Ah, spring is in the air! Warmer weather brings people outside to add new plants, shrubs, or groundcover to the outdoor area. With a little planning, you can create an outdoor oasis that is not only beautiful, but is also water-efficient.
SYYS: Start Your Yard Smart. Xeriscaping is the practice of designing your yard effectively to conserve water and protect the environment. One principle of xeriscaping involves a simple method of grouping plants with similar shade, water, and soil needs. This is known as "hydro-zoning". For example, create a zone of plants with higher watering needs closer to the house. Such proximity makes it easier to water these plants with water from a rain barrel or water collected in a bucket while the shower heats up. Plan a more natural area of plants with lower water needs around the edges of your property. Hydro-zoning reduces the maintenance required, saving both time and money for the homeowner.
This spring, consider adding drought-tolerant plants in your yard. Drought-tolerant plantings are a wonderful way to add color to your yard and save water. These type of plants are often native to Georgia. Athens-Clarke County is still experiencing drought conditions and watering restrictions are in effect, so drought-tolerant plants are a smart addition to any yard. However, keep in mind that even "drought-tolerant plants" may not survive extreme and prolonged drought conditions, especially if they are not able to become well established.