Here in Central Texas, we’re no stranger to being ruled by the weather. From magnificent thunderstorms to flash flooding to summers of frequent 100-degree days, we’ve seen it all. Thankfully, we’ve received good rains this year — which means the Greenbelt and our other natural swimming spots are full for summer swimming — but that’s not always the case. In fact, just a few years ago the nearby town of Bastrop was ravaged by wildfires caused by intense heat and lack of rainfall in the region.
All this is to say that it’s our environmental responsibility to conserve water as much as possible. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely forgo a beautiful yard; you just have to be intentional and responsible about how you do it. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you reduce landscaping water use while keeping your property looking vibrant and healthy.
Thankfully, Austin gets more rainfall than most areas of Texas. That’s why one of the easiest ways to save water in your garden or yard is to choose plants native to your area, which require less water and maintenance. Make sure to choose and zone your plants according to what will best flourish in your regional climate and microclimate — which, for us Austinites, is zone 8b.
When you purchase a plant described as “hardy to zone 8,” this means that the plant can withstand a range of minimum temperatures within that zone. Some of our favorites include vibrant fuschia-colored Texas sage or Hill Country Penstemon, but here’s a more comprehensive list of ideal plants that will thrive in Austin’s 8b hardiness zone.
Preserve or Recycle Your Water
Reusing grey water — the water you used in your shower, washing machine, or bathroom sink — is a safe and responsible way to give a second life to the water you use throughout the day. Here’s the lowdown on how to trap and reuse your grey water in your garden in the most efficient way possible.
You can also install a rainwater tank in your yard or make your own rainwater barrel to collect runoff water to use for landscape irrigation. According to the EPA, a rain barrel will save about 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months!
Incorporate a Drip Irrigation System
A drip irrigation system, also known as low volume or micro irrigation, uses a network of plastic tubing and low-volume drippers and sprinklers to deliver water on a slow but targeted basis, which waters the root zone of the plant directly. Drip irrigation systems are a much more eco-friendly alternative to a traditional sprinkler, using 20 to 50% less water.
When you’re using sprinklers to irrigate your lawn, you might not realize how much water is actually being used, but that water really adds up. In fact, a 100’ x 100’ lawn uses 6,230 gallons of water with sprinklers!
For an environmentally responsible yard, xeriscaping is one of the best ways to drastically or even completely reduce your need for landscaping irrigation. This systematic method of landscape design uses rocks, mulch, and drought-tolerant native plant species rather than traditional grass, which reduces or eliminates the need for watering. Here’s a helpful tutorial to get you started.
If you’re currently in the market for a new home and want to find a property with plenty of lawn space, we’ve got you covered. Best of all, here at Paradisa Homes, we offer Austin new construction homes with water-conscious landscaping so that you can enjoy a lush, healthy home exterior without guilt.