Xeriscaping: The Growing Landscaping Trend That Saves Water, Helps Pollinators

ST. PAUL, Minnesota. — As drought conditions worsen in the West and continue to affect parts of Minnesota, a growing trend is aimed at saving water and helping pollinators.

Xeriscaping is the technique of removing lawns and planting more drought-tolerant native plants instead. Elisa Bernick has been xeriscaping for years in her home in St. Paul and now has a thriving garden with many different species.

“I think a lot of us come to terms with the fact that we don’t want to use more resources than necessary. Fertilizer, water, that kind of intensive gardening we grew up with, but now we understand that’s not good. for the world, the way we move forward,” Bernick said.

She decided to start xeriscaping after construction left the soil in her garden unfertile.

“I just put sand and dirt on all that debris and carefully chose my plants,” she said.

Where she chooses to plant is just as important as the type of plant itself. She said it took a lot of research, patience and trial and error before her garden started to thrive.

“Overall my water usage has gone down, my plants are thriving,” she said.

His neighbor is also jumping on the trend.

“We’re going to garden together, so it’s exciting,” she said.

Julie Weisenhorn, a horticulture educator at the University of Minnesota Extension, says that although Minnesota’s climate is harsh, it’s still possible to create a xeriscape.

Native plants come to mind immediately because they’ve evolved, and they scale very well with different types of climate and different types of weather,” Weisenhorn said.

The practice can also benefit pollinators and require less maintenance from homeowners.

Understanding landscape and drainage systems is a good first step for anyone looking to transform a lawn.

The University of Minnesota, among others, provides soil testing for a nominal fee. The university has provided other tips for saving water.

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