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Conservation | The Xeriscape Landscape

Xeriscape is a water-efficient landscape plan designed to help conserve water. A well-designed landscape requires less maintenance, less mowing, once-a-year mulching, and a selection of plants that are adapted to the area and more drought tolerant.

Xeriscaping is a method using seven basic landscape principles. Working with these principles, you’ll conserve water and drastically reduce maintenance time. One can achieve a beautiful green landscape that does not have to be all cactus and rock gardens.

  1. Garden Design
    As with any landscape venture, you need to begin with a basic design. Various factors may influence your decision to complete the entire plan or to work in stages until you finish the job. A good design will incorporate your family needs. Consider how much time you want to spend on maintenance and how you want to use your yard.  Strategically plant shade trees, ground covers and shrubs to help cool your house. Group plants with similar water needs together to irrigate more efficiently. Keep in mind the mature size of the plants you choose for your landscape.
  2. Soil Improvement
    Soil preparation is as important as selecting plants. To help your shrubs and flowers, add 4 inches of organic material to the soil. This organic matter will increase the soil’s ability to absorb and store water for plant use. Your plants will be healthier, and watering can be kept to a minimum.
  3. Watering Techniques
    Drip irrigation is the most effective system for your watering needs. Easily added to an existing system, it makes watering as convenient as turning on the faucet. You can also use drip systems for all landscaped area and containers. These low-volume drip systems put the water directly into the root zone, reducing evaporation and runoff. Remember to water early in the morning or in the evening to lessen water loss through evaporation. During the heat of the day, water loss is higher than cooler hours.
  4. Approved Plant List (download below)
    Select proven plants for our area. Young trees and shrubs will require water more often, but after they’re established, water thoroughly on an infrequent basis. This will encourage them to grow deep roots and be tolerant of hot, dry conditions.
  5. Grass Selections
    Grass selection and lawn care are major factors in conserving water. Bermuda grass and Buffalo grass are recognized as good drought-tolerant grasses. Most lawns receive twice as much water as they actually require. Wait until the grass starts to turn dull green or until footprints leave lasting impressions in the grass to determine when to water again.
  6. Mulching
    A layer of mulch material covering the soil surface around plants will conserve moisture, help prevent soil compaction, conserve water, and protect plant roots from both heat and cold temperatures. Rocks are good inorganic mulch materials.  Download the PDF below for more information. 
  7. Care and Maintenance
    Proper care and maintenance will preserve the xeriscape beauty. Weed control, proper mowing, proper fertilization, pest control, and an efficient irrigation system will all help conserve water.


Getting Started with Xeriscaping

The Indian Wells Valley Water District has a variety of resources available to help you get started.


Additionally, click on the links below for more information.