Naturescape Gardening is all about enhancing wildlife habitat in our homes, while also planting a garden that is low-maintenance, low in water use, and is beautiful all at the same time!
Xeriscape is landscaping using little water and plants that are adapted to drier climates.
Follow these 10 steps to create a successful Naturescape Garden!
- Plan and design: Design your garen to include native plants and wildlife structures, such as rock piles, logs and dead-standing trees. Take a look at what you already have and make a map of the area to be converted to a naturescape.
- Minimize your lawn: During the planning phase decide to remove some lawn and replace with native plant species that require little maintenance or water.
- Remove invasive species: Hand pull weeds from your planting area. Avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides.
- Add hard structures such as boulders, rock piles, and wildlife trees. A small pond, as well as bat and bird houses, can also be included.
- Improve the soil: Even though native plants are adapted to our hot dry climate, it is a good idea to add organic matter to your soils to give them a fighting chance. Add compost and manure.
- Water efficiently: Plan an irrigation system, especially drip or soaker hoses. Water only in the early morning or evenings so that evaporation is not a problem. Avoid wet and windy days.
- Select the appropriate plants: Groupe plants according to their ecological and watering needs. Plant a variety of plants to ensure diversity.
- Plant your native plants: Dig a hole twice the size, water the hole, plant level with the ground surface and cover with soil. Water occasionally for the first year or until roots are well established, then minimize or stop watering based on plant needs.
- Mulch: Mulches reduce evaporation and weed growth, cools the root zone, slows erosion, and gives a finished look to your new garden.
- Maintain your garden: No garden is totally maintenance free, so you will still have to weed out exotics as soon as you see them. Prune and deadhead as you go. That should be it!
Restoration of wildlife habitat happens gradually, one yard at a time.