Is your yard toast? It’s hard to keep an Austin yard lush and green. But what if a green lawn wasn’t what you were going for? You’d be happy with a brown lawn if that what it was supposed to look like. If you xeriscape, you can have a healthy lawn without worrying it’ll die if you miss a watering day.

Technically speaking, xeriscaping is landscaping an area where it requires little or no irrigation. Typical xeriscapes incorporate rocks, gravel, and hearty native plants. Some people around Austin have taken to xeriscaping easily, which may explain why there are so many of these lawns springing up all over central Texas — but others still need convincing.

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This post is for those folks. Here are ten reasons why xeriscaped lawns are catching on in Austin. If even one of them sounds appealing, you should definitely check into xeriscaping your home sweet home too. 

10.) No dead patches in your lawn

Photo: Flickr user Jay Cross, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Jay Cross, creative commons licensed.

Without large areas covered with grass, you won’t have unsightly dead patches. If grass won’t grow in a shaded spot, try a shade-loving plant or rock feature.

9.) No more paying for every-other-week yard service

Photo: Flickr user Tim Wilson, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Tim Wilson, creative commons licensed.

Local grasses — and weeds — grow quickly and need constant attention in warm months. With xeriscaping, you might be able to kick your yard guy to the curb.

8.) There’s more than one way to have curb appeal

Photo: Flickr user teofilo, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user teofilo, creative commons licensed.

Homeowners want their houses to look nice. Green lawns present a stately look, which is why British and French people created them in the 16th century: As symbols of inordinate wealth. Here in the 21st century, we know there are many ways to make a house look great — and xeriscaping is among the best.

7.) Forget your watering day

Photo: Flickr user Joe Madonna, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Joe Madonna, creative commons licensed.

Is your watering day Saturday or Sunday? If you xeriscape, who cares? Hand watering is allowed any day of the week, and that is usually all xeriscaped urban lawns take.

6.) Get rid of your lawn mover

Photo: Flickr user m01229, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user m01229, creative commons licensed.

If you don’t pay for lawn service, you have a lawn mower in your garage or shed. Even reliable mowers always seems to quit working when you need them most. Xeriscape your lawn and put that puppy on Craigslist.

5.) Pick fewer weeds

Photo: Flickr user John, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user John, creative commons licensed.

You can’t stop weeds. You can only hope to contain them. Xeriscaped lawns have fewer weeds, and those weeds are easier to identify and treat.

4.) It helps the environment AND your home value

Photo: Flickr user Kevin Dooley, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Kevin Dooley, creative commons licensed.

Xeriscaping offers a lot of financial and environmental benefits. Without a lawn you won’t be dumping gallons of toxic chemicals into the soil, you’ll use less water, and there’s no need to fuel up a smog-spewing mower. That’s time and money saved. But did you know that they raise the value of your home, too? Talk about a win-win-win situation!

3.) You’ll get tax breaks for conserving water

Photo: Flickr user Jeff Drongowski, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Jeff Drongowski, creative commons licensed.

Treating water for safe use takes a lot of energy, and there’s still not enough of it to go around. People who have xeriscaped their properties are on the forefront of water conservation, and the City of Austin wants to recognize them for it. That’s why Austin offers up to $1,750 in tax breaks for “water-wise landscapes.” Nice!

2.) Save money on your water bill

Photo: Flickr user Thangaraj Kumaravel, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Thangaraj Kumaravel, creative commons licensed.

Watering the grass is expensive. That’s extra true when you factor in the unusually high water bills Austinites have been getting lately. Cut that expense to almost nothing by xeriscaping.

1.) Bring Austin’s natural beauty into your yard

Photo: Flickr user Ken Cobb, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Ken Cobb, creative commons licensed.

Austin has beautiful natural scenery. You can bring your favorite native plants into your yard. They’re perfectly adapted to our hot summers and mild winters, so taking care of them is super easy. Figure out which ones are right for your yard with the City of Austin’s Grow Green guide to native plants.

Featured photo: Flickr user keepingtime_ca, creative commons licensed.

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