Much of Texas is hot and arid, thus conserving water can be an important part of your gardening experience. In Dallas, the water department estimates that 50 percent of the city’s drinking water is used to water lawns and gardens in the summer! This means that half of the money spent on water bills during the summer goes towards watering the lawn.
One way to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain your landscape – and lower your water bill – is to xeriscape. Xeriscaping involves using water wise plants and technologies such as drip irrigation to create a landscape that will thrive, even under extreme heat and dry conditions.
In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you can use the following xeriscaping strategies to reduce your water consumption and get the most out of your yard:
- Water your plants and turf deeply and less frequently. Frequent, shallow watering keeps plant roots too close to the surface of your yard. Less frequent watering trains roots to go deeper into the ground, where they are better protected from the Texas heat and better prepared to grow strong, resulting in bigger and healthier plants.
- Use an automated sprinkler system to maintain your yard. Incorporate a rain sensor to ensure that your system does not run during rain events.
- Audit your sprinkler system by observing where and how long your watering zones need to run. Reposition sprinkler heads so that you’re not sprinkling the sidewalk or street. Using empty tin cans as measuring devices, run zones for as long as it takes for the cans to fill with one inch of water and then program your sprinkler system accordingly.
- Take note of what side of the house you’re planting on and where and how much sun there is in these areas. When planning the layout of your garden or yard, make sure plants that are next to each other require the same amount of water. This makes watering much easier.
- Use native and adaptive plants that can take hot Texas summers without requiring copious amounts of water or care. These plants use 80% less water and require fewer pesticides and fertilizers to thrive in the Texas environment.
Not sure how to get started with xeriscaping? An experienced landscaping contractor can work with you to develop a landscaping plan that incorporates water-wise plants and technologies. The investment you make in xeriscaping will pay off quickly by conserving water and saving you money on your water bills, but it will also beautify your home, attract native butterflies and hummingbirds, and prevent and reduce storm water pollution. And the best part is, xeriscaping principles can be incorporated into any style of landscape design including traditional, English, Japanese, Southwestern or Italian.
The land around your home can be used for many things. For people who enjoy golfing, it is possible to build a putting green into your landscape that can be used for fun, practice and entertainment. Putting makes up about 40 percent of your golf game, so the best way to cut strokes off your handicap is to practice your short game. Where else is putting practice more convenient than in your own backyard?
Personal putting greens were once considered a luxury enjoyed by celebrities and pro-golfers, but now they are growing in popularity amongst homeowners and recreational golfers. Take a look at the beautiful putting green we designed and installed for a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area!
Dallas Putting Green and Fencing
Installing a professional putting green can be rather complicated, so it’s a good idea to work with a qualified landscape design and installation contractor that specializes in constructing putting greens. They can advise you on issues including:
- Drainage: For a really smooth coating of grass, drainage must be perfect. The base beneath your putting green should be made of sand or soil mixed with a high sand content. To make sure the drainage works efficiently, it is a good idea to raise the putting green slightly above the rest of the area. The putting green lawn should be kept watered evenly and carefully weeded.
- Turf: To get the kind of lawn needed to surface a smooth putting green, you need to use special turf varieties that will grow the fine blades to form a velvety, even carpet. These are special grass varieties developed specifically for this use and are usually planted by sod, sprigs or plugs.
- Grading: Make sure the contours of the putting green surface are calculated by someone who understands how the ball will respond on its roll into the hole.
- Irrigation: Locate your putting green where it is in full sun and set up a limited, low-volume sprinkler system to keep the area well watered without waste or run-off.
Whether you are practicing putting, chipping, pitching or approach shots, your backyard putting green shouldn’t be a one size fits all. Also, no matter what type of putting green you design, landscaping around the green should be considered along with the installation of your putting green. Great landscaping will ensure that your home golf green looks as though it has been in your backyard all along!
What’s Up Annapolis posted an article about ways to make the patio area the focal point of one’s yard. Many of the tips included in the article are applicable for yards everywhere, so be sure to give it a view. The article can be found here: http://whatsupmag.com/home-garden/home/09-04-27/Gardens_that_Define_Patio_Spaces.aspx
Some of the tips included in this article are:
-Add a vertical element to your yard such as an arbor, trellis, or fence; or create vertical lines with tall shrubbery or trees.
-Choose differently shaped areas for patios, instead of sticking to rectangles and squares.
-Be mindful of the area of the yard that plants are going in and make sure they will receive the proper amount of light and water there.
The Wall Street Journal published an article last month on the importance of maintaining proper landscaping if you are trying to sell your house. Good landscaping can add value to your home, but a poorly done landscape job can keep your home from being sold. The WSJ gave the following tips:
-baby the lawn
-trim the overgrowth
-splurge on mulch
-edge your flowerbeds
-plant a garden
-string a hammock
-create conversation areas
For more information about the tips, read the article online at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123876739624286651.html.