Governor Jerry Brown may have declared the end of drought crisis this past April, but there is no better time than now to make changes to your landscaping that will reduce your overall water usage. One of the most popular methods is by replacing thirty natural lawns with drought tolerant landscaping. It is a struggle to maintain a pristine lawn in the perpetually dry state of California; complying with watering mandates and the rising cost of water have made expansive lawns a thing of the past in most of the state. Few places in the nation have a greater need to transition to low-water landscaping than southern California and many homeowners across the region are transforming their property with drought tolerant landscaping.
Los Angeles’ dry Mediterranean climate presents significant challenges in terms of landscaping and water conservation. From the rolling foothill regions to cooler coastal areas, each zone of Los Angeles County has different landscaping needs and best-practices. Deciding what is best for your home can feel like an overwhelming process.
Luckily there are many resources available for homeowners seeking guidance in achieving drought tolerant landscaping. For instance, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power offers workshops on sustainable gardening, soil improvement, the correct foliage for your yard and where to plant it, and proper irrigation techniques for a dry climate.
Many residential property owners will balk at the idea of replacing a plush, comfortable lawn with permeable paving, gravel ground cover, or mulch-based desert gardens. However, replacing your natural grass does not mean your yard will lose its inviting, livable, and functional qualities.
Your Yard as an Outdoor Living Room
Perhaps the most popular choice for drought tolerant landscaping is the minimalist approach. By installing decomposed granite, synthetic pavers or other stone ground covering, the yard becomes a virtually maintenance-free space. However, just because you take the drought tolerant approach does not mean your property must be devoid of greenery.
Homeowners more concerned with the property’s appearance than its functionality have another drought tolerant landscaping option. Instead of taking the minimalist approach, take the maximalist approach and turn your yard into a garden. Planting native species that naturally grow in your region makes it easy to create a garden that is both breathtaking as well as low-maintenance and environmentally sustainable.
Best of Both Worlds
As demonstrated above it is very possible to keep the attractive appearance and functional nature of your residential property while sticking to drought tolerant landscaping. However, for some homeowners, the loss of a grassy space is asking too much. Luckily, even for these homeowners there is an easy and affordable solution: artificial grass.
Artificial turf of the past was rarely confused for natural grass. Early synthetic materials did not feature the plush springiness of natural grasses, was difficult to maintain, and was prone to wear-and-tear. Today’s manufacturers have significantly improved their product with modern artificial grass being almost identical to traditional specialty grasses. By incorporating native species with artificial grass sections, homeowners can have the best of both worlds – a property that is low-maintenance and economically sustainable while retaining the appearance and function of a traditional yard.
When selecting a Los Angeles artificial grass provider and installer, be sure they are an accredited member of the Association of Synthetic Grass Installers. While some homeowners may be wary of dangerous chemicals found within this synthetic material, rest assured that accredited installers and providers offer artificial grasses that are lead-free and non-toxic.
Over the course of a year, a homeowner with a lawn measuring 1,800 square feet will use nearly 100,000 gallons of water just to keep it green. Considering the scarcity of water in the Los Angeles area, making the transition from a natural grass lawn to one of synthetic grass is not only environmentally-friendly but also budget-friendly. The cost of removing the natural lawn and installing a synthetic one will pay for itself in a matter of years, while doing a service to the local environment.