7 Tips for Water-Wise Landscaping
By Betsy DiJulio
- Map out areas of your yard based on characteristics such as sun exposure, moisture level and soil characteristics.
- Group plants with similar water needs together in compatible zones.
2. Improve the soil.
- Good soil absorbs and holds moisture better and encourages deeper roots.
3. Be practical with turf.
- Reduce dependence on turf. Grass generally requires a lot of water as well as fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides that often end up in our waterways.
- Choose a water-conserving, warm-season turf grass such as centipede, zoysia or Bermuda (the most drought-tolerant but will brown-out in winter, so use other plants to enhance the appearance of your landscape year-round).
4. Irrigate efficiently.
- Know how much water your plants require, and match your irrigation system to these needs to avoid waste.
- Use a rain gauge to account for rainfall and avoid overwatering.
5. Mulch (the sunblock for plant roots).
- 2 to 4 inches retains moisture, slows evaporation, protects roots from overheating and reduces or eliminates weeds.
6. Choose low water-use plants.
- Look especially for native plants, which consider Coastal Virginia to be an ideal growing climate
7. Maintain appropriately.
- Follow pruning and mowing guidelines.