Use of Low-Water-Demand Plants. Hundreds of low-water-
use plants are available to conserve water, replace turf, and
create a very appealing landscape. (See Figure 19). Higher
water-use plants should only be used in areas with sufficient
rainfall or in low-lying areas that receive irrigation or rain
runoff. Basically, you will want to match the plants chosen to
your native environment. Cactus, which grow great in Tucson
Arizona, may be very drought tolerant plants, but they will not
survive in the Everglades! Plants with like-water demands should
be grouped together and watered accordingly. Figure 20 shows a
sample drawing of a proper Xeriscape yard with a small turf area
and contiguous plant groupings.
Appropriate Maintenance. No landscaping program is
going to survive without maintenance, and Xeriscape is no
exception. Some maintenance tips include:
Weeding and pruning as needed.
Properly adjust equipment.
Mowing turf to proper heights.
Water Recycling, Reclamation, and Reuse. As mentioned
previously in this handbook, wastewater from other water-
consuming applications can be treated and used for irrigation.
If a full scale reclamation system is impractical at your
installation, then perhaps a graywater system or rainwater
catchment would work.
Graywater. Graywater is water from showers, restroom
sinks, and washing machines. A graywater system must be
implemented with caution. Increasingly, many state and local
agencies are placing restrictions on using graywater for
or local regulations may require that the graywater treatment
system include a combination of sedimentation, filtering, and
remove disease-causing bacteria. Some agencies may also require
the graywater to be used only for subsurface irrigation.
Graywater should not be allowed to directly contact any edible
fruits and vegetables. Graywater typically has a slightly
alkaline pH and may be unsuitable for certain acid-loving plants
and shrubs. (Also refer to par. 6.2.)