A beautiful design where landscape-maintenance is easy to keep up
Not all of us enjoy doing landscape-maintenance on saturday afternoon, even though we do like to see a well cared for yard. Consider the landscape up keep and maintenance first when planning your yard. If you can, get a bid from a maintenance company before breaking ground to determine what your monthly cost may be to keep your yard looking sharp and under control. This may be a determining factor for your landscape design, and the extent to which you landscape your property.
The less landscape-maintenance a yard requires, the more you will be able to relax and enjoy your self when you are home. Whether it boils down to money you spend on yard care, or the time you put into the weekly maintenance, this factor will be a determining factor for your attitude, and enjoyability of your yard.
Next, consider the water usage. If the water source expensive, such as city water in St George, Utah, You may want to re-consider the size of your lawn and plant more gravel. I remember one home I owned that had summer water bills over $300 dollars monthly. It's kinda hard to love your yard when it takes all of your free time and money to cover the landscape-maintenance and keep it alive and looking good.
In the desert southwest we have several options we use to and conserve water. Drip irrigation for plants, metered lawn sprays and of course watering @ the right time of day to get the maximum effect from the sprinklers are common options, but there is one that you may not have heard of. Drip irrigation for lawns, that's right, lawns. This technology was developed by the Israel and Jordan, because water is so scarce in those countries.
Let's talk about the drip irrigation for lawn first. I have installed about 30 of these systems in the last 10 years and found that the water for a regular 1" valve only needs to run about 2 or 3 minuets twice per day to water the lawn. The system runs at about half the regular pressure a normal irrigation system does and no water runs off unless you water too much. It's pretty cool to never have to worry about spray from a sprinkler head discoloring the concrete or hitting your new car, and getting the most from a drop of water is pretty cool too.
There are some in's and out's to this kind of irrigation, such as the way you must fertilize and frequency of watering, but once you are used to the new program you will find the water use is only 20% of a regular irrigation system.
Drip irrigation for plants has been around for 15 years. Not much has really changed over that time, except that I don't use 1 gallon emmiters anymore. They had a tendency to plug up with hard water deposits. Two gallon emmiters is what we use. One for smaller plants, and two for 5 gallon size plants. Trees and large shrubs get more depending on the size.
Over time you may find yourself watering for longer periods, but for the most part 30 minuets daily is enough to keep them alive in the heat of the summer. The best thing about drip irrigation and water savings is the water is distributed slowly and has the chance to be absorbed by the plants without any runoff. So no waste occurs this way, and the cost of the landscape-maintenance is kept to a minimum.
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