xeriscaping is the ultimate in sustainability

Even in the Pacific Northwest where we think of long rainy seasons, xeriscaping is an excellent solution for cultivating native and drought-tolerant plantings that use less water and thrive in all seasons. 

Xeriscaping in Seattle: How to Create a Drought-Tolerant Landscape in the Pacific Northwest

Xeriscaping, or landscaping with drought-tolerant plants, can make sense in Seattle as it receives a moderate amount of rainfall and can experience dry summers. However, Seattle also has a relatively mild climate, which means that many plants that are native to the area or well-suited to its climate will thrive without the need for extensive irrigation. Therefore, the decision to xeriscape would depend on the specific needs and goals of each property owner

Selecting native plants for xeriscaping is important because these plants are already adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. They require less water, fertilizer, and maintenance than non-native plants, and they also provide food and habitat for local wildlife.

When selecting native plants for xeriscaping, it is important to consider the conditions of the specific site, such as the amount of sun or shade, the soil type, and the level of exposure to wind and heat. Native plants that are well-suited to these conditions will require less water and maintenance than non-native plants that are not adapted to the local environment.

Additionally, Native plants also helps to preserve the local ecosystem, by providing food and habitat for local wildlife, and by maintaining the genetic diversity of the area. This is particularly important in urban areas, where natural habitats have been significantly reduced.

How Seattle Sustainable Landscapes can help you Create a Water-Efficient Landscape in Your Yard

To xeriscape your yard, we start by assessing your local climate and soil conditions. This will help us determine which plants are best suited to your area and what types of irrigation and other water-saving techniques will be most effective. Next, we consider the specific needs of your yard, such as whether you need to provide shade, privacy, or a play area for children. Once we have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, we can start planning your xeriscape design.

When it comes to selecting plants, we will help you choose native and drought-tolerant plants that are well-suited to Seattle’s local climate and soil conditions. You can also consider using drought-tolerant grasses, such as buffalo grass or blue grama, as well as drought-tolerant shrubs and trees, such as redbud, crepe myrtle, or Texas sage.

In addition to selecting the right plants, it is also important to consider the layout and design of your xeriscape. A well-designed xeriscape should include a mix of different plant types and sizes, as well as different colors and textures. This will create a more interesting and dynamic landscape that is more likely to attract birds and other wildlife.

Once your xeriscape design is complete, we can help you implement efficient irrigation techniques to conserve water.

Do I ever need to water when Xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping plants are generally drought-tolerant, which means they can survive with minimal watering. However, even xeriscaping plants may need supplemental watering in certain situations to thrive. While the plants are drought tolerant, they still need some water to establish their roots after planting. This is especially true for newly planted xeriscaping plants, which may require more frequent watering during the first few weeks or months after planting.

Because most landscapes have varying conditions throughout and newly planted plants may be coming from different conditions (ie, planted in a location that is drier than what it’s adapted to, such as in a location with more sun exposure than it’s used to, or in a soil that does not retain moisture as well), this can cause stress on the plants and they may require additional watering.

Additionally, certain conditions like extreme heat waves, dry spells, or drought may cause more stress to the plants, so they may need more water to survive. It’s also important to note that while xeriscaping plants are drought-tolerant, they are not completely immune to drought and may still suffer in extreme conditions if they don’t receive enough water. Therefore, monitoring the plants and providing supplemental water as needed is a crucial part of maintaining a successful xeriscape.

At Seattle Sustainable Landscapes we love empowering people to build their ideal sustainable landscapes. Reach out if you are interested in learning more about Xeriscaping or need helping envisioning your new landscaping project.

From Our Clients

“This has been my favorite home improvement project. This company literally made me a yard where there previously was overgrowth, concrete, large stumps and rocks. They were able to complete the project on time and their cost was much more reasonable than others I interviewed. The project lead Fernando was hard working and communicative. The owner David (and Jeff previously) as well as the GM Chris all stayed in touch throughout the project. I would definitely use them for other projects in the future”

Monica C.

“The team put in an irrigation system in our front and back yard, cleaned everything up and added many new plants to the sunny and shady areas around our home. The owner was very personable, explained everything well and did exactly what he said he was going to do. He was fantastic to work with. His team was wonderful, super hard workers, and very friendly. They helped create color and beauty in every nook and cranny of our yard. My husband and I are very thankful we used this company.”

Jacqueline H.

“Happy with my choice. I had a very small townhouse backyard that was a bit of a mess (low quality builder-grade plantings) and had somewhat of an idea what to do with it. They provided good advice and the final result turned out very well. Finished ahead of schedule too! One year later and I'm still happy with the result. I definitely won't forget the attention and responsiveness of this company. Thanks a bunch! ”

Heidi W.

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