By shaping the ground to promote the flow of rainwater to native or food-producing plants, we are practicing “passive” rainwater harvesting. This results in low-maintanence, self-irrigating rain gardens.
Keeping the Rain Where It Falls — A Natural Solution
In Tucson, about 50% of our total potable water consumption is used for landscape irrigation. We have the opportunity to dramatically decrease this portion of our demand by taking full advantage of the irrigation that is delivered to us for free throughout the year — rainwater.
Creating basins close to plants allows rainwater to collect and infiltrate the soil. This allows the plants’ roots to extend toward this water source and increase the its stability. You can further increase a soil’s ability to hold rainwater by adding organic matter, like mulch and compost.
Selecting Plants for Your Rain Garden
Our choice of plants also has a dramatic impact on our outdoor water consumption. Native trees, shrubs, succulents, cacti, and wildflowers have evolved to thrive in a climate of harsh summers and infrequent rains. By using these plants in our landscapes, we create low-water-use, low-maintenance gardens that provide us with shade, beauty, wildlife habitat, and even food.
As strong native plants develop and grow, their roots stabilize the soil, and the leaf debris left behind further enriches the soil. All of these factors decrease soil erosion, and promote diversity and resilience in native plant and animal communities. As a result, we can reverse the ongoing trend of desertification in the Sonoran Desert.
Water Harvesting Landscape Design
TFS designs residential water harvesting landscape plans for homeowners who would rather do the work themselves. We meet with you to discuss your goals and analyze your site’s conditions. From here, we will provide you with a plan that will maximize both the function and beauty of your landscape. All landscape plans are designed to produce self-sufficient landscapes that will not require irrigation once plants are established, with the exception of fruit trees or other food-producing plants.