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Prepare for Potential Water Restrictions with Drought-Friendly Landscaping

Posted by Jeff Sallan on Friday, April 10th, 2015 at 1:07pm.

A continuing drought and may impact the look of your yard. Truckee Meadows Water Authority(TMWA) has asked its customers to cut water usage by 10%.  Many homeowners are opting to tear out grass lawns in favor of more drought-friendly designs. Rock pathways, drought tolerant plants, boulders, hardscaping with patios and stone walls are all becoming increasingly popular. This type of landscaping, called xeriscaping can save about 50% in water use.

Some tips for xeriscaping include:

1. Limiting Lawn Areas. Completely remove or limit the amount of grass in your yard. Consider updating your watering system to something more efficient. In the front yard, a flagstone walkway or boulders can make a lovely focal point. In the back yard, add or extend a deck.

2. Plant for the Seasons. When you choose vegetation, consider buying options that bloom at different times of the year. If your plants bloom at staggered seasons, your yard will have color nearly all year long.

3. Work with a Designer. If you have no idea where to start or would like a professional opinion, it may be a good idea to work with a designer. Local landscape designers know which plants thrive in the high dessert and how to conserve water most effectively.

4. Work With What You Have. Before re-landscaping, take note of existing vegetation and architecture that you can’t or don’t want to remove. Most yards have sunny and shaded areas that may need different plants and some plants won’t do well in high wind areas.  Consider water drainage, especially if your yard is sloped.

5.  Use Indigenous Plants. Northern Nevada is no stranger to drought. Native plants survive freezing temperatures in the winter and dry, hot temperatures in the summer. Check out local nurseries for indigenous plants and planting tips. Many nurseries also offer free classes on yard design, gardening, lawn care and much more.

6. Water Effectively. Create watering zones to water like plants instead of watering your entire yard for the same amount of time. Timers and sensors can prevent over watering and drip systems are very effective for saving water.

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