The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility will help pay for your native or xeric-adapted plants that live on 8 inches of water a year!
The rebate amount has increased to $1.50 per square foot. Plant coverage must still be 50%, but all of the plants must be from the low water use designation on the Rainwater Harvest Plant List below. These plants are native or xeric adapted to live on the 8 inches of natural rainfall that occurs in Albuquerque. A rainwater collection or direction system must also be a part of the plan, which must be approved by the Water Utility's Xeriscape Inspector. In order to allow for root establishment and development, supplemental irrigation is allowed for a two-year period for shrubs and grasses, and a three-year period for trees.
Plants Approved for the “Rainwater Harvest Garden” Rebate Program
All plants need regular watering when they are first planted in order to establish a root system that will support growth. The length of time it takes for plants to become well established varies greatly among plant species and with site conditions. The best adapted, fastest rooting plants may be well established in one or two growing seasons. Some plants may take three to five years of watering in summer before they can be weaned entirely.
As the plants root out, gradually decrease the frequency of irrigation from weekly to semi-monthly, then monthly in summer, half as often in spring and autumn, and once or twice in winter. As you decrease the frequency of irrigations, increase the depth that the water penetrates to 30 inches to promote rooting well below the surface.
Three to four inches of mulch, stones or fibrous types such as pecan shells or shredded bark, helps suppress the growth of weeds which compete with the desirable plants for moisture and reduce evaporation of moisture from the soil. Plants supported only by available precipitation once they are established will generally grow more slowly and mature at smaller overall dimensions than the same plants will when irrigated.