Avoid High Water Costs with Drought-Friendly Landscaping

Water is expensive. From indoor plumbing to outdoor recreation, the love of clean, fresh water is impacting reserves and influencing costs. Some property owners leave the responsibility of the water bill with their tenants. While this is a tempting option, if a tenant is caring for an outdoor area that requires a great deal of water and the cost of that water becomes too much, the tenant may look for another place to live or cease to tend to the landscaping. Property owners can combat rising water costs by learning to incorporate visually pleasing landscaping that conserves water.


Consider the Region
Plants are best used in their native regions, or in similar climates. You could plant a desert cactus in the Northeast, but don’t expect it to thrive. Take note of the local temperature range, humidity, and soil conditions before designing your landscaping. Consult employees at a local gardening store, a horticulturalist, or restoration ecologist to learn more about your area's native ecology.
Hardiness maps are fantastic resources that visually divide the country into different vegetation zones. Most plants are assigned a corresponding zone number that tells you how it will handle the environment.


Identify Beauty That Endures
Annuals are very greedy with water resources. They are also more expensive, since they only last for one blooming season. Perennials are beautiful and come back each year. When creating the landscaping for your income property, choose perennial wildflowers, native flowering shrubs, and drought-tolerant tree species. Drought-friendly species are ideal for lowering water bills, and they are low maintenance as well. This helps you save additional funds by scaling back on your landscaping crews and scheduled maintenance needs.


Factor in Adjustment Time
Scaling back on landscapers is fantastic, but it won’t happen immediately. You can’t plant and walk away from the scene; you must nurture the new plants until they adjust to their surroundings and recover from the shock of transplantation. No matter the age of the plant, it will require extra care for the first few weeks. Once the new plants are settled, drought-tolerant landscaping will have you counting up the cash instead of handing it out.


Skip the Grass Lawn
Grass lawns are elegant when trimmed, but their lush appearance requires a great deal of maintenance and a regular water supply. Lawns quickly turn brown in drier climates or drought conditions, and this can cause them to become an eyesore.
Drought-friendly landscaping skips the grass. Clusters of shrubs or trees interspersed with wildflowers, bunch grasses, and trailing vine ground cover can be found in natural settings. Drought-friendly landscaping looks to copy the beauty of nature. Rocky outcroppings and gravel are ideal for bringing a natural look to your property without increasing water costs.


Aim for Rebates
Drought-friendly landscaping is the first step on the water-reduction ladder. To further reduce water costs, install certified water-saving equipment. This equipment may even qualify you for rebates and tax incentives from the local and federal government. Converting grass lawns to plant-focused landscaping, installing rotating irrigation spray nozzles, and upgrading to weather-sensing irrigation systems are all common activities that qualify for rebates in many states.


Conclusion
As a property owner, one of your main concerns is increasing the return on your rental property investment. This becomes more difficult when funds are continuously directed toward large water bill payments. Drought-friendly landscaping can help reduce water costs and provide a beautiful, eye-catching design element to your property.

 

POSTED March 31 2015 10:22 AM
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