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by Jennifer
(New Jersey)


Jennifer Bell

A yard is hard to take care of, especially when you need to keep plants alive. If you’re tired of taking care of a lawn that just won’t seem to stay green, it might be time to look into alternatives.

Xeriscaping is an option that allows you to create a gorgeous yard that requires less maintenance, saves you money, and benefits your home and the environment. Here are a few of those benefits.

Xeriscaping Benefits to Your Home

Protect Your Home From Flooding
If your home is prone to flooding, the last thing you should do is plant a garden that needs a ton of water. Xeriscaping allows you to decorate the exterior of your house with nature that doesn’t need all that water.

One of the best things you can do to waterproof your home is to keep any plant life, including shrubs, flowers, and even grass, away from the foundation of your home. And if you do have plants around your house, definitely do not use mulch.

Dry Basement Solutions, a basement waterproofing company in NJ, “If water pools around the walls of your basement, it is only a matter of time until moisture starts seeping through. Groundwater leaking into your basement is often a problem with the area around your foundation, not the walls themselves.”

Mulch will soak up water and sit up against your foundation, causing water damage. Instead, include a layer of rocks, stones, or pebbles, around the exterior of your house.

If you want plants, opt for ones that can thrive in these materials. Some of the most popular plants in xeriscaping can easily live in pebbles, including succulents, cacti, orchids, and alpine plants. Any water will soak through the ground quickly and be picked up by the plants or move further into the ground instead of sitting in mulch.
Cut Maintenance Costs
If you don’t have a lawn, you don’t need a lawnmower. That cuts costs on the lawnmower itself and on gas to run it. Plus, it gives you more free time.

And if you live in an area that’s prone to drought, you need to work hard to keep your grass alive. Stones and pebbles are drought-proof; you don’t need to water rocks!

Occasionally you’ll need to do some trimming and weeding, but the work is minimal. Plus, you won’t need fertilizer, annual plants, and pesticides, which will save you money.
Use Those Savings to Improve Other Areas
Now you can take that extra time and money and put it into your house instead of your yard. Have you been thinking about renovating your kitchen? Do you want to repaint your exterior or add a deck? Now you can focus on those projects instead of keeping up with the constant needs of a lawn and garden.

Drought-prone areas often don’t have homes with nice exteriors. Once you show your neighborhood that it is possible to have a beautiful, xeriscaped yard, more people might join in, making the whole neighborhood look better.
Xeriscaping Benefits to the Environment
Conserve Water
While any plant needs water, xeriscaped yards include plants that don’t need much of it. This cuts down significantly on water use.

Conserving water is important in any community, but it is especially important when there is a drought. If you regularly have bans on watering your lawn due to droughts, it’s a good idea to switch to a xeriscaped yard.

The water that would be used for your lawn can then be used to water yourself instead. You need it more than the grass.
Cut Down on Pesticide Use
Fewer plants mean less pesticide use and most plants used in xeriscaping don’t need pesticides to thrive anyway. Those chemicals won’t then make it into our rivers, lakes, groundwater, and drinking water.

All pesticides are dangerous to living things. The National Pesticide Information Center says, “Even products that are low in toxicity can be hazardous if the exposure is high enough. This is the basis for the argument that ‘the dose makes the poison.’ For example, one aspirin is beneficial for pain or certain medical conditions, but too much aspirin could be very hazardous. As the amount of exposure (the dose) increases, so does the risk.”

The best amount of pesticide is zero. You can help cut down on the use of these dangerous chemicals by xeriscaping your yard.
Reduce Gas Pollution
As mentioned before, no lawn means no mower! That’s less CO2 in the atmosphere from burning gasoline. If you get the whole neighborhood on board, that’s a whole area where no lawn mowers are running. And that means less noise pollution, too. You won’t be woken up in the morning by a loud lawnmower next door.

If you cut out the weed whacker as well, that’s even better. However, even a xeriscaped lawn will need occasional weeding. If you want a weed whacker, opt for an electric version instead of gas-powered.

Are you considering a xeriscaped yard? What do you like about it? Do you like succulents and cacti but thought they were only for inside the house? Let us know in the comments!

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey. She writes on behalf of Steve Schulz at Dry Basement Solutions.