Nature scene particle systems using lots of memory, how is this countered?

Hello fellow Blender artists, I am making a series of nature scenes with Cycles in 2.73a with sand, dirt, trees and other various plants, and animals, and thanks to some helpful members and a few tutorials I am doing pretty good. The issue I have run into is the sheer number of particle systems (and number of particles in each system) in each scene is most likely going to be more than my GTX 760 4GB can manage memory-wise, and may even require more than the 16GB of my computer. I am still experimenting with modifying a hair system to simulate spruce needles vs making spruce needles out of a cube for a particle system, but either way seems to use about the same amount of memory. I have been looking for ways to help with this and have found articles recommending to use instancing and/or baking, but I have very little experience with either.

Advise, and if possible simple instructions, please.

Can’t help unless you upload your .blend file mate :confused:

By experimenting, researching, and scouring the forum, I have found what I wanted to know. I was only looking for tips on how the more advanced users deal with heavy particle systems and the limited memory of the GPU.

Thanks anyway The Sun, I appreciate the offer to help, I just did not want to upload a .blend file of this project and have not had enough time to make an alternate scene for that purpose, then in researching other things I found what I was looking for.