How to have a landscaped yard while conserving water

How to have a landscaped yard while conserving water

Can you have a beautiful yard in the desert without using much water? The answer is absolutely yes!

Substituting rock for grass keeps your water needs low, and rock comes in many different sizes, shapes, and colors for painting your landscape. Add to your rock base a few of the many lovely desert-adapted plants available, and you can have a yard that beats any midwestern lawn for beauty.

Make a careful plan.

Creating the look you want starts with careful planning. Measure your yard and then transfer those measurements proportionally to graph paper. Then begin sketching in what you would like where.

Start with your base.

Would a few big boulders make the statement you’re looking for? Sketch those in at the size you’d like. What about smaller rock? You can buy in sizes ranging from less than a quarter inch to much larger to cover most of your yard. You also might consider paving a walkway with flagstone.

Next add plants to the plan.

You can find all sorts of desert-adapted plants, some that use very little water. The Arizona Municipal Water Users Association guideis a good resource for planning because it lists all sorts of plants, from trees to shrubs to ground cover.

It’s packed with useful information, such as how much water the plants need, how large they’ll grow, and whether they produce leaf litter or have thorns. Pencil your chosen plants in on the graph paper, making sure to leave enough room for their full-grown size.

Figure out your water source.

The easiest time to add irrigation is before you’ve added any rock or plants. Talk to a landscaping expert or do some research on what type of irrigation to add.

If you want a small section of grass, you may want an in-ground sprinkler system. Most desert plants, though, will do fine with a drip irrigationsystem. These highly efficient systems lose little water to evaporation and run-off. You will want to group plants with similar water needs together.

Turn your plan into reality

If you aren’t comfortable doing the work yourself, you may want to work with a professional irrigation installer or landscape designer. Alternatively, if you live in or near Phoenix and you have the time, you could consider taking classes to learn more about landscape design at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Now add color.

Most local nurseries stock a large variety of desert-adapted plants. The hardest part may be choosing from so many different options!

At MDI Rock, we're happy to help you choose the right type of rock and calculate how much you'll need. We supply a wide range of products for all sorts of uses at competitive prices. In addition to our many choices in decorative groundcovers, we provide rip rap, flagstone, topsoil, sand, gravel, and a huge selection of boulders. 

Call us at 602-569-8722 or contact us online. We deliver anywhere from across the street to across the country!