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Xeriscaping Drawbacks

By Denise Valenzuela

Posted in

We have taken a deep dive into the topic of xeriscaping, how it works, the benefits it provides, and the value it can bring when combined with artificial turf.  But as always there are 2 sides to every coin and while xeriscaping has a massive laundry list of benefits for both the environment and end users, but there are also downsides to consider with Xeriscaping.  Often times overlooked its crucial to have a complete understanding of the potential drawbacks that you may face after installation is completed.  Here we take a look at the 3 primary drawbacks of xeriscaping.

The most common failure of xeriscape plantings is inadequate weed control. Normal rainfall keeps weeds sprouting and when you add the drip irrigation requried for xeriscapping weeds can become an issue.  You will need to provide enough water for most of the desirable xeriscaping plants.Weed control is an absolute essential. Combinations of pre-emergence herbicides with adequate mulches or weed barriers will be effective for most weeds. Deep-rooted perennial weeds such as bindweed, whitetop, quackgrass and thistles require specialized treatments.

Xeriscapes also fail because of impatience. In this day of instant landscaping, many homemakers have a difficult time waiting for plants to become established. Low-water-use plants tend to grow more slowly and therefore fill in more slowly. Closer plant spacings or adequate water the first few years will help.  You must give your xeriscaping time to mature before you can realize the full array of benefits that the technique provides.

A third major cause of failure of xeriscapes is improper design. Xeriscapes must be designed more carefully than other landscapes. If mistakes are made in the design process they will show for many years, and grouping plants by water use, soil type and sun requirements are all essential. The traditional overkill with water, fertilizers, etc., does not work in xerigraphic plantings.

Cost is another issue to consider.  Xeriscaping can be expensive as it many times requires hiring a landscape architect.  Do your homework and dig deeper to find a cost effective way to complete your project.  If you have a limited budgets and/or tend to be a person that requires instant gratification maybe xeriscaping isn’t for you.  If this is the case artificial turf should be able to quench your instant gratification thirst!

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