Landscape lovers have more options than heavy watering April 08 2014

AMARILLO, TEXAS -- We all love deep green grass, but unfortunately here in the High Plains, lack of water makes that nearly impossible without a substantial amount of irrigation. If you’re looking to save water while still enjoying your lawn, here are some tips that you’ll definitely need to keep in mind. 

Water is a precious commodity in the plains, and it can also be very expensive if you go over the standard amount of usage included in your water bill. Using native plants is one way to reduce water, and they can be considered xeriscaping, as they don’t require any additional water. 

Xeriscaping is a term that was invented by a City of Denver employee in the 1980s to describe landscaping that reduces or completely eliminates the need for irrigation.

“If you’re wanting to save water, I would go with the Xeriscaping,” said Neal Hinders of Canyon’s Edge Native Xeriscape Plants. “Xeriscaping is just basically landscaping to reduce the amount of water that you’re using whether you’re cutting out the amount of turf grass that you have—that’s probably the number one thing that we can do to reduce the cool season turf grass and go with the natives like Buffalo grass or blue grama.”

If you want a green grass year around, there’s also artificial turf. You’ll probably notice that they’re green even when it’s the middle of winter.  Mike Wilson of Future Lawns of the High Plains said that once you install the artificial turf, all of the work of keeping up a lawn goes away.

“We supply an artificial turf that’s made entirely in the United States,” Wilson said. “Once the produce is installed, you no longer water, which is the key to life. You no longer have to mow or fertilize. All of those activities go away."

For now, the city has some programs to promote xeriscaping or the use of native plants for businesses. A residential program may come in the future, but for now, the city is trying to promote its water saving campaign at

“I would like to emphasize the use of drought tolerant landscaping and xeriscaping landscaping, not especially for people to cover their whole yard with these types of landscaping, but to highlight that there can be regular areas of their lawn and have one or two spots that don’t need watering,” Emmett Autrey, the Director of Utilities for the City of Amarillo, said.

Remember, you can mix and match these methods. You don’t need non-native green grass all over your yard. You could for instance mix xeriscaping, artificial turf and traditional green grass in other areas. In other words, any effort to reduce water consumption will help you and your wallet.