Seven Horticultural Principles of Xeriscape

A water-efficient landscape begins with Weather-Wise Watering. Whether it’s raining in June or dry in December, Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) always values responsible water use. That’s why we encourage Weather-Wise Watering and water-efficient landscaping.

Follow these steps from start to finish for a whole new landscape, or simply pick a step to implement into your existing landscape one at a time. Our Water-Efficient Landscape Guide website is dedicated to these principles and offers a searchable database of plants that do well in our high-desert climate.

  1. Plan and design your landscape to match the regional climate and soil conditions
  2. Soil preparation is fundamental to water-efficient landscapes, as well as an understanding of how your landscape’s soil interacts with water
  3. Appropriate plant selection and planting the right plants in the right place, grouping them together according to similar water needs
  4. Practical turf grass areas and shapes, reducing potential for over-irrigation of turf grass
  5. Use of mulch around plants and trees keeps water in the soil around plant roots
  6. Irrigation planning and using a zoned system that will most effectively deliver water to plants with the least amount of waste
  7. Landscape maintenance and proper irrigation are the keys to maintaining a water-efficient landscape

Tours & Workshops

We are here to help. From irrigation start-up to winterization, TMWA’s Conservation Department has workshops and tours to help you understand the Weather-Wise needs of your landscape throughout the seasons. Email us at or call us at 834-8005.

The Hug High Garden is a large demonstration of how successful a bioregional garden, including a vegetable patch, can be in our high-desert climate. To see the seven xeriscape principles at work, visit our calendar of tours and workshops at the garden.