Creating a Drought Tolerant Garden: Part One

Drought tolerant gardening, also known as xeriscaping (from the Greek word for dry), has become an increasingly popular garden landscaping option in Victoria. Our country’s arid landscape with it’s low rainfall and harsh summers, make traditional European gardening an uphill battle and many homeowners are now choosing to design their outdoor space in a way that is tailored to the Australian climate. In this article, we look at the five key steps involved in creating a drought tolerant garden.

Get rid of the lawn

Lawns are greedy when it comes to water and very high maintenance so if you’re serious about xeriscaping, the grass has to go. Solarization is the most environmentally friendly way of getting rid of grass and weeds, but it does take time and many homeowners prefer using a herbicide. Once the lawn is removed you can create a paved patio area or set up meadow style garden beds with a path running in between them. Aggregate concrete is an ideal paving for drought tolerant gardens, as the bright coloured aggregate complements the subdued colours of the succulents and Australian natives growing in the garden beds.

Take your soil seriously

Xeriscaping is all about optimising the resources you have at your disposal and working with the natural eco system. One of the most abundant and important resources you have in your yard is soil, and there are certain things you can do to maximise water retention and ensure healthy plant growth. Digging in some compost before you plant the garden beds is always a good idea and ensures the soil is nutrient rich but it’s mulching that can really help to ensure your garden makes the most of the water it receives. Layering 2-4 inches of mulch over the top of your soil will help it retain moisture and preserve a more consistent ground temperature.

Get smart about irrigation

Even drought tolerant gardens need some watering and drip irrigation is the way to go if you are looking to radically reduce the water consumption of your garden. Drip irrigation is a simple and affordable way of distributing water around your garden. The slow flow of the water, and the fact that it runs along the ground means that the water is able to gradually soak into the soil, thus reducing water waste from runoff. Implementing a rainwater harvesting system to use on your garden further decreases the amount of water wasted in your household.

A Better Driveway are the experts when it comes to specialist concrete finishes. We specialise in coloured and textured concrete as well as exposed aggregate in Melbourne. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 03 5783 4746.

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