DNR Demonstration Garden!
Water-wise landscaping may not be what you think. This
method of landscaping simply incorporates thoughtful procedures with appropriate
plant selection and maintenance. This section contains valuable resources
about Water-Wise Landscaping. Also enclosed are
some suggestions about saving water in your park strip.
And finally, we give you the chance to submit your favorite
water-wise landscapes and provide other resources
with information about this exciting method of landscaping!
many homeowners, water-wise landscaping brings to mind nightmarish visions
of cacti, rock and cattle skulls.
Water-wise landscaping is simply a set of landscaping principles that
encourages responsible plant selection, landscape design and maintenance.
The following list outlines these principles:
- Analyze Your Soil. Using a soil probe or shovel,
analyze the type of soil you have
in your landscape. Determining your soil type will help you make informed
decisions as to appropriate plants for your yard.
- Plan It Before You Plant It. Be sure you are
familiar with your landscapeís many attributes. For instance, note which
areas get more or less shade, which areas have reflected heat from the
patio or house, and any other features you may encounter.
- Use Appropriate Plants. Different plants have
different requirements for optimum health. To use water most efficiently,
choose plants that do not require much water, and are adapted to our
arid climate. Look for a the bright yellow tag at your nursery indicating
certain plants are water-wise. For a list of water-wise plants for Utah's
climate visit www.waterwiseplants.utah.gov.
- Use Grass Wisely. Take into consideration the
different activities that will go on in your yard. Use grass only in
those areas that are used for recreation. A good rule of thumb is "If
the only time you walk on it is to mow it, you probably donít need it".
- Water Wisely. Group plants according to their
water needs. This will help you avoid over-watering some plants and
under-watering others. Putting shrubs and perennials on separate zones
from your lawn will help avoid severe damage to your plants due to excess
- Just Mulch It. Using mulches to reduce evaporation
from the soil also helps prevent weeds from growing in areas where water
is needed for ornamental plants. Additionally, mulch covers the soil
thereby reducing erosion and unsightly barren areas.
- Keep It Up. While using these principles helps
reduce maintenance time, it does not completely eliminate it. Use of
good preventive maintenance will reduce the need for costly and time-consuming
maintenance later on.
A parking strip is the area between your
sidewalk and the street. Because of its narrow features and proximity
to asphalt and cement, irrigation is extremely inefficient in these areas.
Parking strips are rarely used in a capacity calling for a lawn, making
these areas a perfect testing ground for new ideas. Try taking the grass
out and planting it with water-efficient plants!
| Parking Strip Plantings & Ideas
Here are some ideas
from Salt Lake City Public Utilities! Click
Here are some design
templates from the City of Albequerque. Click
Send us your pictures
of a parking strip or other landscape you have converted to water-wise
landscaping, and we'll post it here for others to see and admire! Also,
you can get new ideas for other parts of your yard by checking out what
others are doing. Please try to include before and after pictures as well.
Department of Natural Resources BEFORE
Department of Natural Resources AFTER
There are a growing number of resources to help
you plan and implement a water efficient landscape. Take a look at the
following online resources or visit a garden near you.
| Water-Wise Landscaping Resources
for Water-Efficient Landscaping
Red Butte Garden
Valley Water Conservancy District Demonstration Garden