Water Smart Landscape
Want to reduce water consumption cost? Bee Smart! Water Smart! Create a gorgeous garden that not only attracts birds, bees, and butterflies but also conserves water.
Bee Smart. Water Smart.
Make every drop count. Using native and other drought-tolerant plants can reduce water usage and lower the water bill. Reducing water consumption reduces the need for locating and developing new water sources. Changing your landscape to include water smart plants is Bee Smart. Water Smart.
Advantages of Water Smart Landscapes
- Conserves Water – Using native and other drought-tolerant plants can significantly reduce water use.
- Creates Habitat – Bees, butterflies, and birds need food, water, and shelter. Traditional lawns have little to no habitat, while water smart landscaping creates habitat sanctuaries for these animals.
- Save Time – Water smart landscapes can reduce time spent watering, fertilizing, and mowing.
- Save Money – Water smart landscapes may reduce water usage and can, in turn, reduce the water bill. Water smart landscapes can also reduce maintenance costs while increasing beauty and value of the property.
Five steps to creating a water smart landscape
1. Make a Wish List
Before buying a single plant, research what meets the criteria for a water smart yard. Is the focus on water conservation, low maintenance, wildlife-friendly habitat, or an outdoor living room? These are important questions to consider and will influence the overall design. Think big but act small – More can always be added later.
2. Take Inventory
Look at the physical characteristics of the potential landscape space. For example: sunny west and south sides are typically best suited for drought-tolerant plants while cooler north and east sides are best for low to moderate water-use plants. Examine the existing irrigation system to see if any sprinkler heads could be converted for a water smart landscape.
3. Make a Plan
Call upon a professional landscaper for help or copy a design you like. For the DIY attitude, look for design ideas online or in a book. A new irrigation system should be designed into the plan. Trees, shrubs, flowers and groundcover can be watered efficiently with low-volume drip emitters, sprayers and bubblers. Choose native and low-water plants whenever possible. Design with mulch versus rock. Rocks heat up the soils and don’t hold moisture. 2-3” of single grind mulch is the best for windy Wyoming.
4. Install Your Water Smart Landscape
Now it’s time to get to work! A good rule of thumb is construction first, irrigation system updates and then planting. Lawn spray-heads may be converted to drip emitters with a built-in pressure-reducing valve. Irrigation companies, lawn and garden stores or other landscape professionals can provide additional advice.
5. Maintain and Enjoy!
To ensure the success of a water-smart landscape; pruning, weeding and maintaining 2-3” of mulch is suggested. Remember that even the best-designed irrigation system must be maintained and checked for issues.