This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

September 19, 2015

Using mulch to conserve water in your garden

Here in the Phoenix, Arizona area, we do everything to conserve water. Water is precious in the desert, and besides, it costs money, and I grew up in Minnesota where I learned to be frugal.

So, when I started my garden here over twenty years ago, the first thing I read up on was "Xeriscape" - which just means having a landscape that is the most water-efficient it can be. A true Xeriscape garden isn't just a bunch of rocks, would just makes your backyard even hotter, it's a small place of shade, with a few plants that give the feeling of an oasis. And one of the most important tricks is: mulch.

Mulch is anything that protects the soil from drying out. It can be chips of bark, stuff you get in bags at Home Depot, or if you're lucky and have a tree that sheds, like mine, leaf litter.

This is what I do - I get a bag and fill it up with mulch. A lot of it accumulates up front in the courtyard. Then I sprinkle it around the base of my plants, and water it in. This is only one of a whole bag of tricks (pardon the pun) that I use to create my illusion of paradise here in the thirsty desert!
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