As a landlord, you're probably always on the lookout for ways to economize and make your work easier. One way to do both is to adjust your landscaping to embrace xeriscaping. What is it, and how can you implement it? Here is a quick guide for any xeriscape newbie.
Xeriscaping is a method of designing a landscape plan that minimizes water usage, makes use of natural water-saving elements, and keeps the overall yard maintenance low. It involves choosing plants that are drought-tolerant and hardy—whether or not they are native to your region—and complementing them with water-conscious inorganic features (like stone, brick, wood, and outdoor art).
How Can it Help Your Rental?
Because you get rid of thirsty lawns and shrubbery, your rental will undoubtedly be easier for tenants to maintain . . . which can save both of you money and frustration. It will lower utility bills and keep the unit's curb appeal in place even when there are no renters. And it reduces seasonal maintenance, such as aeration, sprinkler blowouts, and fertilizing.
How Do You Do It?
Start by drawing your rental property's exterior elements. Be sure to include things that must stay as their are, like existing sidewalks, porches, patios, utility boxes, and trees.
Once these are sketched, start adding hardscape elements to give the space a fun design. This can include walkways, paths, planting area borders, rock designs, or outdoor furniture. These hard elements will give your xeriscape design a skeleton—along with what's already there—so that you can place the "skin" of selected plants over it. As you draw your yard, take note of natural rises and slopes in the yard where rainwater tends to flow. You can take advantage of this by building planting areas where they will be watered by Mother Nature.
How to Use Plants
The biggest part of xeriscaping is choosing the right plants. It's best to start with native perennials, as these generally are best suited to your climate and will require less water. You'll find a lot of variety, but you can often find popular xeriscape-friendly plants like sedum, junipers, thyme, and succulents.
Be sure to install a drip irrigation system to care for your plants automatically. Drip systems, which deliver water in small quantities directly to the plant's base, are one of the best ways to save water while still ensuring a good-looking yard. If you're not sure how to install a drip system, you may want to work with a qualified landscape service likeH2O Lawn Sprinklers with experience in water-saving irrigation.
Whether your rental unit only has a small front entrance to landscape or a full yard, xeriscaping can be a lifesaver both for tenant and landlord. And by following these few steps, you're likely to find that it's easier and cheaper to make your own than you might expect.