Berms and Swales

Berms and swales help direct water where you want it to go.

Creating berms and swales as well as heavy mulching will help you to develop an irrigation strategy that uses minimal water for the plant varieties you select. Once you select the plants you want in your garden, arrange them in order from thirstiest to most drought-tolerant. Then you can begin to construct a contour for the landscape that will direct the water flow towards the thirstiest plants while still getting adequate water to those plants that can handle arid soil. You can dig curvaceous trenches and use the soil you dig out to build berms (mounds of soil) where you can plant species that are suited to less water. Fabric or cardboard underneath your mulch will help fend off weeds.