Xeriscape Landscaping in Albuquerque is a Wise Move – Here’s Why

Xeriscape Landscaping in Albuquerque is a Wise Move – Here’s Why

Living in the hot, dry climate of the American Southwest can be rough on your yard. Keeping a green lawn looking lush and healthy takes tons of water – and water ain’t cheap! As the droughts keep coming, your water bill keeps going up. There’s got to be a better way.

That’s where xeriscape landscaping comes in. Keep reading!

What is Xeriscape Landscaping?

Xeriscape uses plants that naturally grow in hot, arid environments and don’t need much extra water. The idea started back in the 1970s during droughts in Colorado. Folks figured out they could landscape their yards using native plants and materials that don’t need supplemental irrigation. This new approach was called xeriscaping, from the Greek word xeros for “dry.”

Since then xeriscaping has caught on and spread as droughts have become more common out West. Here in Albuquerque, xeriscaping has been popular for decades. The city’s water and power company loves it because it reduces demand on the water supply.

Why Xeriscape in Albuquerque?

Xeriscape just makes sense here in Albuquerque because of our hot, dry climate. Xeriscape yards:

  • Don’t require heavy watering like lawns
  • Save homeowners serious money on their water bills
  • Use native plants adapted for our environment
  • Reduce maintenance compared to grass and exotic plants
  • Are better for New Mexico’s water supply and environment

You might think xeriscape landscapes are all rocks and cactus. Nope! With the right plants, you can have a xeriscape yard that’s as pretty as any traditional lawn landscape.

Xeriscape vs Regular Landscaping

How does xeriscape landscaping compare to a typical lawn yard? There are some big differences:

Regular landscaping is all about lush green lawns that need constant water to stay alive in our climate. Flower beds usually contain exotic plants from wetter regions. Water sprays everywhere through sprinklers and hoses.

Xeriscape landscaping minimizes or ditches grass lawns entirely. Native, drought-adapted plants take the place of thirsty exotics. Water is delivered right to the roots through efficient drip irrigation. Gravel and rocks replace grass.

So instead of fighting against our dry climate, xeriscape yards work with it. This saves water, money, and hassle – plus it looks pretty darn nice!

Plants for Xeriscape Landscapes

What kinds of plants thrive in xeriscape yards? There are way more options than just cactus!

Lots of gorgeous flowering plants do well here with minimal water once established. Some beauties to try: Russian sage, agastache, coreopsis, blanket flower, blackfoot daisy, penstemon, desert marigold, salvia, and native grasses.

For variety, plant drought-adapted perennials, ornamental grasses, bulbs, shrubs and trees. Throw in some cactus, yucca, agave, and sedum too. Use turf grass very sparingly.

Mulch bare areas with gravel, crushed granite or wood chips to reduce evaporation. Group plants with similar water needs to make watering easier.

So there are lots of plants to give you year-round color and interest in your xeriscape without guzzling water.

Efficient Irrigation

Watering efficiently is crucial for xeriscape yards. Avoid wasteful sprinklers and sprays.

The best irrigation for xeriscape delivers water right to each plant’s roots. Drip lines, bubblers, and soaker hoses all target water precisely. Proper spacing and watering zones prevent waste. Smart controllers adjust run times for weather.

New xeriscape plants need normal watering until their roots establish. Then most only need supplemental irrigation during the hottest, driest spells. Set it and forget it!

Xeriscape Design Tips

Follow these basic tips when planning your water-wise xeriscape yard:

  • Plan first, plant later – Consider layout, views, function before choosing plants
  • Limit grass – Use turf as an accent, not the main event
  • Group plants by thirst – Makes watering easier
  • Use efficient irrigation – Drip lines prevent waste
  • Mulch bare areas – Reduces evaporation and weeds
  • Improve soil – Add compost to retain water and nutrients
  • Select durable plants – Varieties that resist pests and need less water
  • Water deeply, infrequently – Encourages deep roots once established

Why Go Xeriscape?

Converting your yard to xeriscape offers many practical benefits:

  • Saves water – Uses 50-75% less water than a lawn. Lower water bills!
  • Saves money – Reduced utility bills and maintenance costs. Rebates available.
  • Less work – No constant mowing and watering. Less pruning and weeding too.
  • Attractive year-round – Diverse plants offer lasting color and interest.
  • Wildlife friendly – Birds, butterflies and bees love native plants.
  • Eco-friendly – Requires fewer resources like water, gas for mowers, fertilizer, etc.

Prevents waste – Less green debris from mowing. Curbs wasteful water runoff.

Give Xeriscape a Shot

Tired of watering and mowing a lawn in the hot desert? Why not go xeriscape?

Xeriscape landscaping is perfect for Albuquerque’s dry climate. You can save water, money and time while enjoying a beautiful, eco-friendly yard.

The pros at R & S Landscaping can help design and install your ideal low-water landscape. Give us a call today at 505-271-8419 for a free consultation!