Palm Springs is a welcome green oasis in the otherwise dry, arid landscape of the Colorado desert. But just like other areas in California, water scarcity and conservation is a challenge in Palm Springs.
Historically, Palm Springs homeowners have had fairly easy access to affordable water. But in more recent years, Palm Springs has become susceptible to drought and water shortages.
While water conservation is a necessary concern for Palm Springs homeowners, it can have an effect on your home’s curb appeal.
Your front yard serves as your home’s first impression. As such, you want visitors and potential buyers to be greeted by a lush, green lawn when they pull up in front of your property.
Maintaining a beautiful lawn take a lot of regular watering throughout the year. And when you add in the dry, sunny climate of Palm Springs, the amount of water you need is even higher — and so is your water bill.
Watering your lawn costs about a half a cent per square foot per week. That means your average backyard might cost $8 to $15 a week to water during the summer.
Not only that, but every summer, many homeowners waste water in an effort to keep a healthy lawn. The EPA reports that approximately 50% of water used outdoors is wasted.
Some Palm Springs homeowners turn to xeriscaping to get the best of both worlds. Xeriscaping can allow you to maintain an inspiring landscape while saving water and money.
What is Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping is an approach to landscaping that makes the most of native plants that are used to desert conditions. These drought-resistant plants can be gorgeous and come in many different varieties, especially in the Palm Springs area.
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You can create a water-saving lawn setting as beautiful as the home it surrounds by selecting plants that need little to no water, and then by arranging them with the following xeriscape elements:
- Moisture retaining soils, turf, and mulch
- Ground cover plants, shrubs, and vines
- Rocks, gravel, and footpaths
This doesn’t mean you have to completely skip out on grass in your yard. A xeriscaped lawn can have areas of grass that add color and vibrancy to an overall planned landscape. And these areas can be kept green with much less water than an entire lawn of grass. It’s a win-win!
How Xeriscaping Helps Save Water
A well-planned xeriscape conserves water and helps you save you money in the following ways:
- Reduces the number of plants that need regular watering
- Utilizes native turfs that are drought-resistant
- Moderates ground temperature with strategic ground cover
- Increases moisture retention with mulch placement to protect soil from sun and wind
- Makes effective use of irrigation through smart watering systems and regular maintenance
How Xeriscaping Helps Save Money
Approximately 60% of home water usage is spent on lawn and garden maintenance. With xeriscaping, you can lower this usage substantially, which means you can save money as a result.
A xeriscape saves about 36 cents per square foot per year. For a landscape covering 3,200 square feet, that amounts to $1,152 every year.
After ten years, xeriscaping could save you over $10,000!
The bigger your landscape, the more you save. If your home currently does not sport a xeriscape, though, you may be wondering how much it will cost to start taking advantage of this water-saving strategy.
A good estimate to convert a lawn to a xeriscape is about $2/sq. ft. So that 3,200 square foot area would cost about $6,400 — an investment that will pay itself back in 5 to 6 years, all while contributing to water conservation from day one.
Which Plants are Best for Xeriscaping in Palm Springs?
In the Palm Springs area, the following types of drought-resistant plants make great accent and ornamental pieces for a truly gorgeous home landscape:
Some cacti, such as the beavertail pricklypear, feature flowers that can add touches of color to your landscape without running up your water usage.
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For even more vibrancy, there are many perennial desert flowers that can add splashes of color to your lawn:
• English Lavender
• California Poppy
• Blackfoot Daisy
• Pink Rain Lily
• Mountain Marigold
There are also many options for desert-friendly trees in Palm Springs, such as a number of types of acacia, the blue palo verde, Indian rosewood, the Chinese flame tree, and citrus trees. Giving up a big green lawn isn’t so bad when you’re trading it in for fresh oranges and lemons whenever you like!
In your Palm Springs home, xeriscaping is just one way to save money and help the environment. From investing in energy-efficient appliances to installing a smart thermostat, there are lots of ways to go green and save some green while you’re at it.