To plan drought-tolerant landscaping, you may choose to incorporate drought-hardy plants into more traditional landscaping for economical or aesthetic reasons. If you desire a landscape focused on drought hardiness, it is best to start from the ground up to maximize drought tolerance.
Drought-tolerance landscaping is a process that begins with the soil itself. Adding compost to the soil before the planting process helps in water retention. About.com suggests implementing the soil with pea gravel or grit if the soil is dense to aid in drainage.
Using drought-hardy indigenous plants from your locality is a natural and economical way of forming an authentic and water-conscious landscape. Irrigation methods also play an important part. Use watering systems that allow for prolonged, deep soaks. This reduces water evaporation and allows deep root systems access to the water.
When plotting the landscape, group plants together in sections. This allows for more efficient watering, reducing water waste. An additional technique is to group plants of similar water needs together. This ensures that the right quantity of water reaches each plant according to its needs, reducing water use and the risk of over- or under-watering.
Ground cover is an important part of drought-tolerant landscaping. Mulch plays a powerful part in water-retention and reduces evaporation by trapping moisture underground, allowing plants more time to absorb water. Consider incorporating gravel or rock in sections of the landscape to aid in water retention. If grass is a preferred element for the landscape, there are species available that need far less water than traditional lawns. Consider using flagstone paths, gravel, ornaments and steppes to reduce grassy areas and add decorative qualities to the landscape while reducing water dependency.