Conservation landscaping groups plants into separate areas of the landscape according to their various water needs, reducing the amount of water needed for plants to thrive. A water-saving landscape enhances the beauty of your property and increases the selling potential and value of your home.
85% of all landscape problems are directly related to over watering. A properly designed and operated irrigation system can reduce water use by 20% each year.
This is the most important aspect of successful conservation landscaping. Plant selection and placement are key elements. The use of low water use plants is only one aspect of water-saving. Many medium or high water-use plants can be used if they are grouped together and watered by area.
Full Irrigation Areas
These areas are usually expanses of grass, which needs more water than other plants. They should be placed only in areas that get a lot of use or are highly visible.
Moderate Irrigation Areas
Plants and shrubs in these areas take advantage of some natural runoff from downspouts, driveways, and patios.
Low Irrigation Areas
Border areas containing low or moderate water-demanding flowers, shrubs, and trees provide the greatest water savings. Bubble or drip irrigation applies water directly to individual plants via small tubing or emitters. Drip irrigation saves water because only the plant's root receives water. Very little is lost to evaporation.
The 2011 County of Maui Landscape and Gardening Handbook (PDF) was developed by the Department of Water Supply as a resource for people who want to save water in the yard and learn about what and how to plant in certain areas. It gives a wealth of information on xeriscaping, including xeriscape’s seven basic principals, a list of native plants appropriate for each plant zone, and other useful resources.
- Grass is best watered with sprinklers. Trees, shrubs, garden flowers, and ground covers can be watered with drip irrigation.
- Irrigation equipment should include heads that deliver a pattern of water close to the ground, making the water less likely to be lost to wind and evaporation.
- Individual earth or decorative basins around trees and shrubs hold water until it seeps into the ground. Shallow irrigation ditches next to rows of plants serve the same purpose.