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The Seven Principles of Xeriscaping Water Wise Landscaping For Our Desert Region.

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Presentation on theme: "The Seven Principles of Xeriscaping Water Wise Landscaping For Our Desert Region."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Seven Principles of Xeriscaping Water Wise Landscaping For Our Desert Region

2 Why Xeriscape?  As much as 70% of household water use occurs in the landscape.  Easier to maintain.  Thrives in our desert climate.  Provides habitat for native wildlife.  Does not detract from the beauty of the desert.

3 Xeriscape is…  Rooted in the Greek word “Xeros,” which means dry.  A concept of 7 water conserving landscaping principles that may be applied to a variety of landscape styles: 1. Planning and design 2. Wise choice of plants 3. Appropriate use of turf 4. Soil preparation 5. Use of mulch 6. Efficient irrigation 7. Proper maintenance

4 1. Planning & Design  A good landscape begins with a good design!  Some factors to consider when planning your landscape: Function - what will you do in your landscape? flower or butterfly garden barbecue play area for children or pets strolling path Hydrozones - landscapes should be divided into zones where plants are grouped according to their watering needs. Desired maintenance level - are pulling weeds and pruning your idea of a good time? Or do you prefer relaxing in your garden to working in it?

5 2. Wise Choice of Plants  Go native! Native plants…  thrive naturally with little water, work or maintenance.  provide much needed habitat to native wildlife that are rapidly losing ground to growth and development.  provide families with opportunity to explore their own backyards, watching and learning about desert wildlife.  provide colorful blooms.  Use low water use, desert friendly plants.  A wide variety of low water use plants, both native and non native, are available to populate your landscape with. Do you want blooms? Foliage? Interesting forms? Shade trees? Slow or fast growth?

6 3. Appropriate Use of Turf  Turf landscapes require three times the amount of water that desert-friendly landscapes use.  Apply turf only to areas where it will be used, such as play areas for children and pets.  Use only low water use grasses.  Design turf areas to conform to sprinkler sprays. Water efficient front yard and children’s play area back yard Pet grass spot

7 4. Soil Preparation  Compost may be added to provide nutrients and increase water absorption and retention.  Soil preparation may be different for different hydrozones.  Native plants and plants imported from similar desert areas usually require little soil preparation, since they grow naturally in the desert. Adding organic material to sandy soil helps retain water and nutrients. Photo credit: Southern Nevada Water Agency, from the “Water Smart Landscapes” booklet available at

8 5. Use of Mulch  Mulches may be made up of a variety of materials such as bark, decorative rock, gravel and even plant clippings.  Mulch helps to  reduce evaporation  moderate soil temperature  prevent erosion  control weeds, and  add to landscape décor

9 6. Efficient Irrigation  A variety of irrigation methods may be used in a landscape:  sprinkler  drip system  bubbler  soaker hoses  Use an irrigation timer with independent zone programming capability.  Adjust sprinklers according to seasonal and local weather conditions.  Regularly adjust and maintain your irrigation system.

10 7. Proper Maintenance  Check irrigation equipment frequently for leaks, clogged emitters or broken sprinkler heads.  Adjust irrigation system as needed.  Refresh mulch areas as needed.  Prune as needed.  Avoid using fertilizers and pesticides. Remember that what you put on the ground ends up in our drinking water supply!

11 What to Look for in a Landscape Contractor  Visit the California Landscape Contractors Association web site at for useful information about how to select a landscape or irrigation contractor that is right for your project, and the California Contractors State License Board at where you can verify the status of a contractor’s license.  Get referrals from friends, neighbors or businesses who have landscaping you admire.  Ask for the contractor's state license number and call the Contractors State License Board to verify that it is issued for landscaping, is current, and is in good standing.  Request a list of similar jobs the contractor has recently completed in your area. Look at the work and talk to the owners, if possible.  Ask if the contractor has liability and workers' compensation insurance. Request certificates in writing!

12 What to Look for in a Landscape Contractor  Obtain several detailed bids in writing and compare them.  Ask your contractor to provide you with a "payment and performance" bond that covers the full price of your job.  Be cautious about contractors who ask for payments prior to beginning the job. Full payment is usually requested on completion of the job or in installments as the work progresses.  Insist on a written contract! Contracts should contain:  the name, address, license number, and telephone number of the contractor, and the registration number of any salesperson involved  a complete description of the work to be done, materials to be used (including quantities and sizes of plant material and brands of irrigation equipment) ・ guarantees on work and materials  approximate date when work will begin and be completed ・ a statement that the contractor will do any necessary clean up and removal of debris after the job is completed  a "Notice to Owner" explaining the state's mechanics' lien laws and the ways to protect yourself and your property  a statement that the contractor will furnish a payment and performance bond or joint control company, if this has been agreed upon  any guarantees made verbally on the work to be done or the materials to be used.

13 Beautiful Desert Plants & Landscapes Great use of mulch and decorative rock!

14 Beautiful Desert Plants & Landscapes Desert flora and rock does not mean barren. Xeriscaping is NOT “zeroscaping.” Look at the size of those flowers!

15 Beautiful Desert Plants & Landscapes Enjoy a little bit of the wild look…

16 Beautiful Desert Plants & Landscapes …while you attract birds, bees and butterflies!

17 Beautiful Desert Plants & Landscapes Would you like some shade and sweet fragrance?

18 Beautiful Desert Plants & Landscapes Colorful blooms and interesting forms frame these lovely mountian views!


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