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Xeriscaping (Drought Management)

xeriscaping with Rainbow Gardens

Drought seems to be a way of life in South Texas, especially since 2011.  Are we in throes of another natural drought cycle like in the 1950’s or other earlier ones?  Or is this the new norm, caused by excessive CO2 in the atmosphere, Eagle Ford Shale oil wells burning millions of btu’s of heat from well flares, too many automobiles, massive deforestation,  overpopulation, etc, etc?  As world travelers, we hear the same concern in most countries of the world.  The rainy seasons are becoming shorter, summers hotter, and weather events are stronger and more frequent than in the past.

We can do small lifestyle changes that, collectively, can cause huge changes to reverse these trends.  These would include:

  1. Planting lots of trees to capture CO2 and convert it back to O2.
  2. Planting trees creates shade in the hot months, helping to cool our houses, and reduce dependence on our AC’s, reducing emissions from power plants that cause smog & adds CO2.
  3. Collect rainwater from our rooftops.  1000 sq ft of roof will collect 600 gallons of water every 1″ rainfall.  This saves our precious groundwater.  If every roof in San Antonio collected its rainwater in a point of use system, we wouldn’t need massive public works projects to build storm drains that allow all this valuable water to just run off!
  4. Solar Photovotaics on rooftops allows less electricity being produced from environmentally unfriendly power plants.
  5. Removing thirsty St. Augustine grass & seeding it with native grasses that simply go dormant when not irrigated.  You will still have a green lawn many months of the year.  Or plant a low maintenance xeriscape ground cover like Asiatic Jasmine.
  6. Planting xeriscape perennials and native shrubs that are drought tolerant but still provide color and green.  Many attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
  7. Turning our landscape into edible plants, like fruits, grapes, vegetables, and herbs.  This allows us to eat healthier and become less dependent on giant agri-business’s that use massive amounts of petroleum based fertilizers, fuel and unhealthy chemicals.
  8. Learn about aquaponics, permaculture and substainability.   We will have future articles on various topics on these subjects.

Drought Management – Article 1

Drought Management – Article 2

Drought Landscape Plants in Texas