Planning Your Houston Xeriscape

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Xeriscaping is an excellent way to manage your outdoor water use. With a little planning and the right choice of plants native to the Houston area, you can have both an attractive and environmentally friendly yard that won’t drain our local resources.

  1. Before you do anything else, you have to draw a map of your property. Draw it to scale so you have an accurate idea of what kind of space you have in your yard. Include the location of your house, the orientation of the sun, outdoor structures and outcroppings, and existing vegetation.
  2. Once your base map is complete, decide which places you want to emphasize or hide. Mark drainage problems, like areas where water stands after a rain. Note how much sun and shade each area of your yard receives during the day.
  3. Designate each area of your yard as either public, private, or service. Think about water use in these areas. Limit your use of plants that require a lot of watering to the public areas of your yard since these areas are seen more. This is one of the basic ideas behind xeriscape.
  4. Choose the right plants for each area of your yard. In Houston, we have such a wide variety of native plants, you are sure to find something beautiful and practical. Native plants require less water, attract fewer pests, and use less fertilizer than plants from other regions.
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