Drought-Tolerant Gardening: The Cheaper Landscape Alternative

drought-tolerant-plants
Image by Leonora Enking

By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)

Do you want to protect your lawn and garden from the threat of drought? Would you prefer to have a more manageable landscape? Do you like to save money? Then you should consider implementing drought-tolerant gardening practices. This will not only wipe out the threat of losing your garden to drought but is much easily to maintain as well. Many people are wary of drought-tolerant gardening or xeriscaping because they’re concerned about the cost. But with proper planning, you can incorporate a drought-tolerant landscape for very little money. In fact, it may even turn out to be a cheaper alternative than traditional landscaping.

Drought Tolerant Lawns

Where should you start? Reducing the size of your lawn can benefit your landscape as well, saving you time, energy and expense. Why not take a long look at your lawn and start considering cheaper alternatives to traditional turf. Did you know that there are many drought-resistant alternatives to lawn grasses?

One alternative to traditional grass is clover. Clover stays green even in the driest part of summer. Clover rarely has to be mowed, but when it does, it mows well. Clover will easily fill in bare spots, it’s soft to walk on, free of weeds, pest-free, and aerates the soil.

You can also convert part of your lawn to ornamental grasses. These are low maintenance and grow well in most soils. Ornamental grasses are drought-resistant as well. Another option is drought-tolerant, perennial ground covers. These plants spread across the ground, providing full coverage, but do not grow tall, thereby, cutting out the need for mowing and other maintenance.

Drought Tolerant Landscaping

Drought-tolerant planting beds can be strategically located in the landscape. Drought-tolerant plants include various succulents, rock garden plantings, native shrubs and trees, wildflowers, and ornamental grasses. Choose your plants carefully for the best effect.

Start by looking around your home and notice what types of plants are growing. Some of the most drought-tolerant plants also happen to be those which are native to your area. These not only look great but cost little, especially if you already have some growing on your property. Keep plant selection simple. A few varieties can make a bigger impact with less cost and effort.

Once you have selected the plants for your drought-tolerant landscape, you’re ready to purchase them. However, in an attempt to stretch your dollars even more, there are some things you can do to make this possible. For instance, don’t always look for the biggest plants; buy smaller ones instead. These are much less expensive than the larger plants and once the garden is established, know one will ever be the wiser.

Another trick to saving money on those drought-tolerant plants is to check out home improvement and discount department stores for xeric perennials, like sedums and ornamental grasses.

Finally, if you have friends and neighbors, or even family members, that garden, chances are they may have just the right plant for your drought-tolerant garden. Many of which can be easily started from cuttings. Ask them if they have an overabundance of these plants or if you can take a cutting from one. More often than not, they’re happy to oblige your endeavors. You should also consider growing plants from seeds. This is one of the least expensive ways to go. Of course, the seedlings won’t pop up over night, but the savings will be worth the wait.

Creating a drought-tolerant landscape is easy and will wind up being more cost effective in the long run. You will have little maintenance chores and less watering requirements. You will also wipe out the worries associated with the threat of drought.

This article was last updated on

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