I'm determined to change from a moderate water ornamental garden and turf to
xeric. Am I going to have to pull everything out and start all over again?
Or, can I slowly replace the plants that aren't adjusting to the new method.
Zone 5. I don't think we have water close to the surface. Clay soil about 1%
organic content. I improve the south plots to about 5% and constantly battle
to get even that. The West and North gardens remain about 8%.
I was hoping I could see what survives and continue to compost and use soil
organisms and worms to keep the soil improvement at its present level. My
perception is that most people pull everything, improve the soil and then
put in only standard xeric plants.
You can make the transition while the plants you have are in the ground. Slowly
back off watering. You may be surprised at how much less water they need once
you get them acclimated. Second, a trick to xeric success is directly related
to the amount of organic matter you have in your soil and mulch.
So, I suggest you water less and less, see what cannot tolerate the low levels
of water and pull those plants out, replace with xeric plants for your soil
type, and location.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for a friend?
That's sorta what I wanted to here. I have only minimal turf. The front is
all roses, perennials and herbs. Zone 5. Even though my particular city
isn't rationing water, I water less than the cities around me who are
restricted to certain days and limited watering time.
I've been surprised at how well the roses are doing. But, my soil is well
some roses are tough.
with clay, you migth have to settle for plants that go dormant during
dry season (iris. others i can't think of now). otoh, zone 5 is somewhat
see what your highway dept plants. tough plants
Your extension service should have a specialist in xeriscape. If not,
contact some master gardeners in your area. Many master gardeners have
extremely valuable knowledge on the best plantings for your area.
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