Re: Liz Stevenson's comment on Xeriscaping
From: Louise Conner (
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 10:17:01 -0600 (MDT)
"Somewhere I read that xeriscaping is actually not so great for water use. I
wish I could back that up, but the general principle is that there is a net
use of more energy/water because the xeriscaping allows the ground to heat
up more than grass does, causing a rise in ambient temperature so the
homeowners need to use more air conditioning and more water to keep the
plants alive in the higher heat."

I imagine it depends on what you use for groundcover more than anything.
Maybe Fred Olson has more information.

We plan on using a wood product, shredded pallets, which conserves water in
the ground and keeps it from evaporating thus requiring less water. All you
have to do is check the ground temp and moisture by moving some of the mulch
off to tell that ground temperatures are cooler than the surface. On the
other hand, if you used gravel or rock (which is an inferior form of
xeriscaping in my book), I think it would increase heat in the ground and
need for more water.

I love mulch! Works great in our climate. You do need to add to it over the
years as it slowly decomposes and enriches the earth (that is if you don't
use landscape cloth which isn't necessary anyway if you use 3-4 inches of
mulch). Lightweight, easy to move with handtools. Kids love it and can help
with the work. Plants love it, weeds hate it. What weeds do make it through
the mulch are easily removed. Too many weeds? Add more mulch!

Casa Verde Commons in beautiful Colorado Springs!

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