Santa Cruz, California, is a land full of juxtapositions. Redwoods flank the hilltops with the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean greeting the famous Boardwalk below. If you’re lucky enough to live in this gorgeous region, you know that managing your landscape is part of being a homeowner. Landscaping for homes in Santa Cruz can be simplified when you follow a few tips from the experts. Here are the top seven tips that will encourage a flourishing landscape.

1. Go Native

Homeowners who’re just trying to beautify their yards might opt for bright flowers picked at a local nursery. There’s a lot more effort that goes into landscaping, however. You don’t want to pick plants that are native to Colorado and plant them in Santa Cruz. The best way to spruce up your yard is to choose plants that are native to this region.

Consider these choices in your garden, including:

• Varied salvias

• Wild lilacs

• Bush anemones

The concept behind planting native plants is acclimation. These species are already attuned to the local weather patterns. They prefer Santa Cruz soils where pH levels and nutrients are unique to the area. These plants will also conserve resources, which helps the homeowners out when it comes to paying the water bills.

2. Try Drip Irrigation

Many people equate clouds and fog to the Santa Cruz region, which makes it similar to San Francisco. However, the bay isn’t always permeated with fog or the marine layer. The sun can be quite strong at certain times of the year.

Conserve water with a landscaping tip that involves drip irrigation. This watering strategy involves hoses with openings where water drips out at a steady rate. Snake the hose among your flowers, herbs and foliage. Set a timer for regular watering. You have a system that saves both water and time.

The dripping water reaches the soil and roots almost immediately. There’s very little moisture loss to evaporation, which is in stark contrast to traditional watering with a sprinkler head.

3. Garden Smart With Mulch

Your native plants and drip irrigation are fantastic additions to your landscape, but you can still improve upon the property. Pick up mulch created locally by residents and landscaping companies. Try organic mulches, which include:

• Shredded bark

• Lawn clippings

• Straw

Lightly cover any exposed soil with mulch. This layer protects the soil from excessive evaporation, especially on sunny days. It also provides an aesthetic appeal. Pick a mulch that compliments the home’s exterior decor. Change it as you desire to update the appearance over the varied seasons.

Avoid rocks or synthetic mulch among your gardens. Organic mulches will break down into the soil. This process adds critical nutrients to the soil, which encourages microbe activity. Landscaping for homes Santa Cruz is both a science and art.

4. Avoid Pesticide Use

You’ve worked hard on your garden. It looks like a textbook photograph. However, there’s an insect infestation. The knee-jerk reaction is to spray the plants with a pesticide. Most landscaping professionals frown upon this action, however.

Certain pests that are native to the region, such as the California Oakworm, come in seasonal waves. Your plants may be temporarily damaged by these pests, but they will die back as they go through their developmental stages. By spraying pesticides, the insects have a chance to build up an immunity that will serve them well in the future. Allowing nature to take its course is the best control strategy.

If you have any edible plants in the garden, avoiding pesticide use is even more important. You don’t want to consume any chemicals. Santa Cruz is known for its love of organic and natural products, including clean fruits and vegetables.

5. Explore the Vertical World

Many Santa Cruz residents live in homes where they share rooms with other students or like-minded individuals, especially around the university and community college. If space is an issue, try a vertical garden as a clever tip in your landscape.

Fill out a porch or patio with a vertical garden that might include these plants, such as:

• Ferns

• Succulents

• Tomatoes

In reality, you can create a vertical garden that’s either decorative or functional. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is possible with a vertical garden that’s meticulously cared for each day.

Be sure to face the garden toward the sunlight so that maximum photosynthesis is possible. These plants will gain most of their energy from the sun as opposed to rich, soil conditions.

6. Bring the Beach

Santa Cruz is known for its beach and surfing lifestyle. It makes sense to incorporate these ideals into the landscape. Decorating with shells on the property might be your go-to idea, but consider beach grass as an accent.

Line a walkway or corner garden with beach grass that may have these hues, including:

• Green

• Beige

• Lime

• Light brown

If you live in a particularly windy location, the beach grass steadies the soil so that erosion isn’t a major problem. During the rainy months, the grass holds tightly to the ground. Maintaining a neat-and-tidy garden through the winter and into spring is one of the perks of living on the Central Coast.

7. Enclose It

Visitors to the area may think of Santa Cruz as a paradise. Enclosing any part of the backyard isn’t even a consideration. However, landscaping with a patio cover or sunroom is a smart addition to any property.

These covered spaces shield part of the property from the hot sunlight in the summer and rainy days during the winter. It’s possible to enjoy the yard year-round as a result. Add shade-loving plants inside of this covered area too. They’ll thrive in the controlled conditions.

Rain in the winter and sunny days permeating the summer, Santa Cruz can be a challenge from a landscaping perspective. Try a few tips out on your landscape, and see how the plants acclimate to the region. The Central Coast is famous for growing ample crops. This same concept can be applied to your yard for improved property values year-round.