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Ideas for a Drought-Tolerant Front Yard

a home's front yard

Most areas in the United States experience drought to some extent, with climate change and water shortages worsening the dry periods. While water conservation has never been more crucial, it doesn’t mean you should let your front yard dry out and wither away. With drought-resistant techniques, you can maintain lush greenery around your home without wasting resources.

Here are some landscaping tips that can help no matter how hot and dry it gets in your area.

How To Create a Drought-Tolerant Front Yard

Front yards can consume much water, especially if it has turf grass that needs irrigation. You can create a drought-tolerant front yard and reduce water consumption by growing water-wise plants that thrive in dry conditions. Let’s go through some drought-tolerant landscaping ideas.

Plant Groundcovers

You don’t have to maintain a massive lawn. You can reduce its size and plant groundcovers instead. The roots will prevent soil erosion, and the flowers will add color to your front yard. The best part is that groundcovers require minimum maintenance and much less water than turf grass. Whether you have a sunny or shaded yard, you can use various drought-resistant plants as groundcovers. Native plants in your area are excellent choices, as they can withstand phases of drought and rain.

Use Hardscape Elements

You can dial back on water consumption by balancing softscape with hardscape elements. Hardscape materials include stones, rocks, bricks, wood, and gravel. You can create various features with them, like walkways, bridges, and decks. Hardscaping will make your yard look more attractive, providing contrast against the greenery. Hardscape elements require zero water, making them perfect additions to achieve a drought-tolerant yard.

Use Mulch

Mulch is a popular addition to yards in the spring because it helps everything look fresh and polished. But, it has various benefits in a drought-tolerant yard, too. Mulch keeps the soil healthy, making it less prone to cracking during the dry season. It also serves as an insulator buffer between the earth and the harsh elements, preventing moisture evaporation from the ground. That means you won’t have to water your yard as much.

Water Efficiently

Some watering habits aren’t the most efficient and can lead to water wastage. For example, overhead sprinklers consume significant amounts of water but aren’t effective in watering flower beds. A soaker hose or drip irrigation is better at watering the base of plants. In areas like the lawn where you need overhead sprinklers, turn them on during colder times. That way, the water won’t evaporate quickly and can penetrate the soil. In addition, turn them off on rainy days so you’re not wasting water.

Another way to reduce water consumption is to use sprinklers with ET sensors. They will collect information about your lawn, including the plants’ transpiration and water evaporation from the soil. They will then provide your landscape with the right amount of water it needs and no more than that. Sprinklers with ET sensors can reduce water wastage by as much as 20%.

Choose Drought-Tolerant Grass

All grass may look the same, but like other plants, there are various kinds of grass, each with specific watering requirements. So, before you plant random grass seeds, learn about the most suitable types for your area. Aside from being picky with your grass, it also helps to mow higher. When you leave your grass slightly taller, it helps trap more moisture and reduce water wastage.

A lawn care professional can help you put together a drought-tolerant front yard. They know which plants will work best for your area and how to balance the space with hardscape elements.

a home's front yard

Tips for Low-Maintenance Front Yard Landscaping

Everyone dreams of a low-maintenance front yard that doesn’t require constant pruning, weeding, and watering. While maintenance-free yards don’t exist, there are ways to decrease the time and care needed. Here are some tips for low-maintenance landscaping.

Explore Lawn Alternatives

When you think of American homes, you usually think of green lawns. While they look impressive, they require significant amounts of water and fertilizer. And, even with enough water and fertilizer, some yards still turn yellow or develop brown patches. There are better ways to fill up a lawn than with high-maintenance grass. For example, you can add a mulch or gravel walkway to make it easier to go in and out of the house. You can also add fun features like a water installation, vegetable gardens, and flower beds.

Go For Low-Maintenance Plants

Many make the mistake of choosing the flashiest plants when shopping for their front yard. But if you don’t research beforehand, you could end up with plants needing constant care and attention. You can simplify yard maintenance by choosing native plants that suit the weather and climate in your area. They have evolved to thrive in your environment and resist local pests, even without fertilizers or pesticides. Additionally, they benefit local wildlife and pollinators.

Remove Invasive Trees

Trees can boost curb appeal thanks to their charm and grandeur. Not to mention, they can add shade to a sunny front yard. However, removing invasive trees causing problems on your property is wise. They usually spread fast, overtaking everything in the area. That makes them harmful to native plants and local wildlife. In addition, consider removing trees that block the gutters, drop damaging fruits, or are too close to your house.

Explore Hardscaping Options

Adding hardscape elements is one of the easiest ways to create a low-maintenance front yard. For example, you can incorporate a river rock garden, which doesn’t need water, sun, or fertilizer. You can also use gravel to make a driveway, garden bed, or lawn. It’s an inexpensive material that can last up to a hundred years. While you need to spend some time cleaning gravel, it’s still easier and more affordable to maintain than grass. Artificial turf is another option. It looks like lush grass but requires much less maintenance to stay beautiful.

Set Yourself Up for Success

If you want a low-maintenance front yard, you’ll have to put in the work in the beginning. Before adding new plants, loosen the soil around 12 inches and add compost. That will aerate the soil, help plants develop healthy roots, and improve drainage. It also helps to plant flowers densely because it gives weeds less space to grow, lessening your work in the future. If you prefer a more minimal look for your front yard, you can plant flowers further apart but add mulch in the spaces between them. Like flowers, mulch smothers weeds.

If you don’t have time to maintain a front yard, you can leave it to the hands of our Houston landscapers. Aside from lawn mowing & maintenance, they can help pick out low-maintenance grass, plants, and trees to beautify your space.

a rock retaining wall

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas With Rocks

There are many ways to make your front yard inviting to guests. You can adorn it with flower beds, groundcovers, and water gardens. But many forget to consider rocks as a way to boost curb appeal. Not only do rocks lend a classic look, but they also have various benefits. They are low-maintenance, so even those without a green thumb won’t have a problem. You can also use them to straighten out uneven parts in your yard. Discover some creative ways to incorporate rocks into your landscaping.

Rock Retaining Wall

Rock retaining walls can add some texture to a front yard. It is a DIY project that uses large river rocks and boulders. The easiest way to build one is through the dry-stack method, which doesn’t require mortar.

Water Feature

Another way you can use rocks in your front yard is by creating a water feature. Whether you’re going for a fountain or stream, stones and rocks can add to the beauty and serenity of the water. It is an effective way to impress passers-by.

Mulch Alternative

If you don’t like the look of mulch, rocks can be a more attractive alternative. Not only are they visually appealing, but they also keep the topsoil from eroding.

Sitting Area

If your front yard is too small for a porch, you can create a sitting area using rocks. You can add garden furniture where people can rest and relax.

Garden Border

Using pebbles and rocks as a border for your garden is more attractive than plastic edging and bricks. They’re also easier to move around when you want to expand your garden.


If you want to give your front yard a minimalistic look, rocks can help you achieve that. Pair it with some concrete slabs to make a simple but stylish driveway.

Work With a Landscaping Specialist

If you want to be more mindful of your water consumption, start with drought-tolerant landscaping. Contact a Houston landscaper who can help you make the right decisions about a layout and what plants to get.

ABC Can Create The Yard Of Your Dreams

If you’re the type of homeowner who relishes a beautiful yard but doesn’t look forward to the work that goes into creating it, ABC Home & Commercial Services can help you design the yard and side yard of your dreams. Afterward, our team of lawn care service experts can help you maintain it so your yard retains its curb appeal.

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