot of water, if you must have grass, restrict the size of your lawn by integrating more plants and hardscaping elements into your overall landscape plan. You can also use the layout of your yard to your advantage. Plant at the bottom of a slope to use water runoff and consider using containers for plants requiring more water.
The type of plants you choose to use is also important. Selecting plants that are drought tolerant and native to dry climates is a great place to start. Some ornamental grasses tend to be more water-hardy as well. Other water-hardy plants include lavender, catmint, goat’s beard, and lady’s mantle.
Grouping plants with similar needs together helps conserve water. Planting them when they are small gives them better opportunity to adapt to the climate. Additionally, raised beds will help prevent water loss and dense flower beds will require less mulch.
If your yard does require mulch, using gravel will help keep the surrounding soil moist while still inhibiting any weed growth. You can also use landscape edging to prevent weeds and other unwanted vegetation that may consume extra water out of your yard. If you have pavers for a path, leaving gaps between them will also encourage water to soak into the ground. Incorporating elements such as trees and large bushes will provide shade to protect plants from the hot midday sun. Using landscape edging to help separate out certain areas of your yard will help control water movement as well. PerfEdge improves water flow and drainage while solid edging can help retain water and keep a distinct line between types of landscaping.
Hardscaping is a great way to add visual interest without requiring additional plants. Large rocks and boulders can be used to direct the flow of water and runoff while still providing visual interest. Sculptures and other decorative elements can also be included to add personality and class. Strategically positioned landscape edging can help inhibit or encourage water movement throughout your yard.
Water conservation is especially important in dry climates, so it is important to use water saving techniques. These include using drip irrigation systems, using water runoff to your advantage, and collecting rainwater with barrels, terracing, and soil furrows. Watering early in the morning or evening will help minimize water loss from evaporation during the hot parts of the day. It is possible to have a lovely yard in dry climates if you follow these best practices.