Landscaping with drought-tolerant native and adaptive plants, also known as xeriscaping, is a gardening method used to aid in water conservation as well as fertilizer and pesticide reduction. The City of Richardson currently has no ordinance that regulates native and adaptive landscapes, but if residents are interested in implementing this method on their properties, they are encouraged to contact the City's Residential Code Enforcement section of Community Services as well as their local Home Owners' Association (HOA).
The Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Center has provided some guidance (full document available here) on using native and adaptive landscapes to reduce water consumption:
- Planning and Design
Document locations of existing structures and vegetation in your yard and determine the budget, how you want the landscaping to look, and water requirements for your yard. Consult with local experts to create a design.
- Soil Analysis
Add organic matter to shrub and flower bed areas to increase the soil's ability to absorb and store water.
- Practical Turf Areas
Plan the use of turf grass in your landscape. Avoid narrow strips of turf grass.
- Appropriate Plant Selection
Use trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that are well-suited to your region's soil and climate.
- Efficient Irrigation
Water your landscape in zones to make sure plants receive the water they need.
- Use of Mulches
Mulch, a layer of nonliving material that covers the surface around plants, conserves water by reducing moisture evaporation from the soil. Use mulch when posible.
- Appropriate Maintenance
Properly prune, weed, and fertilize your landscape to keep your natural and adaptive landscape healthy and save water.
Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) is a popular plant in xeriscaping.