Even though we are now considered out of severe drought conditions in California, getting rid of their lawns is a choice still being made by many Californians. This one measure can trim your water usage by 25%!
Choosing to ditch your lawn does not mean your garden has to be brown or drab. Many drought tolerant plants and ground cover are colorful and, mixed with hardscapes, can bring new dimensions to your landscape while saving water and money! Some even look grass-like, as seen in the photo above.
How Do I Get Rid of My Lawn?
One way to get rid of your lawn is to apply a spray-on grass killer which may take a while to work and need to be used several times before they are completely effective. Make sure, if you use this method, that the product is safe for pets and is eco-friendly, as many are not. These products contain chemicals that are required by law to break down in the soil within 14 days so, depending on what you use, you might need to wait to plant new plants if you want to give them their best chance of survival.
Another way is the “lasagna method”, which is done by alternating layers of compost and cardboard or newspaper with layers of mulch. This causes the grass to die because it receives no sunlight, but another benefit of this method is that it feeds the soil underneath and prepares it for the new plants with lower water requirements. (Source:http://www.mercurynews.com/our-community-garden/ci_28014099/compost-and-mulch-will-help-lower-water-use)
Another way is to hire a professional landscaper to remove the lawn and replace it with materials and plants that use much less water.
Can Proper Soil Preparation Reduce the Amount of Water Needed?
Yes, the generous use of compost and mulch is very important. They will not only enrich the soil which in turn feeds the plants, but mulch and compost help to retain water, which in turn reduces the amount of watering needed for your yard.
What should I Plant?
Lawns can be replaced with a variety of plants and materials that don’t use much water.
Native plants that attract birds and butterflies are a popular option. Drought tolerant herbs and ornamental shrubs are another idea. Succulents can be beautiful also as well as an occasional cactus can be used to add interest to a garden.
There are also low-maintenance ground covers that look good and don’t require a lot of water. The need to water will drop even further when roots grow deep and are established. Hardscaping, using rocks, pathways, ornaments, gravel and patio areas is a great way to utilize a minimum of plants and shrubs and still have an attractive looking garden!
Let Pacific Vista Landscape Services come and assess your landscape needs! Our professionals are experts with drought tolerant plants and smart irrigation systems, as well as creating hardscapes to transform your garden into a low-water oasis saving water AND money for years to come!