One thing is for sure...dry climate landscaping does present challenges!
The good news is that with a well designed and implemented landscape plan, plantings can definitely thrive-even in a hot and dry environment. Here are 5 proven steps to ensure a thriving landscape in dry climate zones:
One - Remember That Native Plants Are Engineered By Nature To Be Survivors
This is probably the single most essential rule when it comes to creating a thriving landscape in a dry climate area. Choosing to create a landscape created with plants that are natural species to the area is about working with nature-not against it. And while it's always possible to coax water-thirsty, non-native plants to grow where they weren't necessarily intended, using flowers, shrubs, grasses, and trees that work well with less water is the key to success.
Two - Take Advantage Of Shade Wherever Possible
In order to help the sun-shy landscaping features you would like to use do well in a harsh natural climate, it's important to keep every possibility of shade in mind each step of the way. One well-proven method of achieving this goal is to use large sun and drought tolerant trees to provide a canopy of cool shade for those flowers and other plants that thrive out of direct sunlight.
Three - Encourage Moisture Retention
The thing about watering plants in a hot and dry climate zone is that water often dissipates before having a chance to nurture the plants. Dry and sandy soil only accelerates this problem. Fortunately, there are few things that can be done to encourage moisture retention, including:
*Watering at night so the sun won't evaporate the water before it really soaks in;
*Properly composting or mulching around the landscaping features to help manage the moisture;
*And, using soaker hoses and drip irrigation placed effectively beneath the soil.
After all, when water is a scarce commodity, it's important to ensure that every last drop counts.
Four - Establish A Multi-Tier Landscape Layout
This time-tested tactic to ensuring a thriving landscape in a dry climate fits well with the tips above. The premise behind creating a tiered layout is that the plants towards highest point of the landscape will ideally be those that require the least amount of water; the plants at the lowest point of the slope will be those that require the most moisture. Water flows down hill-making this method of grouping plantings according to water needs naturally efficient and effective.
Five - Be Patient & Take It Easy With The Fertilizer
Sometimes creating a thriving landscape just takes time. Much like anything, plants need to acclimate and become established in a new home. It's a common desire to want to speed things up through the use of fertilizer-and while fertilizing in moderation can be a plus, using too much is actually harmful. Fertilizers promote quick growth, but fast-grown plants are much less resistant to the intense heat of the sun. Remember, patience pays in spades!
While dry climate landscaping does present a unique set of challenges, following these 5 steps will help ensure thriving landscaping even with the challenges. Best of luck with your new landscape design!