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Elements of Drought Resistant Landscaping

Local interest in drought resistant landscaping has drastically increased since the grueling summer of 2011.
Many people lost beautiful trees that were decades old, and everyone’s lawn, garden, and flower beds suffered terribly from the weather. Understanding how this unique approach to Houston landscaping design works, and who to call to have it implemented in your yard, can save both your curb appeal and considerable money when the next drought comes our way.

Drought resistant landscaping requires special soil amendments prior to the planting of any vegetation. Most drought resistant plants are categorized by slow growth which better enables them to retain water in their leaves, stems, and roots. The soil should be prepared in a way that encourages it to retain as much water as possible. This will surround root systems with plenty of underground moisture that will reduce the need for constant watering. A yard designed to withstand a drought should feature soil that has been mixed extensively with mulch several inches down. This will help it retain whatever rainwater or irrigation water it receives. As a general rule, fertilizer should be used sparingly, if at all, because too much of it would cause vegetation to grow more quickly than desired and use too much water in the process.


Drought resistant landscaping also relies heavily on proper irrigation of softscape areas. It is self-defeating for the home owner to go out and buy an expensive sprinkler system which will water plants from the top down and waste far more water than is needed for the actual task. Water that lands on leaves at the top of the plant will evaporate quickly. This results in a great deal of waste. It is better for irrigation to be delivered through concealed pipes, underground channels, or custom automatic sprinklers that will deliver water to the bases of the plants where it is needed the most. Exterior Worlds can build you such an irrigation system that is far more ecologically sound than typical sprinkler jets and far more cost effective for you to operate.

Drought resistant landscaping also requires very careful selection of plants.
Just because a particular species is known to tolerate drought does not mean that it can be planted anywhere in the yard. Some plants do much better in certain parts of the yard than others. Some prefer to grow in full sunlight. Others do better in areas of partial shade. Before choosing any specific types of drought tolerant plants we plan out the entire Houston landscaping design for your yard and see which areas will be standing in full sunlight, and which areas are going to be shaded by either larger trees or buildings.

We then choose shrubs, trees, grasses, ground covers, and flowering plants known to be successful in drought resistant landscaping, and we match them to the environments for which they are most suited. We also work very hard to select species with leaf patterns that will contribute aesthetically to the overall Houston landscaping design of the yard. Flowering plants are preferably those with long-blooming cycles, and ornamental grasses are best chosen from species that are either indigenous to Texas or from very similar ecosystems found in neighboring states.

In light of the fact that we will eventually see more weather like this in the future, it is best to plan ahead by looking at landscaping designs that proactively meet such a drought head on and give your plants and trees the best possible chance of survival.

Call Exterior Worlds today to see how we can help preserve your curb appeal and protect your investment with drought resistant landscaping.