When landscaping your yard, it is important to keep in mind how much water you will need to maintain it all. A thirsty landscape that depends on a lot of water is not only expensive; it is environmentally harmful.
In California, Governor Jerry Brown ordered mandatory water use reductions on April 1 (and no—it’s no joke). A great way you can do your part to bring California back from this 4-year drought is to change your water use habits, and water-wise landscaping is an excellent way to reduce excessive and needless water use.
In this article, we will look at the ingredients for a water-friendly landscape and how to make it happen in your own yard.
6 Ingredients For a Low-Water Landscape
Drought tolerant plantings: trees, shrubs, and ground cover
Some plant species do better in drier conditions and therefore are the perfect choices for a low-water landscape project. Choose drought-tolerant or native plants that don’t get thirsty too often. Try:
- Angelina sedum, a ground covering that blooms. It spreads out quickly, making it a quick-results plant.
- Ice plant, a ground covering that has delicate purple flowers and thick leaves. It is not as easy to grow as others but does well in dry conditions and has a bright, beautiful foliage.
- Ajuga, an invasive plant that is ideal for dry conditions in areas where it will not interfere with the growth of other plants.
Smart water timers
These irrigation tools adjust based on changes that impact the amount of water the plants and groundcover need. The newest models implement a sensor system that works with historical data, like the time of year, to inform a watering schedule. These timer systems take some fine tuning but within a few months you can expect them to be working at optimal capacity.
Drip irrigation systems
Have you ever driven past a lawn that has several sprinklers running, and most of the water seems to be hitting the side of the house or the sidewalk? This inefficient way of watering lawns and plants wastes energy and money. By using the localized tactic of drip irrigation, water is delivered slowly to the roots and prevents unnecessary watering. Other terms associated with drip irrigation include trickle, micro, or localized irrigation.
Synthetic turf instead of natural lawns
By using synthetic turf, you avoid needing to water, cut, and fertilize real grass. Synthetic turf is also much easier to maintain, saving as many as 40 hours of work in a given year. Synthetic turf has a larger upfront cost associated with it but over time it ends up saving the homeowner more through water conservation and low maintenance costs. You can also try other no-water ground coverings like rocks and bark.
Good soil with proper drainage
It’s never wise to skimp on soil quality. Pick a soil that allows for the best drainage and offers your plants the best nutrition. The right soil with proper drainage will mean hydrated plants and groundcover and will make it easier to maintain your lawn.
Water collection with rain barrels
Why not save money on landscaping by collecting water and repurposing it on your lawn? You can purchase inexpensive rain barrels at most home improvement stores with spouts to easily drain the water into watering cans that you can then distribute throughout your landscaping.
Ways to Save on Low-Water Landscaping
When you go with water-wise landscaping, there are many rewards offered in addition to saving water and money. Check out some of the rebates you can take advantage of:
- Smart Controller: $400
- Drip irrigation: $195
- Turf grass replacement with synthetic: $1.25 - $1.50 per square foot up to $2,000
Not sure where to start? Contact the xeriscaping experts at Murray Lampert to talk about water-wise landscaping ideas for your yard.