A Guide To Landscaping in the Desert
When most people think of desert landscaping, they think of broiling hot days, cacti, and dry heat. In truth, many deserts are located in high terrain and the hottest of days can actually turn into cool nights. Many deserts also experience cold winters that can include snow, and the landscaping often reflects this.
Desert Landscaping: The Hot And Cold
Because the desert can experience such a range of temperature changes, the landscaping needs to be hardy enough to tolerate heat as well as cold.
Evergreen shrubs and trees survive well in high terrain deserts, because they withstand the heat and tolerate cold. Many cactus plants are also cold hardy. This surprises many people, because they think of cactus as hot area plants.
If you have a home in the desert and want to do some landscaping around your house the best place to buy your plants is from a local nursery.
Often big box garden retailers have their plants ordered by someone in their regional office. This person often doesn’t understand the complexities of desert weather and orders plants that might not do well in your yard.
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Ordering plants from a local nursery or choosing landscaping that is locally grown ensures that you will get plants that will thrive and grow in your area.
Desert Landscaping: Water With Care
If you stick to plants that are native to the area in which you live, watering your yard shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you want to grow flowers, vegetables, or other plants that don’t normally grow in the desert, you need to make sure that you provide a source of water to your landscaping.
Before you design your desert yard, check with your local authorities to make sure that there are no watering restrictions in your city or county.
Once you have established how much water you want to spare on your yard each month, come up with a watering plan. Do you want to water by hand? The easiest way to water your lawn and garden is with a timed sprinkler system.
If you plant grass set your timer to go off in the early morning hours, so that the water can seep into your ground before the sun rises and causes it to evaporate. Choose a drip irrigation system to water your shrubs and ground covers and you will see minimal waste.
If you want to cut back on the amount of watering your desert landscaping requires, fill your yard with gravel or rocks instead of grass. This low maintenance alternative to grass looks attractive in a desert setting. One caveat to rocks is that light colored gravel will reflect the sun’s heat, causing your yard to seem even hotter each afternoon.