The thriving high desert metropolis of Salt Lake City is no stranger to hot, dry summers. In fact, the city sees an average of 70 days with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit each year, and the semi-arid climate means that water conservation is always top of mind.
That’s why savvy Salt Lake City homeowners increasingly turn to drought-resistant landscaping to keep their yards looking green and gorgeous all summer long – without breaking the bank (or wasting water).

If you’re unsure where to start, let’s walk through five summer landscaping ideas for your property.

1. Go Native

Utah is home to a wide variety of native plants naturally adapted to the state’s climate. This means they require less water, fertilizer, and pesticide than non-native plants – making them the perfect choice for a low-maintenance, drought-resistant landscape.
Some of our favorite native plants for Salt Lake City landscaping include:
• Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
• Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
• Engelmann daisy (Engelmannia pinnatifada)
• Firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii)
• Scarlet gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)

2. Incorporate Xeriscaping

The term “xeriscaping” comes from the Greek word “xeros” meaning dry – and that’s exactly what this type of landscaping is all about. These water-wise gardens are designed to minimize water use through the use of drought-tolerant plants, strategic irrigation, and other best practices.
Some good plants for a xeriscape garden include cold-hardy succulents such as Sedum, Sempervivum, and Jovibarba, as well as drought-tolerant shrubs like Sagebrush (Artemisia), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos), and Cenizo (Leucophyllum).

3. Use Mulch

Mulch is a layer of material (such as wood chips, leaves, or straw) that is spread over the soil’s surface. It helps to conserve water by reducing evaporation and preventing weed growth.
Organic mulches also improve the soil as they break down over time, adding valuable nutrients and improving the soil’s ability to retain water.

4. Keeping Green Grass in the Summer

Despite the high temperatures and low rainfall, many Salt Lake City homeowners still want a lush, green lawn. The key is choosing suitable grass species and healthy lawn maintenance.

Some of the best grasses for summer include Kentucky bluegrass, Tall Fescue, and Perennial ryegrass – all of which are heat- and drought-tolerant.

5. Consider Shade Trees

Planting trees is one of the best things you can do for your landscape – providing shade, reducing energy costs, improving air quality, and increasing your property value.

Showing trees can also help keep your home cooler in the summer months by blocking the hot sun. Some good trees for summer shade in include Maples (Acer spp.), Cottonwoods (Populus spp.), and Ash (Fraxinus spp.).

With a bit of creativity, it is possible to have a beautiful, drought-resistant landscape in Salt Lake City, which is both a beautiful and water-wise landscape.