starting your Xeriscape garden from "scratch", or converting
an existing landscape, proper procedure is essential to success. By following
these guidelines, your garden will be sure to give you and your community
years of pleasure. Coastal Areas normally allow for year round planting.
Fall, then spring are best for inland areas.
For best results, eradicate weeds completely, first encourage weed growth with irrigation, then remove by hand, rototill, or use an herbicide (always follow label directions). A second herbicide application may be necessary for stubborn, older weeds or regrowth.
Grading and Drainage
By hand or mechanical means, grade your lot so runoff is directed away from the foundations. Install an underground drainage system if needed.
An efficently designed and properly installed irrigation system is critical for optimum water savings and consistent plant growth. Irrigation work can be subcontracted out to a reputable firm.
Have an agricultural suiability soil test done. Incorporate recommended material into the soil by hand or machine to at least 4-6. In general, peat moss will hold water in sand or decomposed granite soils, while composted wood products will improve drainage and loosen heavy clay soils. Proper preperation encourages plant growth, and its essential for asuccessful xeriscape.
Follow the diagram for planting shrubs and trees. Prepare a level, smooth seedbed for turf. Ground cover can normallly be planted in a trowel sized pocket. Consult a nursery for you special needs.
A xeriscape is incomplete without mulch. Two to three inches of material will prevent evaporation and will give your plantings a finished look. Organic mulches, such as wood bark, will need to be replenished occasionally, but actually improve the soil as they break down. Rock and gravel are permanent. Do not pile much directly on the trunks of your plants, as this may promote root or crown rot.