For commercial business owners, setting a good first impression is vital. And if you have a physical location where customers, partners, or potential investors are likely to visit, that means keeping up appearances—especially with your commercial landscaping.
But what happens when you need to save water? Perhaps you’re in a drought-prone (or heavily regulated) area, want to save on your water bills, or would like to reduce your environmental footprint?
It’s a common concern for commercial business owners, and a question we get asked a lot. Fortunately, Externals Landscape Services has some tried and tested methods to help you. Here are four ways to save water in your commercial landscaping.
Consider your plant composition
The first step in reducing your commercial landscape water use is to replace any thirsty plants with drought-tolerant varieties, for example, jades, succulents, or cacti. These plants come in all shapes and sizes, making it possible to save water while maintaining an attractive, varied, and low-maintenance landscape.
You may even want to go a step further and consider xeriscaping; a landscaping method developed for arid and semi-arid climates. Xeriscaping groups carefully selected drought-tolerant plants with mulching and irrigation, often requiring little more than natural rainwater—helping you maximise your water savings, without needing much upkeep.
If xeriscaping sounds like a step too far right now, try making the most of what you already have. Space your plants out so there’s less competition for water, and make sure you’re using the right soil type to retain water and reduce runoff. Again, this is where mulching can help. By adding an organic layer to your surface soil, you can retain moisture, improve fertility, reduce weeds, and maintain an attractive, professional look for your business landscape.
Integrate hard landscaping
Another common approach to reducing your commercial water use—and drastically reducing your maintenance costs—is to integrate hard landscaping.
While some are put off by the idea, fear not, because hard landscaping no longer has to mean a sea of bleak concrete. In fact, it’s easy to create an attractive hard landscape by incorporating a few simple features.
Planter boxes — a simple solution to breathing life and colour into your hard landscaping, wooden planter boxes reintroduce a natural element to your commercial property. Not only do they require far less water than a fully planted landscape, raised boxes also serve as a barrier from pests like slugs and snails and can protect your plants from weeds.
Decking — soften your hard landscape with a natural, hardwood decking area, which also gives you an opportunity to create outdoor seating space for ad-hoc meetings, hosting visitors, or for your staff to enjoy. Not only is decking low maintenance (and of course, requires no water), going a step further and incorporating a simple shade structure can bring an intriguing, eye-catching look to your business.
Artificial turf — if you want to keep the colour in your landscape, but need to cut maintenance and water use, consider swapping your lawn for artificial turf. A lot of our commercial clients like artificial turf because it offers a year-round vibrant look, even during water bans in the harsh Australian sun—and it lasts a lifetime.
Recycle your drainage water
If you’re looking to keep your existing landscape design, but need to cut down your water use, rainwater harvesting is a great option. Today’s technology means it’s easy to store and reuse drained water, offering an environmentally friendly way of cutting your water use—and water bill.
If you own a large commercial or industrial property, you can manage stormwater runoff by storing rainwater in a large tank, ready to use across your outdoor landscape, and indoor throughout your building, for example, for your toilets and urinals.
One thing to note here is that rainwater harvesting often requires setting up a collection system and storage tank, with pumps, a control system, and a way of removing pollutants. These are all manageable, with the upfront costs saving you money in the long run—as well as being a healthy option for the planet. Depending on where you live, you may need to comply with local regulations for reusing rainwater, and any local permits for designing above or below ground harvesting systems.
Upgrade and maintain your irrigation system
A low maintenance solution to save water in your commercial landscape is to upgrade your irrigation system—a powerful solution if you’re looking for efficient water management—and make sure it’s well maintained.
Commercial irrigation systems allow you to regulate how much water is used—and when—so the system can efficiently maintain your landscape while restricting water use, without your ongoing input.
Because modern commercial irrigation systems are configurable to your property, you can determine which areas get watered, tailor the irrigation to suit your plant types (for example, root water, amount of water, time of day), and protect your landscape from soil erosion.
For optimum cost and water savings, it’s important to keep these systems maintained by clearing them of leaves and debris—both of which can impact drainage—and maintain a regular maintenance schedule with commercial landscape professionals.
Save water, save money, and attract new business
A well presented commercial landscape is a powerful way of creating a strong first impression for your business, helping you attract new clients and employees while providing your staff with a welcoming, comfortable working environment.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can deliver an outstanding landscape, without huge water bills—or a negative impact on the environment. From the right plant choices to introducing attractive hard landscaping and efficient management systems, you can create an attractive commercial landscape that lasts for years.
Externals Landscape Services is one of Perth’s leading commercial landscaping companies. Our expert team is highly experienced in creating and maintaining commercial grounds that follow the principles of form and function, so you get an attractive outdoor area that reflects your business values—and helps you save on your water bills.
Contact us today and let’s create a landscape that helps your business shine.