Xeriscape Educational Modules

Xeriscape Plant Demonstration Garden

A xeric plant demonstration garden was established at New Mexico State University - Agricultural Science Center at Farmington, New Mexico, in 2002. The project No. 1-5-28404) was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. In 2009, additional financial support to maintain the garden was endowed by William Blythe Mayfield, Southwest Chauvinist and lover of native plants. A primary objective of the garden is to quantify the water requirements of xeric species suitable for northern New Mexico landscapes.

To accomplish this objective, the garden was divided into four equal-sized plots and at least one individual of 96 selected plant species was planted within each plot. During establishment (2002 to late summer 2003), the plants received from 0.5 to 2.5 gallons of water every 10 to 14 days depending on plant size and evapotranspiration (ET) demand. A micro-irrigation (drip) system was installed during 2003 to provide different irrigation regimes to each plot. Irrigation treatments (0,20,40 and 60% of reference ET) was initiated in 2004. Circular, diked basins, to confine applied water were formed around each plant. A two-inch layer of crushed, red lava rock was spread outside of the basins throughout the plot area to inhibit weed growth. Irrigation volumes (including precipitation depths), along with plant development and quality were monitored throughout the 2004 growing season within all plots.

Plant characteristics, including growth and maturity rates, aesthetic appeal, quality, etc. will continue to be monitored at the different irrigation regimes throughout 2005. Ultimately, the exhibit will result in the compilation of specific plant and irrigation recommendations for northern New Mexico landscapes.

In 2004, the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden opened to the public with the Mother's Day Tour. The tour attracted more than 125 visitors. Since, many other individuals and groups, such as Master Gardeners' and the Native Plant Society have visited the garden.

The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden is open to the public year round from Monday through Friday, 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. during regular business hours, except holidays.

Xeriscape Self-guided Walking Tour and Xeric Plant Brochure PDF

Residents and visitors to the Four Corners Region are welcome to take a self-guided walking tour of the Agricultural Science Center xeriscape research/demonstration garden. The garden is open to the public during regular business hours, Monday through Friday between
8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

A Xeriscape Garden Brochure, with location map, is provided below. It can be viewed via Acrobat Reader and printed for your convenience. If you have any questions regarding the xeric garden contact the Agricultural Science Center at (505) 960-7757 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30p.m.