What is 'xeriscaping'? Growing trend could save time, water and money

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LUBBOCK, Texas – A landscaping style designed to save time and money continues to gain popularity in hot, dry climates.

Xeriscaping, as it’s called, is nothing new. The idea is relatively simple, too: Replace the grass and any plants that require excessive watering from your property, and replace them with rocks, turf or native plants that are more adaptable to drought conditions.

Not only is xeriscaping an environmentally conscious choice, as it saves water and promotes native vegetation, but it could even be cost-effective in the long run, saving on unnecessary irrigation or landscaping costs.

“It’s easier [and] not as frequent of maintenance is required, I think is the big thing,” said Matthew Helm, an employee at King Nursery in Lubbock.

King Nursery’s employees say they’re seeing an uptick in customers wanting this type of landscaping for their lawns. Helm said he suggests some of Texas’ native plants, including noemexicana agave and blonde ambition grass, which make a great combination. Adding some Drift roses — a style that’s relatively easy to grow — will give the space a pop of color, Helm said.

Xeriscaping is also great for the colder months, according to experts, as desert-type plants are harder to kill.

Aubrey Spear, the director of Water Utilities for the City of Lubbock, is a fan of xeriscaping.

“We really call it more of a ‘smart’ scape,” Spear said. “We can use that ‘smart’ scape to help everything look really good and still conserve water.”

The cost to xeriscape varies from yard to yard, but can usually be reduced if the homeowners themselves are willing to put in some work. Some municipalities may even offer classes, like those at the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District in Utah. Many cities in dry, hot states even offer sustainable landscaping rebates, Nexstar’s KTVX reports.

Not ready to give up on grass? There are plenty of other options for reducing water usage, according to KTVX, like installing smart sprinkler controllers or setting up drip irrigation systems, which deliver water more directly at the root of the plants.



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