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K-State Research and Extension

Landscape specialists help homeowners create yards that
can thrive in drought conditions

What we are doing:
Concerns about water use and availability – for both the short term (drought) and long term (conservation) – frequently raise interest in xeriscaping, an approach to landscaping that requires significantly less supplemental irrigation.
K-State Research and Extension horticulturists educate homeowners in the core principles of xeriscaping: planning and design, soil preparation, efficient irrigation, mulching, creating plant zones, installing practical turf species and proper maintenance.
A common myth suggests that xeriscaping is easier than conventional landscaping. It's not a "plant it and forget it" approach. A successful xeriscape reduces water use rather than reducing homeowner attention to the landscape.

Our impact:

  • K-State Research and Extension offers numerous publications that provide guides for planning, plant selection, and turfgrass selection and management.
  • Demonstration gardens at some K-State Research and Extension county/district offices provide visitors with tangible examples of possibilities available in their area.
  • Research of plant, tree and turfgrass varieties that may be suited for the xeriscape takes place continually.

"Warm-season grasses have been creeping north across the state, from their traditional domain in the south. Some of the newer varieties have pretty good cold tolerance and are gaining popularity north of I-70. Homeowners are discovering that even with the occasional extreme winter that may punish a warm-season lawn, that grass will come back from the stolons (above-ground runners) and rhizomes (horizontal roots) below the soil. Ultimately, that's better than losing your cool-season lawn to drought and having to reseed in the fall."
– Jared Hoyle, K-State Research and Extension turfgrass specialist