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Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a term used to describe Landscaping for Water Conservation. The term was coined by the Denver Department of Water in 1978 and has since become popular in Texas and other arid states. Xeriscape gardens minimize the need for supplemental watering. Xeriscaping is a great option for landscaping in the Rio Grande Valley because it protects our most valuable resource- water. Xeriscaping can use an average of 40% less water than traditional landscaping.

There are 7 Principles of Xeriscaping. The first is Planning and Design. Plan in phases and design around already-existing structures. Sketch out your design on paper and start a wish-list of features you’d like to have in your new water-wise garden.

The second principle is Soil Analysis and Prep. Consider having your soil tested at the Texas Plant and Soil Lab in Edinburg. Prep your soil by adding organic matter in the form of compost. Compost will increase the soil’s ability to absorb and retail water. Consider making your own compost.

The third principle is Plant Selection. Choosing plants that have low water demands is easy in the Valley- go native! Our native plants are adapted to our soils and don’t require as much water as tropical plants. BONUS- native plants support our native wildlife. Buy locally and select a diversity of shrubs, ground covers, and trees.

The fourth principle is Practical Turf Areas. Consider reducing your lawn with gardens beds and native ground-covers. Adding vertical diversity will create an interesting and beautiful yard.

The fifth principle of Xeriscaping is Efficient Irrigation. This may be the most important principle in the Valley. Watering in the early morning and late afternoon can lower the loss of water by evaporation. Consider alternatives to a traditional sprinkler system, like drip lines, which apply water slowly and improve efficiency.

The sixth principle is Mulching. Adding a layer of mulch to the top of your garden beds will protect the soil from compaction and erosion, reduce weed growth, keep soil temperatures moderate, and slow the loss of water through evaporation.

The final principle of Xeriscaping is appropriate maintenance. Planting natives and using compost will reduce your need for fertilizers, and pesticides are not recommended as bugs are an important part of many birds’ diets.

Xeriscaping can produce beautiful gardens and landscaping with minimal care and upkeep. Quinta Mazatlan has a new Cactus Garden that uses all the principles of Xeriscaping and requires much less water than a traditional garden. We invite you to visit our gardens to see what a difference you can make in your own backyard!

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Quinta Mazatlan

600 Sunset Drive
McAllen, TX 78504

(956) 681-3370

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