Growing a Beautiful Garden During a Drought

SMU Landscape Manager Kevin Dilliard discusses xeriscaping - the practice of landscaping to reduce or eliminate the need for watering.

During a summer in which the Dallas area has seen only one day of measurable rainfall, many North Texas yards could benefit from xeriscaping – planting and landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental watering or irrigation.

"Xeriscaping is, quite honestly, planning for this type of weather," says SMU Landscape Manager Kevin Dilliard, an expert on the practice. "It's just making good choices." The key, he adds, is to choose plants based on their drought tolerance and the amount of water they need to stay healthy.

The SMU gardens feature drought-friendly plants such as red yucca, royal agave, lantana and Silver Falls dichondra, Dilliard says. Water-conserving plants such as penta and Turk's cap even attract butterflies and hummingbirds, he adds.

Preparing the beds properly is important, too, Dilliard says. Adding compost helps with drainage and water retention, while a top coat of mulch will keep in moisture and keep out weeds. Use microdrips or water by hand to get moisture directly to the roots, he adds.

See the video report.


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