The Plant Professionals
16886 Turner Street
Lansing, MI 48906
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Xeriscaping is a style of landscape design that requires little to no irrigation or other maintenance once established. This type of design is great for areas that are susceptible to drought, or where water conservation is practiced. Many people associate the term Xeriscaping with desert landscapes, but the principals of Xeriscape design are just as useful here in the Midwest. The plants in this region need to be tough enough to survive both the deluge and the drought. There are a few basic techniques to a successful Xeriscape garden.
Planting design, it is important to determine just how dry the landscape will be. This helps to combine plants with similar water demands. Choose hardy drought tolerant plants.
Amend the soil with organic matter, this will reduce the need to water as it acts like a sponge. Organic matter soaks up water quickly after rain and slowly releases it into the surrounding soil as it begins to dry out.
Plant tender or exotic plants close to the house or other water sources, this ensures that you will keep a better eye on them.
The importance of mulch cannot be understated. Mulch helps to prevent moisture evaporating from the surface soil and shades the soil, regulates soil temperatures, and prevents weed growth that competes for water and nutrients.
Watering wisely! Water early in the morning before sun is intense, this will reduce the amount of water loss to evaporation. Water deeply but infrequently rather that shallowly and often. Deep and infrequent watering encourages plants to have a deeper root system.
Be patient and water for the first 1-2 years, it can take as much as 2 years for a nursery grown plant to be as drought resistant as its native counterpart. Nursery grown plants have constricted roots from being container grown and will require irrigation for the first few years to help the roots travel deep enough to support the plant. As the garden plants become more established the irrigation can be cut back or phased out completely.
Here is a list of a few plants that work well in xeriscape gardens in our area.
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