With the current emphasis on water savings, many companies and HOA's are turning to drought tolerant plant material to help lower their rising water costs. These plants are great if properly selected and can dramatically effect your property's irrigation needs. However, you can end up causing more harm than good if these simple steps are not followed.
The first thing you will want to look at is at the current irrigation system. A common mistake is to plant drought tolerant plant material in an area that has an irrigation valve which covers both the new drought tolerant plants as well as existing plants with higher water needs. This will create a situation where some plants are receiving too much or too little water, effectively eliminating any expected water savings. To achieve the maximum water savings group plants together according to their watering needs and ensure that separate irrigation valves water those areas.
As with any plant, you will need to pay attention to where the new plant material will be located. The soil type and sun exposure plays a large role in the type of drought tolerant plants that you will be able to use. Strategic planning is necessary to ensure the new plant material gets established. The success or failure of your new drought tolerant landscape (or any landscape for that mater) depends on the correct selection of plants for the intended area. Talk to your landscaper about the best plant options for the area you are planning on re-landscaping. Remember, there are even specific drought tolerant plants that are recommended for Fuel-Mod areas and slopes.
By taking these simple steps when planting new drought tolerant plant material, you can achieve maximum water savings and have healthier plant material.
Reprinted with permission from Vista Del Verde Landscape, Inc. For more information about water management and drought tolerant plant material selection you may visit their website at http://www.vdvlandscape.com