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rain gardenThere's no need to turn on the sprinkler to maintain a beautiful garden. Try xeriscaping!

The word xeriscaping comes from two other words: xeri, derived from the Greek word xeros for dry; and scape, meaning a kind of view or scene. The goal of xeriscaping is a garden in which the plants can survive during dry periods without water or fertilizers.

Here are some easy guidelines for xeriscaping your garden:

  1. Take extra care at the beginning. Before planting your plant, add water to the hole, so it penetrates deep into the soil, encouraging the plant's roots to grow deeper. Water the plant after it is placed in the hole. For the first few months, water weekly. 
  2. Success is all about promoting deeper root systems. A plant with less roots depends on the gardener for most of its food and water, but plants with long roots can reach food/water deep in the ground. To encourage deeper roots, add organic matter to the soil. Compost and manure are good sources. Water the plant less frequently but for longer periods, so the water can penetrate deep into the ground.
  3. Water your garden only when necessary, and use a soaker hose for a longer period, rather than a sprinkler or running hose for a shorter time. Also, use mulch (chopped leaves, bark or pea gravel) to reduce water evaporation.