Birdbath and plants

Birdbath surrounded by purple coneflower and Gregg’s mistflower. Image credit: Wildflower Center

Use Plants Adapted to Local Rainfall Patterns

Growing plants adapted to particular site conditions is one of the basic principles of sustainable gardening.

Tips include:

  • Preserve as many well-established trees and shrubs as possible. Established vegetation generally requires less water than newly planted specimens that have not yet developed deep root systems. Favor plants native to the region that are adapted to the local climate and well suited to the growing conditions of a site.
  • To speed establishment and minimize water use, plant at the recommended time of the year for each particular species.
  • Lawn size and turf type can have a huge impact on the amount of irrigation a landscape requires. Consider the function of the lawn and how much area is actually required to support its use. Look for ways to minimize unnecessary lawn. Choose grass species that require minimal irrigation. Consider mixing different types of grasses to create a more disease-resistant lawn.