No, it’s not a mirage. You can conserve water and have a yard full of attractive and healthy plantings. A few wise landscape choices can lead to big water savings.
Limit the size of turf areas to specific uses (e.g., kids play equipment or dog run). Go to www.srpnet.com/dwexhibit and click “summary of the results” for information on drought-resistant grass varieties.
Perform regular maintenance (seasonal pruning, fertilizing, etc.) to get the most out of your plants.
Water your plants with a drip system. Install a smart irrigation controller to run the drip system and sprinklers more efficiently. Visit www.srpnet.com/smartirrigation to learn more about smart controllers.
Check your landscape watering system for leaks and make any necessary repairs. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 14% of the water purchased by U.S. households is lost through leaks.
Use plants with small thirsts. There are several desert plants that can withstand Arizona’s climate and use very little water. Here are a few examples:
Trees: Willow Acacia, Blue Palo Verde, Desert Willow, Indian Rosewood and Live Oak
Shrubs: Red Bird of Paradise, Baja Red Fairy Duster, Texas Sage, Baja Ruellia and Arizona Yellow Bells
Ground cover and vines: Bougainvillea, Bush Morning Glory, Trailing Lantana, Lady Bank's Rose and Trailing rosemary
Cacti, succulents and accents: Agaves, Purple Prickly Pear and Red Yucca
Perennial flowers and grasses: Angelita Daisy and Deer Grass
To learn more about landscape plants for the Arizona desert, go to www.amwua.org and select “Landscape Plants.”